Cinderella, meet Cinderella. Super Bowl LVI dawns as a longshots convention with the over-achieving Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams sharing the Sofi Stadium stage on Feb. 13.
The Rams giving four points on their own field illustrates the parity by which oddsmakers view the NFC and AFC champions, both of whom earned their Super Bowl wings as No. 4 seeds. This will be the first time ever two No. 4 seeds will be playing in the Big Game.
Both handled the unlikely path of winning three times and combining for four road victories in the postseason.
Shortly after the Bengals’ 27-24 overtime triumph against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Rams’ 20-17 nailbiter over the San Francisco 49ers, the books formulated their Super Bowl menu.
Best NJ sportsbook Super Bowl promos and specials
Super Bowl is one of the best times to sign up for an NJ sportsbook thanks to special Super Bowl promos for new customers. Here are some of the most enticing.
Bet365: Sign up to claim your $50 free bet on Bengals vs. Rams. (Includes straight bets and same-game parlays only.)
FanDuel: Bet $5 on Bengals or Rams moneyline, win $280 if the team wins.
- Claim your 56-1 odds promo here (first time depositors only).
- Max bet $5, winnings returned in cash (not site credit).
Sugarhouse: Sign up and log in to receive either a 10%, 25%, 50%, or 100% profit boost on specified bets.
- Each boost only eligible on a specified bet offer each day (Feb. 12 and 13), posted to the promotion page by midnight each day.
- Max $25 wager and max $250 additional winnings, valid for 24 hours from issue.
BetMGM: New customers can claim a risk-free bet up to $1,000 and a $50 free bet.
- Use promo code PLAYBONUS50 upon sign-up.
- Customers deposit their own money for the risk-free bet.
- Must place the risk-free bet before using the $50 free bet.
- If the wager loses, free bet returned in 20% increments (five $200 bets on $1,000 free bet) or as one free bet if the wager is under $200.
- Offer is live through Feb. 18.
DraftKings: 56-1 odds on a $5 moneyline bet on Bengals or Rams.
- New customers sign up and deposit at least $5.
- $5 returns $280 in free bets plus any cash winnings for the original bet if your team wins.
- Bonus returned as (7) $40 free bets, valid for seven days.
Setting the Super Bowl props menu
Before the crazy Super Bowl props assume a life of their own for New Jersey online sports bettors over the next few days, here’s the first set put up by DraftKings Sportsbook:
Will Cooper Kupp of the Rams score a touchdown of 50 yards or better?
The yes is +400. He’s usually good for at least one big gainer every game and is a legitimate touchdown threat. He tallied one in each of the Rams’ post-season victories over the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers.
Will Joe Mixon or Cam Akers exceed 99.5 yards? That’s +150 and it’s tricky because Mixon’s yardage is spread between rushing and receiving. But the prop is up there.
Will Ja’Marr Chase and Kupp combine for more than 199.5 receiving yards? The yes is +105. That initially looks like a no-brainer, but defensive coordinators have two weeks to try taking away the most prolific receivers on the field. Odds are fair.
Here’s one to consider if defenses do thwart Chase and Kupp. Can second receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Tee Higgins combine for over 1.5 touchdowns? That’s +275. Both are capable, it depends on game situations.
Can Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford combine for more than 599.5 passing yards? On their best days, yes. But these defenses have risen in recent games. That’s +140.
Caesars Sportsbook: How Bengals and Rams dropped from long odds
One team will deliver a bonus avalanche to New Jersey sports gamblers who backed it at different points of the season.
According to Caesars Sportsbook figures, here is the lucrative path traveled by Cincinnati Bengals bettors:
Cincinnati was +12500 or 125-1 to win the Super Bowl before Week 1. The Bengals won four games last year and would establish an NFL record rags-to-riches rise as the Super Bowl champion with the worst record the year before.
The Bengals were 150-1 at their longest point, Week 2. They were still +1800 to win it all when the playoffs started and +850 as late as the kickoff against the Chiefs.
The Rams made dog bettors proud too.
They started the season at +1400 and were +1300 as late as Week 13. They were +1000 when the post-season began and +250 before beating the Niners.
This is poised to be the 13th straight Super Bowl with the favorite laying fewer than 7 points, extending the longest string in Super Bowl history. The next-longest was a nine-year run from Super Bowls V to XIII (1970-78 seasons).
If the total holds at 50 points until kickoff, it would mark the fourth straight Super Bowl that it is 50 or greater. Each of the last three Super Bowls has gone under the total.
“What will happen is the public will bet the dog – the Bengals – on the money line, the Rams on the spread and they’ll bet the over,” said Craig Mucklow, Caesars Sportsbook VP of trading.
“So, if the Rams cover and the game goes over, it’s the public’s Super Bowl. We want a close, competitive game. The last thing we want is a blowout because it spoils the in-play. With close games, the market lives longer. People can bet on them as well and everybody’s ticket is alive. It makes it more fun. We would prefer a low-scoring, competitive game.”
Putting stock on recent Super Bowl history
The Rams did reach the big game three years ago, losing to the New England Patriots 13-3
“The biggest factor is the Rams have been there recently,” Mucklow said. “Sean McVay has been there before. They lost to the Patriots but will learn from that experience.
Recent Super Bowls have turned into dog shows, he said.
Underdogs are 8-6 straight up and 9-5 against the spread in the last 14 Super Bowls.
That’s the most outright wins for underdogs over a 14-game span in Super Bowl history. In all 55 previous Super Bowls, underdogs are 26-27-2 ATS with 20 outright victories
Each of the last 12 Super Bowl champions covered the spread. The last team to win and not cover was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat the Arizona Cardinals by four points (27-23) as 7-point favorites in Super Bowl XLIII (Feb. 1, 2009).
Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs last February, AFC teams are 6-3 straight up and against the spread in the last nine Super Bowls.
Betting highlights from the conference championship round
We often mention the proliferation of in-game wagering. Here is an all-star wager from each game last weekend, according to DraftKings.
Start with the leveraged slam. We’ve outlined this throughout the year as players with large bankrolls will make a big wager, even lay the juice, to gain a six-figure profit. Here are two examples:
- In the Rams-49ers battle, a gambler put $660,000 on an alternate spread of the 49ers +3.5 in the first half. They led 10-7 at intermission and this paid a whopping $1,148,888.89.
- In the Bengals-Chiefs game, a gambler put up $360,000 to win $660,000, for the second half to go under 28 points. It did, landing on 20.
Nice to have that kind of money, huh?
Then again, a FanDuel Sportsbook bettor obtained delirium with a deuce.
A $2 wager became $57,902.
A bettor correctly forecasted the score of both championship games, turning $2 into $57,902.
Yes, at odds of 28,950-1, the gambler hit on both contests.
The Bengals-Chiefs returned 220-1
The Rams-Niners yielded 130-1.
One hit would be awesome. Two, incredible.
The bettor needed half a dozen things to fall right in the final minute of both games to cash this in. That’s why every penny of this hit was earned.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel