Other than the Super Bowl, I don’t think there’s any more hype around any single NFL event than the NFL Draft. That goes for fantasy football as well. Many of you are either knee deep in dynasty leagues or waiting to see the landing spots to start formulating your redraft rankings. The draft will provide insight to those as well as hope for those fan bases hoping for championships. This year, for the first time ever, the Nevada gaming books have opened some prop bets for the draft. Pickings are slim but this still gives those degenerates out there, such as myself, another opportunity to throw some cash out and make draft night more entertaining. Here are my favorite props for opening night of the NFL Draft!
Number of Quarterbacks selected in Round 1: UNDER 3.5 (-220)
In terms of value, this will be a recurring theme here as you’re really going to have to throw down if you want to see a return on your investment. The QB talent in this class isn’t much to write home about but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t teams out there who need one. That dictates the market almost as much as the talent available. At this point we know the names of the top guys available at QB: Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and DeShone Kizer. These are all guys who at one point or another have been linked to a team picking in the first round. We also know which teams are looking for a signal caller as well. The Browns, 49ers and Jets are the teams out there with the most immediate need but not every team will be drafting for the immediate future. Teams like Buffalo, San Diego, Arizona, and even New Orleans would be well suited to find their next QB before the wheels fall off on their current guys. That’s seven teams in the mix for a QB but I still think the actual number will be three. That guess includes a team reaching for Mahomes based on the pre-draft googly eyes that everyone has for him. If Kizer does end up going in the first, I feel the team that chooses him will have reached too much and missed a chance to bolster position depth elsewhere. Take the under.
Number of Running Backs selected in Round 1: OVER 2.5 (-400)
Remember what I said about value? For those of you unfamiliar with the underground world of sports betting minus 400 means you have to bet $4 to win $1. That means in order to make this bet worth it you need to really pay up. But there also isn’t an easier bet out there. For running backs, this class has to be one of the most stacked classes we’ve seen in recent years from top to bottom. The names we all know are Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffery and Joe Mixon but the class is so much deeper. For drafting purposes though, these are the guys linked to first round action. That’s what makes this bet such a lock. In almost every mock draft out there, Fournette is gone in the top 10. Most have him now going to Jacksonville at four, some have him going to Carolina at eight. The lowest I’ve seen him go in any “expert” mock draft is pick number 21, to Detroit. McCaffery has been linked to Carolina or Philly, while some have him falling as far as pick number 20, to Denver (come on, you know I had to include this). That leaves our other two first round prospects still on the board in Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon. Both guys have their own baggage but to cover this bet all it takes is one of them to be selected. Recent reports have suggested that Cook might be a solid landing spot in Tampa Bay and Mixon has been linked to all kinds of different teams including Oakland and possibly Green Bay. A better prop would have been whether or not Mixon would be selected in the first round in my opinion but who the hell am I? No one, that’s right. This bet will hit easily. Take the over.
Number of Wide Receivers selected in Round 1: OVER 2.5 (-500)
And you thought the value on the last prop was bad? This one is slightly worse which means Vegas expects it to happen just that much more. There is a noticeable shift in taste this year as the RBs are back with a vengeance. Meanwhile, the like of Laquon Treadwell and Devante Parker have sufficiently scared everyone away from taking a WR in the first round. But there are still some damn good prospects out there. The pass catchers most-commonly linked to the first round are Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross. The Vegas value would indicate they expect all three to go round one however I think this one is riskier than the RB prop. It’s hard to pinpoint where each will go but in almost every mock Williams and Davis are selected ahead of Ross. Only in one mock draft did a “draft expert” have Ross going with the ninth overall pick, to Cincinnati). A popular destination for Williams has been Baltimore while Davis has been linked to Tennessee at five overall or 18. With John Ross’ 40 yard dash time at the combine someone is going to be salivating and finding it hard not to pull the trigger on that pick. This one could come down to the wire but I don’t think there’s any chance he doesn’t get drafted in the first round. There are plenty of other notable WRs in this draft class such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Curtis Samuel and Chris Godwin. I don’t believe any of them garner a first round pick and teams would be foolish to spring on them that early. You might have to pucker up until the end of the night to see a cover but a cover will happen. Take the over.
Will there be more offensive or defensive players selected in the 1st Round? OFFENSIVE +4.5 (-110)
Now you can’t say I ever let you down, which is more than my wife can say. Here’s the value pick. You’ve already read as to why this prop bet should be a solid cover based on the article up to this point. Let’s just take a look back, through position, of who I think is going to be taken in the first round:
QB- Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes
RB- Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon (I believe he sneaks in)
WR- Mike Williams, Corey Davis, John Ross
That is ten offensive players right there. Since this is a fantasy football site, we are missing one position there is a lot of hype around: tight end (Sal’s favorite). I’m assuming there will be a couple guys selected in the first round in OJ Howard and David Njoku. That puts our count at 12 offensive players selected. This means only two more offensive players would need to go off the board for this to be a cover. Do we think that TWO offensive linemen won’t come off the board in the first round? Teams like Indianapolis and my beloved Denver Broncos are in desperate need at the position. With so many other studs available top offensive line names might start to slip. This will make them too good to pass up. Stamp it, lock it in, tie it up, do what you gotta do, this bet is going to hit! Take the over.