We have heard every reason in the book as to why they shouldn’t have gotten by the Wild Card round, or the Divisional round, and then it was a nice run, but reality was going to bring them back to earth in the Conference Championship.
At every turn we have heard the deficiencies of this team will make them incapable of beating the teams they have. And yet here we are talking about the Super Bowl. There is no denying this team has that famous ‘it’ quality that you just can’t quantify.
When the chips are down they just make the plays they need to in order to win. Whether it is a timely field goal or a turnover, this team has just found ways to win time after time.
How do the oddsmakers and experts view them against the Los Angeles Rams, though?
The Bengals are currently four-point underdogs to the Rams in Los Angeles, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The fact this is really a home game for the Rams — despite the Bengals being the officially designated home team — the line is relatively close. Home teams usually start with a three-point advantage. At one point the line was 4.5, but it has obviously gone down.
The total is set at 48.5 points. That seems low with how much we have talked about the offensive firepower of both teams. However, these defenses have done quite well during the playoffs. We could be looking at two teams in the 20s right on the border here. As they say, the oddsmakers know what they’re doing.
- Cincinnati are 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
- Cincinnati are 6-1 straight up in their last seven games.
- The total has gone under in five of Cincinnati’s last five games against the Rams.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games when playing at home against the Rams.
- Cincinnati are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games this season.
- Cincinnati are 2-11-1 straight up in their last 14 games against an opponent in the NFC.
- Cincinnati are 0-5 straight up in their last five games against an opponent in the NFC West.
- Cincinnati are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games played on a Sunday.
- The Rams are 6-3 against the spread in their last nine games.
- The Rams are 8-1 straight up in their last nine games.
- The Rams are 4-1 straight up in their last five games this season.
- The Rams are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The Rams are 5-12 straight up in their last 17 games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- ESPN has four of their eight experts (who have picked so far) taking the Bengals
- CBS Sports has four of their eight experts taking Cincinnati as well
- Two of Sports Illustrated’s seven are taking the underdog Bengals
- 14 of NFL Network’s 28 experts are going with Cincinnati
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, has the Bengals receiving 32 percent of the picks.
It seems some of the experts are split on this game. A common thing from the picks are people picking Cincinnati expect a close game, but those taking Los Angeles don’t expect much of a game.
It is hard to imagine that quarterback Joe Burrow would allow this game to snowball into not even close to being a game. He and this offense have been able to at least turn it on when necessary. The defense has also held offense after offense this playoffs in check, which includes some of the biggest names in the NFL.
It will be interesting to look back at this following the Super Bowl.