NFL Props Betting: Calvin Johnson Favored In Receiving Prop
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | August 18, 2014
Quarterbacks have always been the stars in the NFL. The second-biggest stars have generally been running backs. It’s easy to think of guys like Paul Hornung, OJ Simpson, Franco Harris, Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, Marcus Allen, Erick Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and many more.
That’s because the NFL used to be a run-first league. That’s no longer the case; it’s a passing league now. Running backs aren’t irrelevant, but they take a backseat to star receivers.
That brings us to Bovada’s NFL prop on the player to lead the NFL in receiving yards for this season. Remember when reaching 1,000 yards was a big deal for a receiver? A whopping 24 players did it last year, including guys who aren’t even the top receiver on their own team.
The 2013 league leader was Cleveland’s Josh Gordon with 1,646 yards, and that was in only 14 games. Gordon had 237 yards on November 24, 2013, against Pittsburgh, and then followed it up with 261 a week later against Jacksonville. That made Gordon the first player in NFL history with consecutive 200-yard games. It’s a bit surprising that someone like Jerry Rice or Randy Moss never accomplished that.
Cleveland, a storied franchise, never had a 200-yard receiving game until Gordon shattered their team record. Gordon is not an option on the Bovada prop because he was caught using drugs and has been suspended for the season. Although he is appealing and hoping to get the ban reduced to eight games.
The 13/5 favorite is the Lions’ Calvin Johnson. He’s the toughest person to guard in the NFL. Johnson can not only outrun many cornerbacks, but he towers over them at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds; hence the nickname “Megatron.” Johnson was limited to
14 games a season ago and finished with 1,492 yards, which was third in the NFL.
In 2012, Johnson set the league record with 1,964 yards, a season in which he had an incredible 11 games with at least 100 yards. Alas, he finished with just 72 in the regular-season finale in his attempt to become the first receiver to break the 2,000-yard barrier. The Bears targeted him that day on just about every pass play. Bovada also offers a prop on whether any player will hit 2,000 yards receiving, with no a heavy -800 favorite and yes at +500. There’s a Johnson-specific yes-only prop on whether he leads the NFL in receiving, and the Lions win the NFC North: +1500. Detroit is the third favorite in the division at +400 behind Green Bay and Chicago.
Following Johnson on the receiving yard prop are Dallas’ Dez Bryant (15/2), Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (8/1) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (8/1). Bryant had 1,233 yards last season, and Thomas had 1,430. It helps that Thomas has Peyton Manning as his quarterback, but Manning also has three other very good weapons. Jones’ 2013 season was limited to five games because of a foot injury. He had 1,198 yards in 2012.