NFL Betting Trends- Handicapping the NFL Draft
Starting this Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the NFL will conduct its annual draft of eligible college players starting with all 32 picks in the first round. The second and third rounds will be held on Friday night and the draft will conclude on Saturday afternoon with rounds four through seven.
Many of the major sportsbooks have released odds for a number of prop bets surrounding the outcome of this year’s draft creating the perfect opportunity to cash-in on the event. The following is a look at some of the more intriguing props as provided by Bovada.
Number of offensive players selected in the first round
Under 13 -110
Over 13 -130
Using Scouts Inc’s Top 32 Players as a guide, you find that there are exactly 13 offensive players on the list. While that may be just a coincidence, it still provides a general indication of just how many players on that side of the ball are expected to be selected in the first round. If you consult some of the mock drafts that are out there for the entire first round you would find that many have less than 13 going in the first round. While anything can happen come Thursday night, using the two mentioned sources as your primary handicapping tool, the best play for this prop is UNDER 13.
Number of defensive players selected in the first round
Under 19 -110
Over 19 -130
You can use the same exact criteria mentioned above to stick with the OVER 19 for this prop. Adding even more value to this pick is the fact that once you get past the top offensive lineman on the board, teams tend to shift their focus on selecting the best available defensive player on the board at any position. This lends itself to creating far more opportunities to drive this total number well over 20. Citing WalterFootball.com’s April 22 mock draft, it had 12 offensive players and 20 defensive players selected in the first round, which was actually one of the higher ratios of offense to defense that I came across.
Number of safeties chosen in the first round
Under 2.5 +100
Over 2.5 -140
Going back to our original list of the top 32 players for this year’s draft you find that there is just one safety on the list; Kenny Vaccaro from Texas. This guy is going to be a top 15 pick so we can count him as a lock. Things get interesting from there as several mock drafts have Florida International’s John Crypien, Florida’s Matt Elam and Eric Reid from LSU also going in the first round which would take this prop well over the total if they are correct. The fact that all three of these players are being highly touted heading into Thursday night’s first round is enough for me to go with the OVER 2.5 as my pick for this prop.
Number of wide receivers chosen in the first round
Under 3 +150
Over 3 -200
They money line is heavily skewed towards the over for this prop telling me that the Oddmakers may know something we do not. There are only two wide receivers listed on the top 32 list; West Virginia’s Tavon Austin at No.14 and California’s Keenan Allen at No.22. It has been widely speculated that Austin is going to go to San Diego with the 11th overall pick, but he is the only unanimous wide receiver taken in the first round in all the mock drafts that I consulted. Allen was not even mentioned as a first round pick on any of the boards.
A few wide receivers that were listed as potential first round picks were Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter from Tennessee, but that only adds-up to a total of three. The one wildcard in the bunch could be Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, who is listed as high as going 22nd to St. Louis on one particular mock draft board. This is a prop I would probably stay away from, although if I had to make a play it would be on the UNDER 3, which has a far more favorable money line.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.