Super Bowl LVI will kick off at this Sunday, Feb. 13th at 6:30 pm ET with the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Los Angeles Rams at the Rams’ SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
The Bengals won just two games in 2019, which was the worst in the NFL, and were 125-1 long shots before the season to make this year’s Super Bowl. The club has now made NFL history by going from the worst team in the league to the Super Bowl in the shortest period of time.
The quarterback matchup will see Cincinnati’s 25-year-old Joe Burrow going head-to-head with 34-year-old Matthew Stafford of the Rams. Both are former number-one NFL draft picks and this will be just the second Super Bowl game to feature two quarterbacks who were taken first overall.
Los Angeles went 12-5 during the regular season to win the NFC West Division and made the playoffs as the fourth seed in the conference. They handled the Arizona Cardinals 34-11 in the first round of the playoffs and then got past the defending Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-27 in Florida thanks to a last-second field goal. They met the San Francisco 49ers in the Conference Final and managed to beat them 20-17 at home after trailing 17-7 in the fourth quarter and losing the six previous outings to their west-coast rivals.
For the Rams to be successful on Sunday they’ll need big performances from Stafford as well as the likes of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, running back Cam Akers linebacker Von Miller, kicker Matt Gay and receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Cooper Kupp.
The last time the Rams played in the Super Bowl was in 2019. The squad averaged 32.9 points a game during the regular season, 28 points per outing in two playoff contests and then just three points in the championship game as they were beaten 13-3 by the New England Patriots.
The Bengals entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the AFC following their 10-7 mark in the regular campaign which saw them top the AFC North Division. They advanced to the Conference Final in dramatic fashion by beating the Tennessee Titans 19-16 away with a last-second field goal in their second postseason outing after downing the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 in their opener. They then came back from a 21-3 deficit to down the Kansas City Chiefs 27-4 in overtime in the AFC Final.
Joe Burrow is the first number-one overall draft pick to help his team reach the Super Bowl within two seasons. He doesn’t get a lot of protection though as he was sacked 51 times in the regular season and has been sacked a dozen times in three playoff games this year. However, he’s the first of 55 quarterbacks to reach a Super Bowl after being sacked at least 50 times during a regular season. In addition, he never lost a playoff game at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he won a national championship and the Heisman Trophy, and hasn’t lost in the postseason in the NFL as of yet.
The Bengals can’t just rely on their second-year quarterback though as they will also need big games from cornerback Mike Hilton, safety Jessie Bates III, receivers Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd, kicker Evan McPherson and running back Joe Mixon.
As far as winning Super Bowl LVI goes, the bet365 oddsmakers currently have the Los Angeles Rams at -4.5 point favorites.
The Rams’ franchise is 1-3 in the NFL classic with a win in 1999 and losses in 1979, 2001 and 2018 while the Bengals are 0-2 in Super Bowl outings with losses in 1981 and 1988.
You can make numerous wagers on the contest at bet365 with the most popular being the points spread, points total and moneyline. Live-in play wagering will also be available.