There are countless options available in the Super Bowl player props market for Super Bowl 56, which can make it overwhelmingly difficult to figure out which show any appreciable value. However, there is one prop out there that this matchup plays well to: "Which will occur first, a sack or a touchdown?".
You can generally find the sack side to be priced at -135 on the Super Bowl odds market, and the touchdown side at +105. At those numbers, there is value on the sack side when examining the matchup and context.
Super Bowl 56 sack before touchdown odds
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Sack before touchdown pick
- Sack before touchdown — Yes (-135)
Pick made on February 10, 2022.
In respect to this prop, the Bengals have the golden child: second-year quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow led the league in sacks this year with 51, which was four more than the next highest (Ryan Tannehill) despite Burrow playing in one less game. Just three short weeks ago, he took a whopping nine of them in the Divisional Round against the Titans.
The Bengals' offense has allowed a sack before scoring a touchdown in 11 of Burrow's 19 starts this season (57.9%). On average, the Bengals take their first sack on the 17th play from scrimmage while scoring their first touchdown on their 24th. More precisely, it takes the Bengals 45.9% more plays to score their first touchdown than it does to take their first sack.
But that is just one side of the coin. How will the Bengals' offense fare against the Rams defense, one of the premier units in the league? The Rams' defense has generated a sack before allowing a touchdown in 12 of their 20 games (60.0%). On average, their first sack came on the 18th play compared to their first touchdown coming on their 28th play. It takes the Los Angeles defense 60% more plays to allow the first touchdown than it does to create the first sack. Those are particularly juicy given Burrow's sack numbers and the Bengals’ offensive line, ranking second-worst in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate.
The one concern with this prop is how well the Rams' offensive line has kept Matthew Stafford on his feet. Stafford has been sacked just 30 times this season, which is tied for fifth-fewest. As a result, the Rams' offense has been sacked before scoring a touchdown just 8 times in 20 games (40%). On average, they allow their first sack on the 27th play and score their first touchdown on the 20th.
There is a caveat, however. The Rams have played eight games against teams with a very poor adjusted sack rate (6.0% or less), and were sacked just twice in eight games against those teams (BAL, DET, JAX, IND, HOU, and SEA twice). That means in the rest of their games against teams with at least a league-average sack rate, the Rams have allowed a sack in half of their games (6 of 12).
They obviously will match up with the Bengals' defense, which has generated a sack before allowing a touchdown in 10 out of the 19 games (52.9%). On average, the defense's first sack comes on their 21st play compared to the first touchdown coming on the 25th play. As of late, however, the Bengals’ front seven has seen elevated play. In five of their last eight games (excluding Week 18 in which they rested starters), the Bengals have been able to generate a sack before the 15th play. That does not bode well for a Rams offensive line that has struggled as of late, allowing a sack before scoring a touchdown in three of the last four (Week 18 onwards) and allowing that first sack on average by the 16th play.
All four of those games for the Rams were high-stakes affairs, much like Sunday will be. And when we look at how teams have fared in regard to this prop under the bright lights of the Super Bowl, it lends its hands towards sacks as well. In the last ten Super Bowls, a sack has occurred before a touchdown seven times - including in the last three.
Putting everything together here we have the sack leader, Joe Burrow, a Rams defense that ranks third in sacks, a recently improved Bengals defense playing against an offensive line that has struggled as of late (at least in regards to this prop), and the Super Bowl setting, which has played favorably to this outcome.