For those of you who dearly miss betting on football, there is good news: The NFL draft is just a week away.
The football world will gather again — in person and virtually — for the 2021 NFL Draft beginning April 29 in Cleveland. It’s technically a live sporting event, so of course there are betting opportunities.
Prop bets are big for the draft, and given the volatility at the top of the draft board this year, there could be some value in draft props.
Here are a few that stand out:
Over 18.5 offensive players drafted in first round, +100 (FanDuel): Just about every mock draft you’ll read has at least the first eight or nine picks being offensive players. That means you’re almost halfway there by the time you get out of the top 10. Offense rules the sport right now, and we’ve seen in years past how one pick can start a run on a certain position.
Over 5.5 quarterbacks drafted in first round, +460 (FanDuel): It’s a virtual certainty Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones will go in the first round. After that, it gets a little difficult to find a first-round QB. But let’s take the value here and wait to see if a team — the Patriots, perhaps? — trades back into the end of the first round to take someone like Kellen Mond.
No. 4 overall pick — Justin Fields, +175 (FanDuel): This all comes down to how much the Falcons like Kyle Pitts. If they love him and don’t mind drafting a tight end that high, there are plenty of experts who think he’s a generational player at the position. But Atlanta has a lot of holes, and Pitts doesn’t fix all of its problems. The Falcons could take advantage of a QB-needy team and trade the pick for more assets. The odds say Lawrence, Wilson and Jones are the first three quarterbacks taken, leaving Fields at No. 4.
Chargers first pick — offensive lineman, -120 (DraftKings): It appears LA really hit on a QB with Justin Herbert. The next step? Protecting him. Herbert was sacked 32 times last year. The Chargers beefed up the line by signing Corey Linsley at center and should add a tackle here.
Bengals first pick — offensive lineman, +140 (DraftKings): See the above about Herbert but with Juoe Burrow — the 202 No. 1 overall pick — coming off a gruesome knee injury. Might as well go ahead and throw the Vikings (-110 to draft a lineman) into this group with the Chargers and Bengals, too.
Patriots first pick — defensive player, +180 (DraftKings): We all know how bad the Patriots need a long-term quarterback. But do they love a quarterback after Lawrence and Wilson? We can say with near-certainty the Jaguars and Jets won’t squander the opportunity to take those two. So, if you’re going to part with a future first-round pick to move up, you better love the player. Trading up to take a quarterback is not as likely as some people might believe — or hope. If that’s the case and New England stays at No. 15, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bill Belichick take advantage of value and draft a defensive player. The Patriots need long-term options on both sides of the ball, and given the run on offense expected in the first 10 to 12 picks, it’s possible a defensive stalwart falls into the Patriots’ laps at 15.