Super Bowl XVI is finally here this Sunday, 13th February, Live from the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the home stadium of the Rams. With a home advantage, the one-time previous winners, the Los Angeles Rams will scrap it out against The Cincinnati Bengals for the ultimate prize in NFL.
Only one other team in NFL history has had home advantage in the Super Bowl, which was as recent as 2021 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in their own backyard to get their hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Bengals, having reached this stage on 2 previous occasions, in 1981 and 1988, losing both to the San Francisco 49ers.
Their first appearance in the Super Bowl for 34 years, the Bengals will go into the game as underdogs. Still, they will enter the game with confidence, having come through 2 tight matches away against Tennessee Titans, who were the number one seeds, and winning in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs. On Both occasions, the winning points came from 22-year-old Kicker Evan McPherson, who could also prove decisive if the game on Sunday proves to be a close match.
Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow will face off at the SoFi Stadium on Sunday evening, with both players hoping to get their hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time.
With both players at opposite ends of their careers, is this the last chance for Stafford to win the greatest prize in NFL? Having thrown for 4,886 yards (3rd overall) and completed 41 touchdown passes (2nd Overall) during the 2021 season so far, Matthew Stafford will be expected to carry on his scoring form into the final. However, having thrown 17 Interceptions (tied -30th) this season, the Bengals defence will be looking to capitalise on any mistakes.
Compared with Joe Burrow, who during the 2021 season has thrown for 4,611 yards (6th overall) with 34 touchdown passes (8th overall) and 14 interceptions (tied-24th), Stafford will fancy his chances providing interceptions are kept to the minimum.
Another key player for the Los Angeles Rams is Cooper Kupp, who leads the way in the NFL with the most receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and Touchdowns scored (16) for the 2021 season. Compared to the opposition, Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has 81 receptions (tied-20th), 1,455 receiving yards (4th overall), and 13 touchdowns (3rd overall). With both wide receivers showing consistent form throughout the season with 29 touchdowns combined, does this point to a straight shoot-out?
Evan McPherson will prove to be an important player if the game is a scrappy low, scoring affair, having kicked the winning points in the previous 2 rounds and made 100% of all attempts in the playoffs so far (12/12). He has also broken the NFL record for the most field goals made from 50+ yards in a season (12) and has 5 game-winning kicks in his rookie season. You can almost guarantee the nerves will not get the better of him should he have the chance to make it 6 winning kicks in a single season and cement his place in history as Super bowl winner in his rookie season.
Odell Beckham Jnr. could also prove to be a key player, having impressed in the latter half of the season with 6 Touchdowns in his last 10 games. We all know Beckham can produce magical plays, having dazzled in his rookie season, winning the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the year. Can he deliver it when it really matters on the biggest stage of them all?
Best Bets – Our Predictions
Below I have listed my predictions, specials, and best bets to place.
Stafford to be intercepted 20/27
Kupp Overs over 106.5 = 10/11
Overs Total Points 48.5 = 10/11
McPherson over 7.5 points = 10/11
Outright – LA Rams 10/21
Handicap Rams – 4.5 = 10/11
MVP – McPherson 150/1, Kupp at 5/1
Longest Field Goal – Over 47.5 = 10/11
Anytime TD – Chase = 5/4
Total Team Sacks LA Overs
LA Rams – 4.5
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