The smokescreens are thick, as they always are when it comes to the NFL Draft. That hasn’t stopped bettors and handicappers from investing in the prop betting market for the festivities. This year’s NFL Draft is in Nashville, Tennessee and a good time should be had by all in the Music City. A better time could be had by those that are able to crush the prop market, though.
The prop market has really exploded over the last few years for the Draft and really for all events that require props. We’re seeing a lot of smart, long-term winners take advantage of the inefficient markets. They are rather fluid and there have been some enormous line moves on a lot of these things, but there are a lot of opportunities for those that are digging for information or those that simply put themselves in the minds of the front offices.
I’ll be really picky and choosy here about the prop bets. There are so many and the juice is in a constant state of motion with these things. There are a lot of scenarios to consider and a lot of things that could screw up the draft and how you expect it to go.
Previously, BetOnline had a prop bet up about over/under number of first round draft day trades at 7.5. That has since been taken off the board, but it does speak to how crazy things could get on April 25th.
Let’s check out a few of these things and see what’s going on in the NFL Draft world.
Kyler Murray 1st Overall Pick
Both 5Dimes and BetOnline, which are the sportsbooks I’m going to grab these from just because it’s easy, are at -350. BOL was -500 yesterday and 5D was -325. Mirroring the market makes a lot of sense, at least for now. Obviously the Cardinals could have a change of heart, but the new coaching staff didn’t endorse Josh Rosen and the QB is the key to everything in the NFL.
Unless the Cardinals trade out of the pick, it will be Murray. -350 implies 77.78% that it’s Murray. It’s probably higher than that given all the chatter we’ve heard so far.
Second Overall Pick
Basically, here’s how the #2 pick shakes out at the two books:
The 49ers do seem enamored with Nick Bosa, as they continue to draft defensive linemen. It makes sense. The game really is predicated on rushing the passer now and as many guys in the rotation as you can get makes a ton of sense. Plus, Bosa might be the best player in the draft.
Third Overall Pick
This is where it gets super dicey and continues that way throughout the top 10:
Kyler Murray won’t make it to #3, so he’s kind of irrelevant here. If the New York Jets keep the pick, it will most likely be Quinnen Williams. We’ve seen the love affair with defensive tackles for the Jets. If the Jets don’t keep the pick, then there are a lot of ways that this can go. Of course, the Jets may also take Josh Allen or Ed Oliver. If a team moves up, one of the quarterbacks could go off the board.
Quite frankly, even though we don’t have odds on the Fourth Overall Pick, Jon Gruden is liable to throw everybody for a loop…along with taking a quarterback.
First Round Quarterbacks
The over/under is set at 3.5 here, with the over at -500 at BetOnline and -460 at 5Dimes. Obviously the four in question are Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, and Daniel Jones. This bet essentially amounts to “Will a team reach for Daniel Jones in the first round?”
This is where all of the trading elements come into play. The Cardinals appear to be taking Murray. The Raiders probably don’t need a quarterback with Derek Carr, but Gruden is likely to want one and he has three first-round picks with which to try. The New York Giants need a QB, but this may not be the year for them to take one. The Washington Redskins seemingly have Haskins at the top of their draft board.
How many teams really like Lock? How many teams really like Jones? Does somebody love Will Grier?
Lock is +155 to be the second QB taken per 5Dimes. Jones is +180 to be the second QB taken. Haskins is +125. The implication here, at least in my mind, is that all three are likely to go first round given these odds. I’m not so sure about Jones. Rather than lay the heavy juice, I’d be more inclined to look at the under here.
DK Metcalf and Hollywood Brown
This is not a good wide receiver draft. What is interesting is the DK Metcalf is suddenly -115 to be the first WR drafted at 5Dimes. Marquise Brown, thought to be the best WR in the draft, is now +150. Interestingly, BetOnline has Metcalf picked 18th or earlier juiced to the No at -170 and 5Dimes, with different wording, has it -175.
The over/under on first-round receivers is 2.5 with the over at -145 per 5D and the over is -140 at BOL. That means we’ll need a run on wideouts in the bottom half of the first round. With so many edge rushers and defensive backs with late first-round grades, do we see Hakeem Butler, AJ Brown, or N’Keal Harry off the board in the first round?
This actually seems more plausible than ever because teams are reaching for wide receivers. In the quarterback-driven NFL, with rules that seem to help offensive guys more and more, teams are willing to go that route. The juice is probably right here, even though there really are only two WR with first-round grades.
Offensive Players First Round
The over/under for offensive players in the first round is 14.5 with the under at -150 at BetOnline. It is 15.5 with the under at -280 at 5Dimes. If we’re going to see three wide receivers and four quarterbacks, why is this so heavily juiced?
Because unlike a lot of years, this is a weak running back class and an uninspiring offensive line class. Josh Jacobs will be the only RB taken. Best-case scenario, we’re up to eight. TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant are likely to both be first-rounders. That’s 10. Could we really not get five offensive linemen off the board?
The draft is how a lot of teams build their offensive lines. Jawaan Taylor is a lock to go. That’s 11. Jonah Williams is a lock to go. That’s 12. Andre Dillard is a lock to go. That’s 13. Garrett Bradbury seems to have a first-round grade. That’s 14. Will Erik McCoy go? How about Greg Little?
I think this is trending in the direction of taking a shot on the over. There are some health concerns with guys like Jeffrey Simmons and Rashan Gary. I’d be surprised if either guy fell out of the first round, but GMs have a legitimate CYA mentality on Draft Day.
Will the Dexter Lawrence PED concerns come back to haunt him? Does a super athlete like Parris Campbell sneak into the first round? There are a lot of moving parts here, but at the end of the day, the game is predicated on scoring points and that’s why GMs regularly reach for and trade up for offensive pieces.
The Draft should be a lot of fun and intrigue this year. Enjoy!