It’s a couple of months since the end of the 2020 season, and in all honesty I’ve used a lot of that time to take a break from NFL podcasts, from writing and just a bit of a re-coup, but with the draft arriving in under 2 weeks time now it’s probably time to re-immerse myself in it all and try and find some value.
I have however purchased the Full10yards draft guide along with the Lindy’s draft book this year for a little reading. The F10Y guys put in a ton of work and give you profiles and grade of 240 players. – Buying the F10Y guide helps support Britball as well as they re-invest some into coaching/refereeing schemes.
In fairness, it’s actually probably a little late to find a lot of value as the books have had lines up for a while now and a lot of them have been polished by the bettors, but with the draft being such an information based event if you’re keeping an eye on beat-writers, on mock-drafters, on certain bettors on twitter and around the internet then you might be able to grab a cracking price on something that’s practically guaranteed.
Something to note on Draft markets is that there’s little liquidity so it doesn’t take a whole lot of cash to move lines, especially on UK books where the market is so much smaller, so lines may well differ from below despite me writing it today (16th April) It does give a false sense of CLV when you back something and your money subsequently changes a line (really, a very small amount to move some of the larger numbers)
I’ll go through a few of the more common markets and have a nose at them. I will state that I’ve only really looked around Skybet, Redzone, WillHill, Paddypower – Unibet/888 have quite a few markets up as well but they’re so quick to limit bettors that I haven’t really bothered looking over there (although a quick check allowed me more than I expected on a 2/1 shot) and 365 don’t have many markets at all, not even the likes of total players of X position taken.
First overall pick.
No value at all in Trevor Lawrence and seems inevitable, he’s already learning with Jaguars playbook and chatting with their new HC Urban Meyer. – oddschecker is showing 1/41 for him first pick, but 1/100 for him to be the first QB. Strange that there’s been no mention of him refusing to play for them and demanding a trade as the daily bullshitters suggested last year with Burrow, but I guess they can’t even be bothered making things up this time around. – So this covers the 1st QB market as well, no need to be mentioning that one.
Second overall pick.
The Jets are at two and after getting a fairly decent haul for Sam Darnold it seems even more likely that they take their QB and that man, throughout the entire draft process has been pencilled in as Zach Wilson, he’s 1/33 to be the second pick, but you can get 1/10 on the Jets drafting him, he’s 12-16/1 to be the first overall pick if you wanted to throw your money away. – Both the guides I’ve purchased have Fields as the better prospect, so while I’m not advocating it, the 16/1 on Fields to the Jets wouldn’t be a huge shocker.
Third overall pick.
Now this one has been up in the air since the 49ers traded up to get their man. It was assumed, for some reason, for a long time that it was going to be Mac Jones and he was the 1/3 fave for the third pick, but after Justin Fields second pro-day this week the odds have flipped and you can now get 10/11 as a best price for Fields to go at three with Jones around 6/5. – Most mocks/rankings I’ve seen have Jones as a second rounder and Trey Lance ranked higher than him, so it was weird that this supposed infatuation was there from the 49ers on him.
Earlier in there week there was a 2/1 available on Fields, I won’t be touching him at odds-on although I do think it’s the more likely pick – If we’re assuming it’s Wilson to the Jets, then it should be Fields here. If the Jets go off-piste and take Fields then things get interesting and Wilson at 20/1 wouldn’t be a terrible option at the price.
First round QB selected
The going line here is 5. You’ve got the 4 mentioned above, Lawrence, Wilson, Fields, Jones – 3 of those are guaranteed, and it’s practically guaranteed the first three picks are QBs, (1/50 for that…) – Jaguars, Jets and 49ers all sorted for their future QBs. – The likes of the Lions, Patriots, Panthers (despite signing Darnold they said they’d keep options open at 8) could all be looking at QB, the Broncos too aren’t secure with their play-caller at the moment either. – Exactly 5 QBs is around 4/11 – So it looks like the books are expecting Jones and Trey Lance to also be selected in the first round. – If Jones is left by the 49ers then there’s a chance he drops to the end of the first/second, the 5th year option could well mean someone moving into the bottom of the 1st round to take him, or another QB (Kyle Trask seems to be the next highest rated). – I can’t see there being 6, it seems like the number is right, 4 or fewer at 6/1 on Skybet, 7/2 for 6 or more seem to be the lines.
