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There’s One Player You Need to Consider for Super Bowl MVP Betting

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, and one player shines as an intriguing wager for the game's MVP.

Super Bowl prop bets are the best. From the wacky to the plausible, from the inane to the substantive, they are what drives a lot of wagers come Sunday.

You can wager on the coin toss or even the color of the Gatorade bath that will inevitably douse the victorious team’s head coach.

There is one bet that is as sensible as a sports bet can be. Of course, there is nothing like a sure thing, but when you look at the two teams stacking up on Sunday, there’s reason to look in the backfield for an interesting bet.

I asked Adam Chernoff, NFL expert and senior strategist at Covers.com, his thoughts on the upcoming game.

He was generous with his wisdom on a game that should garner record-breaking wagers.

Diamond in a Field of Diamonds

He also gave some deep insight into one bet that is increasingly captivating as the game looms this Sunday. There is no such thing as a lock. But you can get creative with things, which is where the Rams’ resilient running back comes into play.

When asked what kind of prop bets he's keyed in on, Chernoff offered, “Cam Akers to win the MVP at +3500 (risk $100 to win $3,500). It is incredibly unlikely that Akers will win the MVP award, but this is a bet worth making.”

Akers is currently the seventh likeliest player to win the prize on Sunday. His story is a remarkable one.

After a promising rookie campaign, the man from Florida State University tore his Achilles in July and faced a year away from competition. Beating the odds, Akers returned this season just prior to the playoffs. He remains an integral part of a Rams offense that was inconsistent on the ground this season.

“The odds imply that he has just a 3% chance to do so,” Chernoff tells En Fuego by email. “In other words, bettors would expect to win this bet once out of every 33 times they place it.”

While unlikely, there is reason to contemplate a savvy move in Akers’ direction. “However, it is difficult to ignore how mispriced this bet may be,” he continued.

Why Cam Akers?

“Sean McVay loves to lean on a single running back in his offensive system," he said. "To have a chance, Akers is going to be 20 carries, more than 100 yards and at least 2 touchdowns—but that might not be a stretch.

“In three playoff games, Akers has 54 carries, and he missed a quarter due to a shoulder injury. Touches and activity have not been the issue for him, it has been an opponent issue. In each of the three playoff games, Akers has faced an opposing front seven that ranks inside the top five for rush defense efficiency.”

It’s hard to call Cincinnati, increasingly the country’s sentimental favorite this Sunday, as being porous to the ground attack. But the numbers do favor the Rams’ ability to open up the game on the turf while targeting any number of their vertical threats.

“The Bengals coming into the game rank 24th (defense efficiency). This is a massive step down in quality of opponent,” Chernoff reminds.

“If the Rams are leading much of the game (I think they will) it increases the likelihood that Akers gets extra carries. It is going to take a couple of big runs and some luck with play calling in the red zone, but at +3500 Akers is a much better bet than multiple defensive players and non-quarterbacks ahead of him in the market. This is a big price for a starting running back.”

If this sounds a bit too imaginative, Chernoff has some final thoughts on utilizing Akers. This is a player, after all, who will have to have a sound game if the Rams are going to make good on their home-field advantage.

In the realm of things that are more likely, the expert ends with this advice: “Consider his rushing yards over at 64.5 instead, or anytime touchdown scorer at +130.”

For some of you, anytime No. 23 touches the ball will be the best part of Super Bowl Sunday.