The Super Bowl is scheduled to take place in two weeks time on 13 February, and with sports betting now legal across multiple US states, the hype is understandably rising.
Both teams in the final are looking to end a long-running trophiless streak, with the LA Rams having not secured a National Football League (NFL) title since 1999 – when they played as the St Louis Rams – whilst the Cincinnati Bengals have never lifted the silverware.
Making an appearance on DraftKings’ The Ross Tucker Football Podcast, former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic discussed the upcoming final with his fellow former pro.
As it stands, the LA Rams are the favourites coming into the clash on average at 1/2, whilst the Bengals come in as the outsiders at 7/4.
Golic stated his belief that the game could become a ‘chess match’ with regards to both sides matching their personnel, as each team has its respective ‘weapons’ who could inflict damage on the field.
“Everybody’s going to do matchups, but the biggest mismatch on paper would be the Bengals offensive line pass protection against the pass rush of the Rams.
“The Rams finished the regular season with 50 sacks – you’ve got Leonard Foud, Aaron Donald, Von Miller – and the Cincinnati team has Joe Burrow, who is the first quarterback to make it to the Super Bowl while being sacked the most during the NFL regular season.”
As mentioned previously, the Super Bowl is expected to be the wagering event of the year in US sports betting, with PlayUSA projecting that up to $1bn will be staked on the event by American punters.
In comparison, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that $4.3bn was wagered, both legally and illegally, on last year’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – however, only $500 million of this was taken in legal, regulated bets.
Commenting on developments, Dustin Gouker, PlayUSA’s lead analyst and a co-host of the Legal Sports Report (LSR), said: “$1bn in legal wagering on a single game would be an impressive milestone for the industry.
“It would have seemed impossible just a few years ago to reach such heights, but with the expansion of sports betting over the last year it is inevitable that legal wagering will soar.”