The annual NFL player draft for the top college prospects was always a big deal for diehard football fans that never had an interest in other major sports leagues. When late April rolled around, this group would know more about a player’s time in the 40 than which NBA or NHL team had the best odds to win that season’s league title.
That has changed radically in recent years as the overall popularity of the draft continued to soar. One of the biggest driving forces was the ability to bet on the draft at online sportsbooks through a variety of different prop bet options.
This season’s draft in the NFL (April 23-25) is expected to be bigger than ever from a betting standpoint.
Many of the early props on the board across a wide spectrum of online sportsbooks cover the first player off the board in the opening round by position. The three most popular betting props cover quarterback, wide receiver and running back.
Top Drafted Quarterback
Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow turned in a season for the ages in 2019. He led his team to a national title behind a perfect 15-0 run. He also won the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college football player.
It is almost a given that he comes off the board first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. There is no such thing as a lock, yet the betting prop for this position starts with the second quarterback off the board.
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Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovaiola is the heavy favorite at -550 followed by Justin Herbert (Oregon) at +375 odds. Jordan Love is next (+1200) followed by the Field at +2000.
Crazy things happen in the draft, especially at this position. Tua is still coming off a season-ending injury and Herbert’s stock is high enough to warrant a small play with a big return.
Top Wide Receiver
This has been described as a strong draft for the wide receiver position. Going over a summary of mock drafts for NFL.com, as many as six or seven receivers could come off the board in the first round.
Both CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma and Jerry Jeudy from Alabama have the best odds to be the first receiver taken at +115. The odds that former Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III is chosen first are set at +350.
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The rest of the best are expected to go in the later rounds to open up a betting opportunity on the Field at +2800.
Most mock drafts have Lamb and Jeudy at the top of the list as well with some support for Ruggs as the top pick. I like Jeudy going first to the Las Vegas Raiders with the 12th overall pick of the first round.
Top Running Back
Running backs were an afterthought for the opening round of the NFL draft for years. However, they have been back in vogue with high profile backs like Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Saquon Barkley taken early in the first round over the past few drafts.
The top back on the board for this draft is D’Andre Smith at -185. He played his college ball for Georgia. Next on the list is former Wisconsin back Jonathon Taylor at +180. He is followed by JK Dobbins (+800) and the Field at +1400.
There has not been all that much fanfare for either of the top plays in this prop. Both are showing up as late picks in the first round with many of the mock drafts. Yet, there is no guarantee that either player will come off the board in the first 32 picks.
That is why I am taking the added value in Taylor’s +180 odds as the first to go.
A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites. I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.
It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.
The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.
My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.
I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.