The Bengals are the young upstarts, who come in as the underdog and represent the city that hasn't enjoyed much success in the major professional sports as of late. Before Joe Burrow, the team hadn't won a playoff game in more than 30 years and has never won a Super Bowl. Who doesn't love a good underdog story?
The Rams are no underdogs, but there's a different angle that makes them worthy of your fandom. Veterans without rings. Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham, and Eric Weddle have all had distinguished careers, but all remain without rings. And there's no telling if they'll get another shot.
Not convinced? Well, you don't have to pick a side in the game to cheer for. Here are my three favorite player props for Super Bowl LVI. These picks will give you something to cheer for and put a little change in your pocket.
Joe Burrow over 36.5 pass attempts -110
I've made a lot about the Bengals run-heavy approach, but I don't believe that comes into play here. Burrow has been over this number in four of his past five games and those were all victories. The Bengals were careful with their franchise quarterback early in the year, but they really let him loose down the stretch and I expect they'll have no choice in this game because of the mismatch between their offensive line and the Rams front. Expect more screen passes to replace run plays and expect a pass-heavy approach as they chase the score late. The Rams were one of only seven teams to see more than 36.5 pass attempts per game against them in 2021.
Want more prop picks? SportsLine's proven experts reveal their best prop picks for the 2022 Super Bowl.
Samaje Perine over 1.5 catches +105
At first this one seems a bit hit or miss. Perine topped this number in eight of the Bengals 17 regular season games and he's done it once in the playoffs, which was last week. But again, I expect the Bengals will be playing from behind and Perine caught at least two passes in five of the Bengals seven losses. Excuse the infomercial tone; but wait, there's more. One of the losses where he didn't catch two passes was Week 18, when he only played special teams (and the Bengals rested their starters). Another was Week 2 when he only played three offensive snaps. Those were the only two games all season where Perine didn't play at least 10 snaps. I think it's safe to say those games were outliers.
Tee Higgins over 5.5 catches +100
Maybe I'm getting greedy, but if you really want something to cheer for, these parlays correlate pretty well and would make a very fun parlay. Higgins has topped this number in each of the Bengals past two playoff games and went over in four of the Bengals six losses that he played in this season. The other two games he had five catches. The stronger correlation is that Higgins went over this number six of the eight times that Burrow topped 36.5 pass attempts. If you only want to pair up two of these parlays, Burrow/Higgins is a slightly better bet than Burrow/Perine, but I like all three.