Finding Value in the NFL Draft
NFL Betting Trends – Finding Value in the NFL Draft
It is obvious that only one of the 32 teams in the NFL can win the Super Bowl each season so it is the job of every front office and head coach in the league to devote all of their time and energy in the early part of the offseason finding the missing pieces that will move their team to the top of the heap in next season’s chase for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The first opportunity to fill these holes is through the free agent market, but the best way that most of the past Super Bowl Champions earned their rings was by building a team through the NFL draft. Last month in New York City, the league staged its seven-round draft so now is a great time to take a look back at a few teams that are in great position to leverage the value in their picks to take that ultimate step to NFL glory.
The San Francisco 49ers have gone to the last two NFC Championship Games and came up just short in last year’s Super Bowl, so all eyes have been on them to see how they plan to close the gap to go all the way next season. Before free agency and the draft, the 49ers opened as odds-on-favorites to at least make it back to the Super Bowl and right now they are BetOnline’s second-favorite at +750 to win it all. The addition of safety Eric Reid fills the hole left by Dashon Goldson and Vance McDonald should be able to fill the shoes left by the departure of tight end Delanie Walker. The biggest thing that San Francisco did to draw value out of the draft, was using its other nine picks to add depth to an already talented roster. This is crucial to making a run all the way to a title when the injuries start to pile up along the way.
Another perennial favorite to win a Super Bowl is the Green Bay Packers. Heading into next season they have been opened as co-favorites with San Francisco at +400 to win the NFC and at +1000 to win it all. One of the biggest problems that have kept the Packers from winning the conference the past two seasons has been their inability to consistently run the ball. That could all change this season after Alabama running back Eddie Lacy fell into their lap in the second round and UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin was added in the fourth. Much like the 49ers, Green Bay used its other picks in the draft to sure up the depth in its roster especially along the offensive line and the wide receiver position.
The New England Patriots were once again opened as favorites to win it all when the future odds were first released and not much has changed with them listed at +275 to win the AFC and at +700 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. The loss of Tom Brady’s favorite target, wide receiver Wes Welker could still end up putting a dent in those plans, but the addition of wide receivers’ Aaron Dobson in the second round and Josh Boyce in the fourth were steps in the right direction. Head coach Bill Bilichick used his other five picks on the defensive side of the ball to inject some additional youth into this unit. No team better exemplifies the term ‘next man up’ as anyone who plays for New England fully understands the importance of this concept when it comes to winning games.
A couple of other favorites to win it all did a good job at taking a few steps closer to achieving that goal especially the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC and the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens in the AFC. The Seahawks added even more depth to their defensive front seven after addressing that area in free agency and the Ravens went heavy on defense has well in an effort to rebuild that unit with youth after the departure of long-time veterans Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Seattle is currently listed as a third-favorite at +475 to win its conference and Baltimore is the fourth-favorite to win the AFC at +700.
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