Best Super Bowl 56 betting trends: Joe Burrow thrives against top competition

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) prepares to throw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Cincinnati.
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The NFL playoffs are winding down, and we’re now down to just two teams. Super Bowl LVI week is almost here, and we’re getting a matchup not too many folks saw coming as the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams. For the second straight year the host team is playing in the big game, as the Rams will be playing at their own stadium in SoFi. There’s a lot to unpack, and of course, you can get our thoughts on the side and total for the matchup in our full game preview.

We’ll also have a slew of articles to help prime you for the biggest betting day of the year, so be sure to keep an eye on our ‘NFL news‘ tab. While you get ready to make your full complement of wagers for this big game, right now we’ll be talking about some trends relevant to this showdown to help inform your opinions. Let’s dive in:

Joe Burrow is 12-4 ATS against teams above .500

This one is pretty eye-popping. Obviously in the postseason you’re going to play the league’s best teams, and it seems like Joe Burrow was built for such challenges. He’s gone an incredible 12-4 against the number during his young career against teams with records above .500. Per the Action Network, that’s the most profitable figure of any quarterback since he entered the league. Some guys just always seem to rise to the occasion when the spotlight is brightest, and Burrow certainly seems like one of those guys.

The over is 27-27 all-time in the Super Bowl

If you’re looking for a blanket trend about whether Super Bowls are usually higher or lower scoring, you’re not going to find it. The over/under has been pretty much dead even historically, showing just how precise oddsmakers can be. Last year the game finished well under the total in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 victory over Kansas City, bringing things back to exactly 50/50. If you look a little more recently though, the under has cashed in three straight years.

Both Championship Games this past weekend came in under the total, and we’ve already seen some under money enter the market for the Super Bowl. The total for Rams vs Bengals opened at 49.5, but is down a full point to 48.5 at most shops as of Monday night.

For more analysis of the opening point spread and total for the final game of the NFL season, be sure to read Jared Smith’s take.

The Bengals have covered 7 straight games

Here’s another trend that will have you feeling decent if you’re thinking about betting on Cincy. The Bengals have covered the spread in each of their three playoff games to get here, and they’ve now covered the number in seven in a row overall. Burrow has helped the Bengals cover the spread in all three of their playoff games, and in each of their last seven overall.

They’re the first team to enter the Super Bowl having covered seven straight games since the 2016 Patriots, who of course went on to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Underdogs are 10-4 ATS in the last 14 Super Bowls

This NFL season was a good one for underdogs, and that trend has been true for recent Super Bowls as well. The team catching points is an impressive 10-4 across the last 14 years. Last year, the Buccaneers won outright fairly easily as an underdog against the Chiefs. Before that the favorite had actually covered in back to back years, but underdogs had a dominant ATS stretch from 2008-16.

The Rams are favorites of about four points over the Bengals here. That might not seem like much, but it’s actually the largest point spread of the past handful of Super Bowls. With that in mind, we recently took a look back at historical Super Bowl point spreads and totals and how they compare to this year’s.

Quarterbacks have won 11 of past 15 Super Bowl MVPs

One of the best Super Bowl betting markets each year is for who is going to win MVP. In recent years it’s been a quarterback-dominated award, with signal-callers taking home the trophy in 11 of the past 15 seasons. This time around Matthew Stafford has by far the lowest odds at +105, followed by Burrow at +230. The top non-quarterback is Cooper Kupp at +700, and everybody else is 20/1 or greater.

Two of the past eight winners have been defensive players, so could Aaron Donald be worth a look at +2000? Check out my colleague Ricky Dimon’s early look at the Super Bowl MVP market to see if he agrees with this quarterback-heavy trend.

The under is 27-10-1 the last 38 times the Rams have been favorites

If you’re looking for a trend to point you in one direction on the total, this one jumped out to me. The under is a dominant 27-10-1 the last 38 times the Rams have been a favorite on the point spread. That’s a cash rate of right around 73 percent. It suggests something that I’ve also picked up on with my eyes. That during the Sean McVay era, the Rams play a bit slower and less aggressively when it’s a game they expect to win. The Rams have mixed in some tempo recently, but they often play at a very slow pace in order to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage right up until the snap.

McVay appears to be more comfortable running the ball and not taking too many risks when it’s a game he thinks his defense can deliver for him. Conversely, the under is also 5-1 the last six times the Bengals have been underdogs.

7 of the past 9 national anthems have gone over 2 minutes

We couldn’t talk Super Bowl trends without diving into at least one novelty prop. One of the most fun parts of betting on the Super Bowl is the incredibly wide array of wagering opportunities. You can bet on pretty much everything, including the length of the national anthem, the opening coin toss and the color of gatorade dumped on the winning coach. Our talented Pickswise producer Justin Lane dove into the data and noted that seven of the past nine Super Bowl national anthems went longer than 2 minutes.

Last year, oddsmakers had the over/under hovering between 1:57 and 2:01 initially, so this is one to keep in mind. Then a rehearsal video leaked online that had it running at 2:16, and people quickly pounded the over. It’ll be very interesting to see where they open it this time around. Country singer Mickey Guyton will be performing this year’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Pickswise is the home of free Super Bowl Predictions. Our expert handicappers break down all things Super Bowl, including our best free Prop Bets and our Super Bowl Parlays.

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