The 2021 NFL Draft is finally here and couldn’t have come any quicker. It seems there has been much more conversations and anticipation surrounding this year’s draft; possibly because of how talented this quarterback class is, but most likely because we have all been trapped inside for the last year and just want our voices to be heard.
Due to the fact that we have been going through a pandemic, it has made the evaluating process and the draft in general even more of a coin-toss that it has been in years past. Teams have struggled to get medical information on players and character concerns on some guys are being revealed even later in the process. It will certainly lead to a very eventful and exciting draft (for some fans).
With that being said, of course we’re going to bet on the draft, even with all the unknowns. When looking at prop bets for the NFL draft, you’re really looking at where you can find value. You won’t find a ton of odds that sit close together like you would when betting on point spreads and over/unders on actual games. You’re more likely to find bigger and better odds (if you view it that way).
For those that aren’t heavy bettors, let’s try and break this down a bit. All odds are based on a $100 bet. For example, if the odds on a bet you would like to pursue are -110, that means you would have to bet $110 to win $100. If the odds are +130, a $100 dollar bet would win you $130.
Now that we’ve got the explanation out of the way let’s dig into the picks.
All betting odds are from mybookie.ag.
Kyle Pitts Over Pick 5.5 +200
As eluded to earlier in the piece, we’re trying to find picks that we believe to have good value and the chances of winning plus-money.
The one team in the top 5 picks who is most likely to take Pitts would be Atlanta. With a new head coach and GM in the building it makes it tough to gauge exactly which direction they will go, however with three quarterbacks set to go in the top three picks this could 1) force a team to trade up with the Falcons to select one of the available quarterbacks left on the board or 2) Atlanta could even take one themselves.
After the Falcons, the Cincinnati Bengals hold the fifth pick in the draft and it’s believed by many, that Ja’Marr Chase will be the pick for the Bengals. If it’s not Chase it’s very plausible that Cincinnati could have their eyes on Penei Sewell. They have voiced their opinion that they’d like to keep Jonah Williams at left tackle, but smoke screens are not a new thing when it pertains to the draft.
As they say “never let a good player stop you from drafting a great player,” which Sewell is.
Trey Lance to be the Third Pick in the Draft +200
If you’ve been keeping up with the odds on this specific selection, you’d know they have been moving a ton. From each players (Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Lance) pro-day their odds seem to get boosted and cause the others to fall, but now that the draft is right around the corner they have seemed to settle on the favorite, Mac Jones.
It’s tough to imagine a world where the 49ers give up two future first-round picks and swap their first round pick this year, for the guy with the lowest ceiling out of the top 5 quarterbacks. Jones, while he is talented in his own right, doesn’t present the same time of upside as his colleagues (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Fields, and Lance). He doesn’t posses the same time type of off-platform ability that the others do. He’s more of a pocket passer, which is fine, but not worth the third overall pick, especially when the 49ers sold the farm to do so.
Safeties Drafted in the First Round Under 1/2 +220
Every year it seems like at least one safety goes in the first round, but this year may change that cycle. There are two guys that come to mind as potential first round selections and that’s Richie Grant and Trevon Moehrig. Both players have their limitations which could cause them to fall out of the first round.
When looking at the back half of the first round, there is really only one team that pops out as a potential match for one of these safeties and that’s the Baltimore Ravens sitting there with two first round picks (27 and 31). On the flip side, the Ravens have more often than not, drafted who they believe to be the best player on the board in their eyes and it’s tough to see one of Moehrig and Grant as the best player available.
On the other side of the coin, they do have needs at other positions such as receiver and offensive tackle. Baltimore needs more options on the outside for Lamar Jackson, Willie Snead and Marquise Brown just aren’t cutting it and with another loaded receiver class it’s extremely plausible they look that direction early. The offensive tackle class also works in their favor, it too boasts a ton of talent. A player like Alex Leatherwood falling to them at 27 or 31 certainly fits what the Ravens like to do on offense and could be one of their picks if he happens to fall into their lap.
Also, the Ravens could be in prime position for a team looking to trade back-up into the first round to get the fifth-year option on a player.
“More Likely to Happen” Picks
Green Bay Packers First Player Drafted – Defense +100
With some of the value picks out of the way, let’s get into some of the picks that seem more likely to happen. Being that these options are more reasonable you won’t get as good of odds.
The Packers are always a tough team to gauge when it comes to the NFL Draft, but with their first three picks coming on the offensive side of the ball in last year’s draft, they may be looking to boost up their defense. Aaron Rodgers is able to help mitigate some of the issues that Green Bay has on offense because of his talent and even though many Packer’s fans want them to go receiver, there may not be great value when they are up to pick at 29. Also, Green Bay hasn’t selected a receiver in the first round since 2002.
When looking at the defense, there are two positions that stand-out, defensive end and cornerback (we all know about Kevin King getting burned by Scottie Miller just before the half in the NFC Championship). Taking a look at some of the players that could be available here for the Packers, there are three names that really stick-out, Carlos Basham (defensive end), Eric Stokes (corner), and Tyson Campbell (corner).
Big-10 Players Drafted in the First Round Over 6.5 +100
Aside from the SEC, the Big-10 is probably the most competitive and talent loaded Power-5 conference in college football. This year is no different.
There are 6 players (Justin Fields, Rashawn Slater, Micah Parsons, Rashod Bateman, Greg Newsome, and Kwity Paye) who have a very high chance to be selected in the first 32 picks. You may be asking yourself, but the over is 6.5, yes it is. The seventh player who has the best chance to selected in the first round is Jayson Oweh. If you follow college football and the draft, you may have heard of Oweh. For those of you that don’t, just know this man was built in a lab somewhere. His pro-day may go down as one of the best pro-days we’ve ever seen.
The edge rusher class this year is very weak at the top, once you get into the 30-75 range is when you start to see the edge rushers on most people’s big boards and a guy with Oweh’s upside could certainly get pushed above those guys if teams value traits, and many of them do. Not only that, but there are some medical concerns with both Azeez Ojulari and Jaelan Phillips which could cause them to fall and Oweh to rise.
Two other dark horse names that could help this prop to cash are Baron Browning and Rondale Moore, two more guys with high-level traits.
First Cornerback to be Drafted – Jaycee Horn +150
This really comes down to two players, Horn and Patrick Surtain. With that said, this prop presents pretty good value, especially at plus-money. When looking around a people’s boards you’ll often see either Horn or Surtain as the top corner, and for good reason; they not only have the tape to back it up, but the traits as well.
What separates Horn from Surtain, however is that Horn has the mentality that NFL teams love to see. He isn’t afraid to get in a guys face and make his presence felt. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, if you’re lined up across from Horn, you’ll be in for a long day; he’s going to dog you at the line-of-scrimmage.
Also another tidbit, on the Journey to the Draft podcast (hosted by Fran Duffy), Dane Brugler, a scout for the Athletic had this to say about the Dallas Cowboys, (the team most likely to draft the first corner) if it’s up to the coaches, the pick is Horn, and if it’s up to the scouts, the pick is Surtain. While that doesn’t provide a ton of clarity, it shows the value on this prop. Horn has a very good chance to be the first corner off the board and at plus-money this pick is no-brainer.