The NFL Draft is a little over a day away and if there’s one thing that has become the prevalent opinion about this current crop of college football players, it’s that we should all prepare for a wildly entertaining draft. Like everybody else who cares about these things, the Draft gives us a chance to check out which teams picked up the right players and which ones whiffed on their choices. But that’s not the only reason why the Draft has been circled on our calendars for months.
Draft odds are secretly the most exciting part about the NFL Draft and you better believe that there’s a significant segment of the NFL betting population that pay close attention to the run-up to the Draft. Why? To make well-placed bets, of course!
So with D-Day drawing closer and closer, we’re going to take a look at some of the more interesting odds for the draft.
One of the biggest stories leading up the Draft is where defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be drafted. Last week, odds that he goes number one overall was 1/2, but that number has gone down dramatically to 1/5, a clear indication that the Houston Texans are leaning more and more heavily at taking Clowney with their pick. It’s a good pick, if you ask us, especially when you think about how devastating he could be when he lines up with JJ Watt on the opposite end of the line. The question now is whether you’re confident laying down $500 to win $100, or you still think Houston will call an audible at the last second. If it’s the latter, Clowney is at 3/1 odds to not get drafted first overall.
Over/Unders are also a big part of betting on the Draft and this year, it’s no different. One of the most intriguing props on the board is the number of quarterbacks that are going to be taken in the first round. The number has been set at three, which is the tricky number that bettors were afraid of seeing. Based on the latest mock drafts, most “experts” believe that only Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles will be taken in the first round. But that doesn’t take into account potential trades that could shake up the draft order, leaving it open for Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater to sneak into the first 32 picks. Our hunch is the number stays at three, but if you’re feeling lucky, the under looks like a safer bet than hitching your wagon on Carr and Bridgewater sneaking into the first round.
At this time of the year, people who bet on the draft are pretty familiar with the question “Who will be drafted first?” These types of props are some of our favorites and this year, there are no shortage of options to choose from. Arguably the most-talked about “Who will be drafted first?” scenario involves the two aforementioned quarterbacks that are expected to go in the first round. Right now, it looks like Manziel has the edge over Bortles with the former getting 2/3 odds while the latter sits at 11/10. The crossroads here is Cleveland with the fourth overall pick. The Browns love Manziel and if they decide to keep the pick, then you can be sure that Johnny Football will be a Brown by the weekend. But if the Browns trade that pick, well, all bets are off, figuratively speaking.
Oh, and if you’re interested in the other two top QBs in the draft, Bridgewater and Carr are grouped together with the latter a short favorite to get drafted first at 5/7, compared to Bridgewater, who has even odds to get picked ahead of Carr.
Two players that are expected to be picked in the top 10 occupy another “Who will be drafted first?” prop: linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. As recently as a few weeks ago, Mack was being discussed as a potential number one pick but those talks have cooled off now that a lot of people seem to be convinced that Clowney is the top pick. That being said, Mack is still a 1/2 favorite to get chosen ahead of Watkins, who has 3/2 odds. There’s a good chance that both these guys are off the board once the top 10 is completed so if you’re betting on this one, you have the benefit of not waiting too long to get the results.
For the most part, these are the props that are expected to get the most action. But our hunch for most bet-on prop of the draft isn’t any of the above. It’s the draft position of Michael Sam, the defensive end from Missouri who courageously came out of the closet a few months ago. Nobody expects Sam to be taken in the first day of the draft, much more now that his expected draft position is 125.5. An over bet is at 2/5 while an under bet is at 7/4. Our take on it? Under.