Market Insights: There's always the NFL draft

March 15, 2020 02:48 AM

In the Age of Coronavirus, the betting options are limited. However, they still exist. You just have to get creative and do your homework in order to identify what's still available to get down on. In yesterday's newsletter, we highlighted UFC betting and discussed how to identify sharp action by dissecting line movement. Today we turn our attention to the next big event accepting wagers: the NFL Draft. 

The draft is set for Thursday, April 23. As of now, it's still expected to be held live in Las Vegas, although that likely will change. If that's the case, the NFL is exploring a contingency plan of a conference call-style draft. Regardless of the format, the draft will take place in some form or fashion. And bettors have a plethora of prop bets to choose from. 

Prop bets or "props," short for propositional bets, are any kind of bet on a game or event that isn't tied to the final score. In the case of the Draft, this means betting on things like when players will be selected, which teams they will go to and which players will be taken first at each position. 

Remember, different sportsbooks offer different props and hang various prices. As a result, be sure to shop for the best line and place your bet at the book that gives you the best number.

Without further ado, let's dissect the latest odds and examine where value lies.

For more sports betting analysis and updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 9 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET on The Lombardi Line. Yes, we are still broadcasting live! We'll be breaking down all the latest moves and sharp betting angles for Sunday's action. 

NFL Draft Props via DraftKings Sportsbook

First overall pick

Joe Burrow -2500

Tua Tagovailoa + 1600

Chase Young + 1600

Justin Herbert + 2500

*Burrow is head and shoulders above the rest. At this point it's all but certain he will go first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. However, because you have to lay such a big number there isn't much value to betting Burrow at this point.

Second overall pick

Chase Young -305

Tua Tagovailoa + 200

Joe Burrow + 2500

Justin Herbert + 3300

Isaiah Simmons + 5000

Where will Tua Tagovailoa be drafted?

Over 3.5 (+ 200)

Under 3.5 (-250)

*Based on the heavy juice on the under, it appears the books have liability on Tua being drafted in the top three. With Burrow a massive favorite to go first and Young the favorite to go 2nd, this means Tua would likely go a team like the Dolphins or Chargers at #3 assuming they trade up with the Lions to grab the Alabama QB at #3.

Total Quarterbacks in the first round

Over 4.5 (+ 300)

Under 4.5 (-400)

*The under is being juiced up heavily, which means the books are predicting four quarterbacks or less to go in the first round. Burrow, Tua, Herbert and Jordan Love are considered first round locks. The only other Wild Cards to send the prop "over" would be a team drafting Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm or Jalen Hurts, which at this point is unlikely.

First Cornerback Selected

Jeffrey Okudah -3335

C.J. Henderson + 1000

Kristian Fulton + 2500

Trevon Diggs + 3300

First Defensive Lineman Selected

Chase Young -5000

Derrick Brown + 1200

Javon Kinlaw + 1400

A.J. Epenesa + 5000

First Linebacker Selected

Isaiah Simmons -1250

K'Lavon Chaisson + 600

Kenneth Murray + 3300

Patrick Queen + 3300

*Okudah and Young are massive favorites and so expensive that there is little value to laying such a huge number. Simmons, however, has some value. His price is high, but not quite as untouchable as Okudah and Young. Almost all mock drafts have Simmons being selected way ahead of the next closest linebacker, including major projections in the top 10.

First Offensive Lineman Selected

Jedrick Wills + 160

Tristan Wirfs + 200

Mekhi Becton + 300

Andrew Thomas + 500

Josh Jones + 5000

*This is the position prop offering the most value. There isn't a clear cut favorite, but instead a handful of players bunched up and low plus money. While Wills is the defacto favorite, value may lie on Wirfs (+ 200) and Becton (+ 300). Wirfs has garnered lots of buzz in recent weeks. Becton's measurables are off the charts. Do your homework on this one. Lots of opportunity exists. 

First Running Back Selected

D'Andre Swift + 115

Jonathan Taylor + 125

J.K. Dobbins + 600

Clyde Edwards-Helaire + 900

*This is another prop offering rare plus money value. It's basically a toss up between Swift and Taylor. Swift has been linked to the Dolphins and could be the first to go in the early to mid 20s. 

First Safety Selected

Xavier McKinney -177

Grant Delpit + 130

Antoine Winfield Jr. + 1600

*McKinney offers sneaky good value and may actually be underpriced here. Almost all mock drafts have McKinney going in the late teens and early 20s. Delpit is far behind, possibly in the late 20s or missing the first round entirely. Laying -177 isn't bad at all considering McKinney is considered head and shoulders the top safety overall.

First Tight End Selected

Cole Kmet -110

Adam Trautman + 450

Brycen Hopkins + 600

Thaddeus Moss + 800

Hunter Bryant + 1000

*Tight end isn't considered a deep position this year and none of these players are projected to go in the first round. Kmet is the best of the bunch and has some value at a modest favorite price, which is pretty much just standard -110 juice. 

First Wide Receiver Selected

Jerry Jeudy -112

CeeDee Lamb + 120

Henry Ruggs + 600

Tee Higgins + 5000

Justin Jefferson + 5000

*This is a virtual pick'em between Jeudy and Lamb. They are both expected to go in the 8 to 15 range. Keep an eye on Arizona at 8. Lamb was a favorite of Kyler Murray at Oklahoma. Jeudy has been linked to the Jets at 11 and Raiders at 12. 

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