2022 Super Bowl: With NFL Referee Ron Torbert Officiating the Big Game, Bet the Over
There are plenty of fascinating stories in the 2022 Super Bowl. However, one of the most interesting characters won’t be wearing Los Angeles Rams or Cincinnati Bengals gear. NFL referee Ron Torbert is officiating the game, and his story is unique.
In addition to his background, there is something else NFL fans will want to know about Torbert. That is, when he’s officiating, you should bet the over.
Ron Torbert will be the referee of the 2022 Super Bowl
Baltimore-area native Ron Torbert will be the referee for Super Bowl 56 between the LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Torbert is a graduate of Harvard Law School and practiced law before becoming an NFL official, per the Boston Globe. He started in the league in 2010 as a back judge and side judge. In 2014, the NFL promoted him to a referee position, where Torbert got to lead his own crew.
This is Torbert’s first Super Bowl at the age of 58. With his appointment to this game, he becomes the third Black referee to officiate a Super Bowl, joining Mike Carey (2008) and Jerome Boger (2013).
Working with Torbert in the Big Game will be an officiating crew of umpire Bryan Neale, down judge Derick Bowers, line judge Carl Johnson, field judge Rick Patterson, side judge Keith Washington, back judge Scott Helverson, replay official Roddy Ames, and replay assistant Sean McKee.
The over could be a good bet with Torbert in charge of the game
The referee and his crew play a significant role in both the flow and outcome of an NFL game. Playoff and Super Bowl crews aren’t the same as the regular season. They’re basically all-star crews. However, there are still tidbits to glean from the ref.
According to Bookies.com, Torbert will let the teams play. In 2021, his crew threw the fourth-fewest flags per game (12.2) in the NFL for the fifth-fewest penalty yards (92.2).
Combine those numbers with the fact that the LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals were the second- and sixth-least penalized teams this season, respectively, and we should be looking at a relatively referee-free game on Super Bowl Sunday.
So, NFL gamblers want to know, what does all this mean for Super Bowl betting?
Games that Torbert refereed this season were 12-6 hitting the under. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though.
In the first 12 games of the season for Torbert, the under hit every time. However, in his last six games of the season, scoring exploded, and his games averaged an incredible 61.6 points per game. That streak ended in the playoffs with San Francisco 49ers 13, Green Bay Packers 10, but that had little to do with the officiating.
Between the Bengals and Rams’ high-powered offense, the team’s penalty discipline, Torbert’s flag-throwing tendencies, and teams’ late-season penchant for scoring points with the referee involved, it looks like the over could be a good bet in Super Bowl 56.
How does the NFL decide who referees the Super Bowl?
Before 2004, the NFL graded officiating crews, not individual officials, to decide who got to work postseason football games.
However, starting in the ’04 season, the league began grading individuals and put together new “all-star” crews for playoff games and the Super Bowl based on their season’s worth of grades.
Former director of NFL officiating Dean Blandino, now a rules expert for FOX, told the Philly Voice in 2015 that the grading system “takes into account the calls made and missed, and calls that should have been made.”
Once graded, the league splits officials into three tiers. Tier one officials will work playoff games and the Super Bowl, tier two will “fill in the blanks” when needed, and tier three “could be up for employment review.”
In order to decide which tier one officials get in the biggest games of the season, Blandino explained that the NFL considers other criteria, such as “decisiveness, clarity of explanations, control of the game, physical fitness, and several other categories.”
While there are still proponents of keeping officiating crews intact into the postseason, the current system allows for the best of the best to work the most important games. This is why referee Ron Torbert and this crew will be officiating the 2022 Super Bowl.
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