Remember at the beginning of all this where I told you this was all probably folly? Or maybe this is your first time reading? Or maybe last week for my big letdown? Anyway, there’s very little chance I know what I’m talking about, but if you need some talking points for your prop bet picks at your Super Bowl party or just need some picks to fade then you’ve come to the right place.
Game Pick: Rams -4 over Bengals
Los Angeles is the best team in this game, and they get the benefit of playing on their home turf. It might not technically be a home game, but still sleeping in your own bed and getting dressed in your own locker room has to be better than not doing those things. As it pertains to prop bets, the law of playoff football gambling still abides: pick a game script and stick to it. Here’s my basic game script for this weekend: the Rams are going to win this game because they are the better team. They have a better pass rush and more dynamic options in the passing game. Cincinnati will keep it close early because they can run the ball. But when Los Angeles gets them into passing situations, they can end drives with sacks and pressure and even force some mistakes. This game stays close at least for a half with the Rams pulling away in the second half. Overall, I think relatively low scoring because Cincinnati puts the ball on the ground and because Los Angeles will be content to kill the clock late in the fourth instead of continuing to score.
Cooper Kupp TD -165
Joe Mixon TD +100
Van Jefferson TD +300
Rams Win by 1-13 +140
Rams win exactly 27-20 +8000
Joe Mixon over 60.5 rushing yards -115
Cooper Kupp over 105.5 receiving yards -110
Longest TD under 42.5 yards -110
Total Bengals TD scorers under 2.5 -270
Total Rams TD scorers over 2.5 +115
First score FG +128
Game decided by exactly 7 points +790
First Rams TD scored by a WR -130
First Bengals TD scored by a RB/FB +200
Scoreless Quarter Yes +330
Stafford will throw a 3rd quarter TD +135
Cooper Kupp longest reception of game +260
Van Jefferson longest reception of game +1100
Joe Mixon first running back to 20+ rushing yards -112
Both teams make a 33+ yard field goal -104
Ok I know this list as long, and for next year I’m all ears for how best to format this, but I thought I’d leave it in full list form for those who don’t care what I have to say about it, but here’s my defense of these. Putting one dollar down on an exact game score is a monster payout that likely won’t hit, but if you do hit it once in your entire life it’s paid for itself. I’m going with 27-20, because I feel like five touchdowns is about the right number and I also think the relative lack of Super Bowl experience in the field means plenty of field goal attempts, which means both teams making 33+ yard field goal attempts (-104) and first score field goal (+128) are solid bets. That means that having an exact margin of 7 points at +790 is a logical bet to tack on. There’s a quick chance to turn $2 into $87.90. Oh, and if you toss in “Rams win by 1-13 points” into that then you can turn another $5 into $7. That also means there’s a decent chance we get a scoreless quarter (+330).
Joe Mixon and Cooper Kupp both seem like safe bets to get theirs and I don’t think hammering things with them involved, as you’ll see on my board, are a bad idea. However, if you want to look for a player with longer odds that is a good bet then look at Van Jefferson. The Bengals will almost certainly bracket coverage Cooper Kupp when they can. They will also probably more heavily guard Beckham than any other non-Kupp receiver. That leads to two things: a lack of pass rushers and the opportunity for another receiver to step up. Look no further than Van Jefferson. He has some big play potential and is due for a breakout. He only has 5 receptions for 79 yards this postseason. You can also get his odds to score a touchdown and have the longest catch of the game at 3-to-1 and 11-to-1, respectively. Here’s my advice: bet a little on Van Jefferson and hedge that with Cooper Kupp bets. Hope this is helpful and listen if your game script is completely different from mine, then you’re wrong. Just kidding! Fading me seems like a smart play at this point. Enjoy Sunday. It’s the last football we get for a long time. See you guys for draft time!
Playoff Record: 6-6
Prop Record: 3-9
Season Record: 53-38
Cover Photo Courtesy of Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports via Reuters