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Van Jefferson is a sleeper to consider for Super Bowl 56 player props bettors (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Tyler Boyd, Van Jefferson, and Sony Michel are relative afterthoughts on their teams, but they should be at the forefront in the minds of bettors interested in Super Bowl 56 player props. FanDuel and DraftKings are among the sportsbooks offering robust menus of player props ahead of Rams vs. Bengals.

There’s a long list of unheralded players who found themselves in the spotlight on the sport’s grandest stage. The Seahawks’ Chris Matthews erupted for 109 yards and a score in 2015. The Patriots’ James White led all players in receptions and receiving yards in 2017. The examples don’t end there, and we’re looking for the next sleeper to grace the list.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

In 2019, Boyd led the Bengals in targets, nearly doubling the next best in the category. Two seasons and two premium wide receiver additions later, and Boyd found himself third in the pecking order. That dip is no surprise. Both Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are superior to Boyd, who is best suited for a short-area slot role. He’s demonstrated over the course of the 2021 season he’s still capable of playing an integral role in the game plan, though.

DraftKings prices Boyd at +275 to score a touchdown. We’re not talking about a prolific touchdown scorer, but his five spikes this regular season (plus one in the playoffs) ranked third among Bengals pass catchers. If and when Chase and Higgins are bottled up, Boyd is capable of picking up the slack and delivering production.

We don’t love the odds on Boyd’s receptions at either FanDuel or DraftKings. Both books are offering plus-money on under 3.5 receptions, but it’s too easy to envision him corralling four passes. However, the odds for four-plus receptions are steep. Contrarily, we do like DraftKings’ -105 odds for him to hit the over on 40.5 receiving yards.

Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Even as the No. 3 receiver in Los Angeles, Jefferson has enjoyed stellar moments this season. Jefferson has flown further under the radar since Odell Beckham Jr. arrived via trade and found comfort in the offense. Even as the No. 3 receiving option, Jefferson offers prop value bettors will want to consider.

DraftKings is offering +130 odds on Jefferson collecting over 2.5 catches. Three grabs is a seemingly modest total, but one which Jefferson has failed to reach in seven of his last eight games. Still, we like the target volume that has flowed his way. He’s received five or more targets in 11 games this season (including playoffs), and he continues to play full servings of snaps.

Sharp bettors played Jefferson over 2.5 receptions at even-money when the Las Vegas SuperBook opened Super Bowl props betting last Thursday night, vice president of risk management Ed Salmons told Gaming Today. The book adjusted the juice on over 2.5 to -125, which prompted bettors known as scalpers (rather than handicapping, these bettors look to exploit odds differences between sportsbooks) to go the other way.

“I took two limit bets on under, just because that’s a scalp with William Hill (Caesars),” Salmons said.

Caesars is seeing more bets (63%) on Jefferson over 2.5 catches but more total dollars wagered on under (78%). The odds as of Wednesday sit at over +140, under -170. Also, 84% of tickets and 85% of money are on Jefferson over receiving yards, but his number has dropped to 30.5 from a 35.5 opener.

Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Considering Michel’s relinquishing of the starter’s role to Cam Akers, it’s reasonable to understand why he’s a props afterthought.

However, Akers and Michel experienced a more balanced split (13 vs. 10) during the NFC Championship game. Perhaps the more equitable workload came as a result of Akers’ two fumbles the week prior against the Buccaneers. Perhaps it wasn’t. Is it crazy to envision Sean McVay leaning on the guy who’s been there and won a Super Bowl? Not only did Michel perform well in Super Bowl 53, but he did so against McVay and his Rams as a member of the Patriots (94 yards, TD).

FanDuel (+900) and DraftKings (+750) are offering odds on Michel to lead all rushers in yards. To even consider these odds, we’re working under the presumption that Michel handles the bulk of the Rams’ workload. The question bettors would then need to consider is the likelihood of Michel outproducing the Bengals’ Joe Mixon on the ground. The odds certainly favor Mixon, but perhaps not to a degree that should eliminate Michel from bettors’ consideration.

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About the Author
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based writer for Gaming Today, who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy sports, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.

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