At the moment the Falcons at pick 4 are probably the first team to take a non-QB, there is still a chance they go that way with Matt Ryan getting on, and on a massive contract in the coming years, but I think it would need one of the top 3 guys to fall to them. So they’ll have their pick of the litter, or the best offers made to them for the chance to move back a few spots.
I’ve seen Penei Sewell going here, Kyle Pitts, Micah Parsons or a trade back. It seems unlikely that they take a WR with Julio and Ridley in place already, so that rules out Ja’marr Chase. – Most of the things I’ve seen suggest they’ll be taking Kyle Pitts, the “generational” tight end. Hayden Hurst was signed last year and had a middling year, but Pitts seems to be the hype-man of this class. – Jerry Jones at the Cowboys is apparently “infatuated” with Pitts, would I be shocked to see the Cowboys trade up to 4 to get their man? Not entirely. It would be stupid, but Jerrah has never cared about doing stupid things. Pitts to Cowboys? 14/1 on Skybet.
Pitts is available at 9/4 to be taken by the Falcons (Skybet), Trey Lance at 4/1 (Skybet) and Sewell at 20/1 on Skybet (9/1 on Redzone). I’ve personally had a nibble on Sewell at 20/1.
The ideal situation for them would be trading down with the Broncos or Patriots so that one of those two can get their QB. First 4 picks to be QBs is 5/4 on Skybet.
My Bengals arrive at five… this is the one pick I’ve got more gut feeling on, and more knowledge of than probably most of the people reading this and I’m increasingly convinced they’re going to bring in Ja’marr Chase to re-unite him and Burrow.
If that happens they’ll be derided all over social media, probably by the professional writers and the NFL-world in general will all laugh at them not taking Penei Sewell. Honestly I will be happy with Sewell or Chase as the pick here.
Now obviously as someone who considers themselves not an idiot, I can see why everyone and their brothers thinks the Bengals should take Sewell, he has been talked about as a “generational talent” (there’s that phrase again) for at least a year now, and the Bengals OL is obviously an issue, it has been for quite a while now, and the deficiencies there led to Burrow going down for the year last year, so I get it “PROTECT YOUR QB” but fortunately there’s more than 1 round in each draft and the OL depth this year is apparently one of deepest for years.
The Bengals also drafted Jonah Williams in the first round a couple of years back (Billy Price at C before that) and he wasn’t bad in his first year as starter at LT, they signed Riley Reiff to play RT, and Hopkins/Price at centre isn’t terrible. It’s the guard positions which are the most in need for them, Spain re-signed and I thought he did well at the end of the year, you can find guards in the second round.
So they’ve invested in the OL, and strengthened it, another area they really need some help… WR. AJ Green was poor last year and moved on over the summer leaving them with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd… then Auden Tate currently as the WR3. That’s a great two but very little else in the passing game, so why not pick someone with a great rapport with your QB, a young lad who’s being touted up there with Julio and AJ Green as a draft prospect. He’s hyper-athletic and his record against now pro QBs from his time at LSU is mighty impressive. – Adding an elite WR means that Burrow doesn’t have to hold the ball as long and shouldn’t take as many hits.
All of the above is mainly to say I think they take Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU) – something that’s available at a best price of 6/4 now on Redzone. If you wanted to be safer you can get 5/8 on Chase u6.5 – If the Bengals don’t take him I’d expect the Dolphins to a pick later (2/1 on that at Skybet).
