NFL Draft: Props and Bets to Target

NFL Draft: Props and Bets to Target

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

It's officially draft day and rumors are flying left and right, which means the markets are now as sharp as they're going to be. Since the combine, we've seen Travon Walker go from not even listed as an option to go first overall to now being a heavy (-300 at most shops) favorite to go to the Jags to start the night. A consensus from the major draft community has now been established and we're up against it in terms of weighing out recent intel versus what we've thought for the bulk of draft season. Even if there aren't the obvious values out there the way they were earlier in the month, there are still some edges to be found. I've put together a list of the bets I'm targeting for the draft, joining my colleagues, Mario Puig and Joe Bartel, in putting my money where my mouth is. 

You can find Mario's NFL Draft Prop Bets and Joe's Top NFL Draft Props, as well as RotoWire's expansive list of NFL Draft Futures with the best odds for each bet, in the above links. 

Team Draft Specials: Exact Position of First Drafted Player

New York Jets Offensive Lineman (+300) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Jets have two picks in the top 10 (4, 10) and we're focusing on No.4 here. I'm expecting three defenders to come off the board with the first three picks, meaning that New York could have the pick of the litter at tackle. There's a sense that the Jets are enamored with Jermaine Johnson out of Florida State, but if all of Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal and Charles Cross are all available, can they really pass that up? You can also get D-Line/EDGE at +125 for the Jets if that's more your speed. 

Baltimore Ravens Defensive Lineman (+190) at FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel stipulates that these bets are tied to NFL.com's position classification. Well, Jordan Davis should be there at 14 and there's no doubt about where he's lining up. George Karlaftis is listed as an EDGE and is likely in consideration as well. You can get the same bet at DraftKings with the EDGE detail baked into the bet for +150 so there's better value on FanDuel in this instance. Devonte Wyatt could also be in play. With Calais Campbell getting up there in age and Derek Wolfe's a durability concern, the Ravens are likely targeting D-Line with their first pick.

Giants Special: Evan Neal with Pick 5, Ahmad Gardner with Pick 7 (+1300) available at FanDuel Sportsbook

This hinges on things unfolding in a very particular fashion but it remains within the realm of possibility. Let's assume that Walker/Hutchinson go 1-2 and Derek Stingley or Kayvon Thibodeaux go to the Texans at 3. That leaves the aforementioned Jets with all of the offensive linemen available. My sense is that it's Ekwonu, especially if Stingley is gone. Then, the Giants would have to try and guess what the Panthers would do at 1.6 provided they keep the pick. Carolina would likely be in the market for a quarterback or offensive lineman, so the Giants figure to go o-line at five and circle back to corner at seven with Sauce given that the Panthers just spent a top 10 pick on a corner last year. Again, there's a reason this bet is a longshot; so much can happen in those first four picks and with Carolina, but it's feasible enough to be worth consideration at 13/1 odds.

Draft Position Over/Unders

John Metchie: Over 56.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook

There's so much working against Metchie as a second-rounder that I'm stunned to see his over/under in this range. Metchie is several notches below the other Alabama receivers of recent memory and is coming off an ACL tear in December. Unlike Jameson Williams, whose athleticism is beyond a doubt even if he was unable to test at the combine, Metchie's lack of measurables could work against him because the film does not show him to be overly explosive or shifty. At least 10 receivers should be off the board at this stage of the second, and relative sleepers like Alec Pierce, Jalen Tolbert, Khalil Shakir or Wan'Dale Robinson could all be higher than Metchie on big boards for most teams. I'd sooner project Metchie in the fourth than the second.  

Andrew Booth: Under 29.5 (+145) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The teams in the cornerback market start to dry up once we get into the early 20s. We can assume Derek Stingley Jr. and Ahmad Gardner will be gone by the early teens if not sooner, leaving Booth Washington's Trent McDuffie and Florida's Kaiir Elam as the best corners available. McDuffie is a fine enough prospect but Booth has a boundary skill set with longer arms, and that could help him off the board before the 30th. New England, Buffalo, and Kansas City are all possible landing spots in Booth's projected range. The ultimate beat would be the Chiefs passing on Booth at 29 and taking him at 30. Sorry if I just spoke that into existence. 

Lewis Cine: Over 30.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Outside of Kyle Hamilton, there isn't a safety that's a lock to go in the first, and there aren't many teams with glaring enough of a need there to reach. Cine is a fringe first-rounder and there's the same juice (-115) on the other side of this wager, which makes this a tricky call. Still, I'll bet that a safety market doesn't develop in the late first and Cine slides past the 30th pick. 

