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Super Bowl LVI Betting Line: Los Angeles Rams Open As Favorites Over Cincinnati Bengals

James Murphy
by in NFL on
  • The Los Angeles Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on February 13.
  • The Rams opened as a -3.5 or -4 point favorite on Sunday night. As of this writing, the line is up to LA -4.5 with only a few -4 prices on the board.
  • The total on the game is at 48.5 with a couple of Las Vegas books dealing a 49.

Super Bowl LVI offers a matchup that few fans expected at the start of the season as the NFC Los Angeles Rams take on the AFC Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams are the rare Super Bowl team that gets to play on their home field–the game will be played on Sunday, February 13 at SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles.

For North American facing sportsbooks, the Super Bowl is the largest one day betting event of the year. Internationally, the UEFA Champions League soccer final is the biggest single day event of the year. In the United States, the opening weekend of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament–aka ‘March Madness’–attracts more action than the Super Bowl in four days. Historically speaking, the Super Bowl is the biggest day of the betting year for bookmakers and players alike.

Out in Nevada, the past couple of Super Bowls have been a ‘mixed bag’. In 2020, Nevada sportsbooks posted their second largest handle and win (aka ‘hold’) ever as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers. Nevada books took $154.68 million USD in action winning $18.77 million USD for a 12.1% hold percentage. For Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, Nevada books experienced a disappointing handle of $132.5 million USD–the lowest since 2016. The good news–Nevada books won $12.6 million for a 9.2 hold percentage. Obviously, much of that can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s numbers will be very interesting as Nevada has plenty of competition nationally for the sports betting dollar. Most significantly, Arizona’s sports betting market is off to a fast start and should enjoy a sizable Super Bowl handle. Arizona–particularly Phoenix–has historically been a strong market for Las Vegas visitation. With statewide mobile betting and a growing number of retail sportsbooks it’s naive to think that it won’t have an impact on Nevada’s handle.

The opening line for Super Bowl LVI was Los Angeles -4 with a few places in Nevada and elsewhere opening at 3.5. The game was quickly bet up as money came for the favorite. As of this writing (late Monday night) the Rams are a -4.5 favorite at most Nevada sportsbooks with the South Point and Stations showing -4. VSIN reported that the Westgate SuperBook opened the game with the Rams a -3.5 favorite and the total at 51. The total opened at 49, 49.5 or 50 depending on the book and money came for the ‘Under’. In Nevada, most books are now at 48.5 with Wynn and Stations at 49. In Colorado, you can find the game at -4.5 (BetMGM, DraftKings, Caesars) and -4 (Rivers, PointsBet, FanDuel). The total is at 48.5 just about everywhere in Colorado.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Caesars Sportsbook took a $552,500 straight bet to win $475,000 on the Rams -4. That moved the line up to -4.5 and not long after another bettor at Caesars took Cincinnati +4.5. VSIN indicated that Caesars also took a pair of six figure bets on Sunday night with a $180,000 bet on the Rams -180 on the money line along with a $105,000 bet on the Rams -4. They had a quote from Caesars Sportsbook VP of Trading Craig Mucklow:

“We opened it at Rams -3.5 and quickly moved to 4. Although, we wrote off Joe Burrow against the Chiefs, we are not going to write him off again because that kid is unfazed by anything that happens. But the Rams’ experience and their defense puts the line at 4.”

VSIN also reported several ‘live’ futures bets that will bring a big payout should they win. BetMGM has a 1 million USD liability on a $50,000 bet on Cincinnati at 20-1 odds. Caesars has a $470,400 liability on a $13,440 bet on Cincinnati at 35-1. Stations Casinos is looking at a $100,000 loss should the Bengals win by virtue of a $1,000 futures bet at 100-1 odds.

In most years, the Super Bowl sees some action immediately after the opening line/total is posted but for the most part the significant movement takes place in the final days before the game. There will also be plenty of action on the countless prop bets offered by sportsbooks all over the world. For whatever it’s worth–and without doing much in the way of handicapping–I’d be inclined to take Cincinnati +4.5 if I had to play the game now.

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