After crazy twists and turns all season long, the NFL season finally comes to a close Sunday when the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals take on the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
Even though this was one of the least expected matchups coming into the playoffs, both teams took care of business.
It would be an understatement to say either of these teams were expected to be here but showed ultimately they're deserving of competing for the Lombardi Trophy. With the Super Bowl just days away, we're looking at all the available odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here are our 10 favorite player props for Sunday’s Big Game:
10. Total Game Sacks: Over 5.5 (+110)
Everyone knows about the massive disparity in the trenches when the Bengals have the ball. The Rams will thoroughly destroy their single matchups and continue to blitz throughout the game to increase the pressure on Joe Burrow. The question is whether Burrow will put the ball in harm's way or simply eat sacks to protect the ball.
I think it's the latter as the moment grows large. Burrow isn't afraid of making up yards on subsequent downs and he wants to fight until he's sacked. While the Rams could conceivably cover this total on their own, I think the Bengals just need to help by getting one or two of their own as Burrow does as well as he can to avoid the negative plays.
The Bengals will do just fine in their own regard in terms of getting to Stafford. Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, and Mike Hilton are crafty rushers that finish plays effectively. I love that we're also getting a positive return for a reasonable total.
9. Largest lead of the game: Under 14.5 (-125)
While there is certainly a recipe for the Bengals to win this game and cover the small spread, the Rams are a more experienced and talented roster overall. It may not matter much in the first half of the game since history points towards both teams struggling to get any momentum. This should be a close back-and-forth barring a disastrous special teams or defensive turnover.
This year's playoffs have been all about the comeback and both teams have mounted impressive ones of two scores or more. I'm not willing to say that either will fall behind by three scores for these odds, though.
8. Cooper Kupp: Most Receiving Yards (+120)
The chances are high Cooper Kupp will lead the game in receiving yards. Ja'Marr Chase and others have a much more attractive return but I'm surprised we're getting plus-value here at all. Kupp is usually -150 to lead in receiving yards any given week.
Could Van Jefferson (+2500), Beckham (+800), or Tee Higgins (+600) shock everyone by leading this game in yards? Yes, and a longshot play on Jefferson, in particular, might be worthwhile because of his ability to go downfield and make two impactful plays. But we're looking to mix in smart plays with longshots.
7. Samaje Perine: Over 8.5 receiving yards (-125)
The Super Bowl always features a key reserve making a big play. Who's to say it won't be Bengals reserve running back Samaje Perine?
The Bengals haven't used him often in the playoffs, but his random 41-yard-touchdown off a screen in the AFC Championship game will only help his cause for touches. The Rams love to run zone blitzes, which is a premier opportunity for Perine to chip block and then catch a pass in the flat for easy yards.
The big-bodied back has averaged 12.3 yards per game on the year and is a tough athlete to bring down one-on-one for defensive backs. I'm willing to put a unit on Perine finding one catch that hits this low total. The more we fade an effective running game, the more we'll buy the passing total props.
6. Joe Mixon: under 62.5 rushing yards (-110)
Even though Joe Mixon went way over this total last week against the Chiefs with 88 rushing yards, this total is too high for Mixon. It's the only time he’s cleared that number all postseason and the first time he’s done so in his last eight games dating back to the regular season.
The Rams defense has been stout against the run this postseason, not allowing more than 65 yards rushing to a single RB in all three matchups. The most Los Angeles has given up was 51 yards to Bucs RB Leonard Fournette in the divisional round.
With the Rams defensive line having a clear advantage over the Bengals offensive line unit, I don’t see how Mixon clears this total, especially with how L.A. has started games hot out of the gate.
5. Odell Beckham Jr.: over 5.5 receptions (+110)
Since WR Robert Woods suffered a torn ACL in mid-November, Odell Beckham has become a main fixture in this Rams offense.
OBJ’s turned it up a notch this postseason as he’s combined for 15 catches in the past two games and 19 total receptions in the playoffs so far.
The Bengals also haven’t done the best in guarding their opposing teams’ top weapons as they’ve allowed five-plus catches to each of the designated top two options of their respective AFC opponents. With the Bengals potentially selling out to slow down WR Cooper Kupp, don’t be surprised if OBJ gets a decent amount of 1-on-1 looks against an outmatched Bengals secondary. In a technical home game for L.A., in the brightest of lights and at plus money, give me OBJ to clear this total with ease.
4. Matthew Stafford Under .5 Interceptions (+125)
The Bengals have a solid secondary just like the Rams, but they don't create interceptions at nearly the same rate. In fact, they forced just 13 interceptions on the year. Matthew Stafford is always a threat to make a major mistake but he's played clean football in the playoffs.
The Rams are an elite offense out of empty formations thanks to their ability to stretch the field vertically with Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham. The Bengals rank 32nd against empty formations despite a solid pass rush. This is a huge area for improvement for the underdog to win.
3. Tyler Boyd: 100+ yards and 1+ TD Scored (+1600)
The Rams have a strong pass defense because they understand their personnel. Linebacker Troy Reeder is a weak spot, and they concede short passes over the middle of the field. These are the least dangerous possible considering the congestion around the area and the inability to create much after the catch.
The Rams allow the second-highest QBR in this area, a good sign for Tyler Boyd's production. Boyd's seen a major dip since Chase broke out in the offense, and the return of tight end C.J. Uzomah could further lessen his load. But the Rams should encourage Joe Burrow to target Boyd often to dissuade the Bengals' ability to create larger chunk plays.
This bet has an outside chance of hitting if Burrow complies and takes the checkdowns throughout the game. With this longshot return, it's a no-brainer. We're hoping the Bengals throw it early and often.
2. Cooper Kupp to score anytime/LA Rams to win (+105)
With 20 touchdowns in 20 games, it's not a stretch to think Cooper Kupp would score again this week. For as well as the Bengals' defense has performed, only six defenses kept him out of the endzone this season. We'd be taking a reasonable risk in order to also get the Rams' money line with positive value.
If the Rams are able to execute as usual, Kupp will have a few scoring opportunities. The Bengals can do whatever it takes to funnel targets elsewhere, but the machine that is the Rams' passing offense will manufacture touches in space for Kupp. He's also larger than any member of the Bengals' secondary, so he'll create after the catch even if he doesn't land in the endzone.
I'm treating this parlay as a mere value play on what's already favored.
1. Ja'Marr Chase Anytime Scorer (+100)
This was a bit confusing to me when I first saw it. Chase – who arguably had one of the best rookie WR seasons we’ve ever seen and was third in the entire NFL in TDs with 13 – at even money? This was one of my go-to player prop bets of the entire board.
Of course, the LSU product will most likely see some coverage from one of the best CBs in the NFL in Jalen Ramsey, which will no doubt make it difficult on the rookie. However, I don’t see Ramsey on him all game long, potentially giving Chase an opportunity to break a big one or score in the red zone like he did against K.C. last week.
Chase has also already proven he can show up in a huge way in the biggest of moments with his current QB and former college teammate Joe Burrow. The former LSU Tiger went off for nine catches, 221 yards and two TDs to propel LSU to a convincing 42-25 victory over Clemson in the 2020 National Championship.
With great odds and undeniable chemistry with Burrow, this one’s a no-brainer for me as I expect Chase, the team’s top red zone option, to find the end zone.
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