Here's hoping that this is either smoke or that Daxton Hill is the last safety off the board in the first. 

Devin Lloyd: Over 19.5 (-148) at FanDuel Sportsbook

You're giving up a decent amount of juice here but I can see Lloyd sliding into the 20s nonetheless. Not a lot of teams are in need of a middle linebacker in the first and even if Nakobe Dean is sliding, Quay Walker or Leo Chenal (h/t Mario) could still go ahead of the Utah product. Philadelphia at 18 is a concern for this prop if it keeps that pick rather than packaging something to move up and address another position, but otherwise, Lloyd could very realistically slip to the mid-to-late 20s.

Malik Willis: Under 13.5 (+120) at DraftKings Sportsbook

This quarterback class has been maligned plenty. But the idea of the first quarterback coming off the board at 14 just doesn't seem likely, and I expect Willis to be QB1. All of Detroit, Carolina, and Seattle are all plausible landing spots as the board is currently configured, but Carolina is a threat to trade back to help accrue more mid-round draft capital. Still, teams drafting after 13 have ammo to move up if Willis is still hanging around by the 10th pick. It's hard to know exactly where Willis will land, but I like the idea of him going before 14 at plus-money. 

Jameson Williams: Under 11.5 (-130) at DraftKings Sportsbook

It's looking less and less likely that Deebo Samuel gets dealt to the Jets, which puts yet another team potentially in the market for a receiver before the 12th pick. All of the Jets, Falcons, Giants and Commanders could be landing spots for the big-play threat out of Alabama. 

Miscellaneous Draft Bets

NFL Draft Best Bet: 3rd Cornerback Selected: Kaiir Elam (+300) at DraftKings Sportsbook

There seems to be some late helium on Elam, who checks plenty of boxes in terms of height (6-1.5), speed (4.39 40) and track record as he was a standout at Florida against tough competition. Some combination of Gardner and Stingley will be the first two off the board, but it's anyone's guess as to how the corner market develops after that. Trent McDuffie is a fairly heavy favorite on DraftKings (-250) so I'd rather take the upside at +300 on a player I view with just as good of a case to be the third corner off the board. 

Additionally, you can get OVER 4.5 corners in the first round at +112 at FanDuel. All of Stingley, Gardner, Elam, McDuffie, and Booth could go in the first round. Not a ton of margin for error there, but there are some possible surprises projected as early second-rounders who could sneak into the first, too. 

Top 3 Exact Order

Travon Walker/Aidan Hutchinson/Evan Neal (+1300 on DraftKings)

Travon Walker/ Aidan Hutchinson/Ikem Ekwonu  (+500 on DraftKings)

Travon Walker/Aidan Hutchinson/ Kayvon Thibodeaux (+800 on DraftKings)

The most likely scenario, according to the odds, is Walker/Hutchinson/Stingley at +200. I'm sure those odds looked a lot different a week ago, and if you locked that in, kudos to you. But as it stands, even if it's the most likely, +200 isn't enough when the whole thing could go up in smoke if Jacksonville has been duping us all along. 

I'd rather sprinkle a few small wagers on the three exact outcomes listed above. The top two picks seem predetermined and all of Neal, Ekwonu and Thibodeaux are viable options for Houston at 1.3.

NFL Draft Best Bets

New York Jets  to take Offensive Lineman with first pick (+300) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Baltimore Ravens to take Defensive Lineman with first pick (+190) at FanDuel Sportsbook

Giants Special: Evan Neal with Pick 5, Ahmad Gardner with Pick 7 (+1300)

Andrew Booth: Under 29.5 (+145) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Lewis Cine: Over 30.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook

John Metchie: Over 56.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Devin Lloyd: Over 19.5 (-148) at FanDuel Sportsbook

Malik Willis: Under 13.5 (+120) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Jameson Williams: Under 11.5 (-130) at DraftKings Sportsbook

3rd Cornerback Selected: Kaiir Elam (+300) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Top 3 Exact Order: Travon Walker/Aidan Hutchinson/Evan Neal (+1300 on DraftKings); Travon WalkerAidan Hutchinson/Ikem Ekwonu  (+500 on DraftKings); Travon Walker/Aidan HutchinsonKayvon Thibodeaux (+800 on DraftKings)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John McKechnie
John is the 2016 and 2021 FSWA College Writer of the Year winner. He is a Maryland native and graduate of the University of Georgia. He's been writing for RotoWire since 2014.
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