Before the season started, the Cincinnati Bengals had some of the worst odds to win the Super Bowl LVI. Given odds of +15000, not many gave them a chance. Despite this, they’ll be one of two teams heading to the Super Bowl this weekend. Playing against the Los Angeles Rams at the LoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, the Bengals will have their work cut out for them. They’re still considered the underdogs by most, but that won’t phase them one bit.
The Bengals have gotten this far, so why couldn’t they win it? Most would point out that the Rams have a more balanced team and that the Bengal’s offensive line is simply too weak to cause their opponents much trouble. It’s also true that they’ll be at a disadvantage, playing in their opponent’s home stadium. However, anything can happen, and there are definite paths for victory for the underdogs.
Currently, Betway offers moneyline odds on the Bengals at +170 which means you could win $170 if you bet $100 and the Bengals win the game. This is a big jump from their odds at the start of the season, but it still means they’re significant underdogs. Meanwhile, the spread is 4.5 points at -110, and Betway also offers over and under 48.5 points at -110.
How Did the Bengals Reach the Super Bowl?
This is the first time the Bengals have been in the Super Bowl since 1988, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in the playoffs to get here. Interestingly, it was only two years ago that the Bengals finished with an NFL-worst ever season of 2-14. Just last season, the team managed only four wins, and this is the third Super Bowl appearance in their history.
While they don’t have the best historical record, the Bengals had a great season and deserve to be here based on their performances. A big part of that success has been down to their two star performers, Burrows and Chase. Ja’Marr Chase, the rookie wide receiver selected fifth overall in the 2022 Draft, was a revelation. He launched his NFL career with a 100-yard performance (plus a 50-yard touchdown) in Cincinnati’s season-opening overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Joe Burrow, the team’s quarterback, had an excellent start to the season and threw a total of 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns. The team suffered a slump midway through the season, with both Burrows and Chase struggling. However, both picked up their games again during the home stretch, helping the Bengals pick up much-needed wins.
What Are the Bengals’ Chances?
While they’re the underdogs, the Bengals definitely have a real chance of success in this game. There are lots of important factors to consider, but one of the most important ones is the fact that the Bengals face far less pressure. As the underdogs, not many people are expecting them to win. As a result, there are fewer expectations, and they have nothing to lose.
In many cases, teams that face less pressure play without fear and are able to implement their gameplay more effectively. In sports, games are often won on fine margins, and this may well have a big impact. Take last year’s Super Bowl, for example. The Buccaneers were big underdogs for that game but looked the much better side throughout the game.
Aside from the intangible aspect of less pressure, the Bengals do have a real chance if they play to their strengths and look to exploit the Rams’ weaknesses. Although the Rams may be a more balanced team, they gave up the second-most yards after catch (YAC) this season. Considering the Bengals and Chase play much better with shorter passes, this will likely be their best chance for success.
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images