1st Wide Receiver drafted
As above, the price is dead on Chase now, 1/2 was available earlier in the process, but Paddy now have him at 1/14 (which is ridiculous given the general 2/7 or 2/9) – But it does mean there’s a 9/1 on Jaylen Waddle on that site to be the first WR taken. – I don’t think it will happen, but there’s a chance that the “Tyreek Hill” type is taken as the first off the board – The Falcons trade back, Bengals take Sewell, Dolphins go Pitts, it could all get a little messy after that and as we saw last year with the Raiders taking Ruggs, teams love speed.
Total WRs drafted in the first round
It’s a fairly deep class for WR as well by all accounts, but it seems to fall off a little quicker than OL (from what I’ve read, I won’t ever claim to have deep knowledge of college or judging OL talent in general) so the line for first round WRs is around 5.5.
Chase, Smith, Waddle all look like locks, and there’s quite a few expected in the bottom half of the first round as well; Bateman, Moore, Wallace should all be late 1/early 2 in theory.
The money is suggesting u5.5 and that’s probably right. 8/11 the best available on Skybet. – If you wanted to risk it there’s a 7/4 around on u4.5 in the first round at WillHill.
Team to draft Devonta Smith/Jaylen Waddle
This is where things all get a little “pot-shot-ty” – It probably depends on the Bengals taking Chase. If he goes there, then Smith probably goes next pick to the Dolphins, but they might be happy with Sewell dropping into their laps, or go for speed with Waddle. – The Lions at 7 need WR help and will likely go that way, but if the Falcons trade, Bengals take Chase and Dolphins go Smith/Sewell then it would be tough to pass up on Pitts and pair him with Hockenson, take WR at the top of the 2nd.
Skybet have the Lions as 2/1 faves for Smith, Dolphins at 5/2 – Over on Redzone the Eagles are 33/10, Lions 7/2 and Dolphins 4/1 to pick him up.
Redzone seem to be the only place with Waddle priced up, they’ve got the Dolphins at 33/10, Lions 7/2 and Panthers 9/2 as the top 3 in their betting for him. The Eagles do make weird decisions at WR, so adding his speed might be something that interests them, 9/1 for them.
William Hill has o/u on both of these guys set at 11.5 with the Eagles picking at 12 – Smith at 4/5 under and 20/21 over and Waddle 21/20 and 20/27. I think Smith goes before pick 12. Bengals, Lions, Dolphins, Giants all possibilities for WR picks.
Running back malaise
There’s been no mention of any running backs yet, and for good reason, the position isn’t one that’s valued highly in the league any more, the studs get 8m a year less than stud WRs and they seem easily replaceable (see 7th round pick James Robinson for the Jags last year) – Even Jonathan Taylor for the Colts, had 6,000+ yards in three years in college, was a 2nd round pick last year and will probably be moved on once his rookie deal is done.
I think there’s a good chance there’s no RB taken in the first round – under 1.5 seems a banker at 1/3 on Redzone, but you can get 19/10 on no RB taken at William Hill.
Najee Harris is expected to be first off the board with Travis Etienne second, from ‘Bama and Clemson respectively. Etienne is more of a home-run threat. Interestingly Redzone have Harris lined at o/u 31 – That’s the Chiefs. I think the Chiefs have different needs than another first round RB. In fact of the bottom 10 picking in the first round I can’t see many who would be taking RB – Jacksonville now at 25 the latest I’d expect to be picking that position.
Jets or Steelers at 23/24 are both possibilities (both 8/1 at Redzone). If they don’t then I think that no RB would be home-free. The Dolphins are the shortest price to take Harris on both RZ and SB, I assume at pick 18 is the assumption, but they did well with randoms last year and signed Malcolm Brown from the Rams to add to Gaskin and Ahmed. – It’s not a studded group, but as said they had decent production from it.
Various other markets
A lot of people seem to have Micah Parsons the Penn State OLB ranked in their top 5 on the big board, it seems a little unfortunate for him that a lot of the teams at the top of the draft will be looking on the offensive side of the ball.
Top 4 could easily all be QBs, 5,6,7,8 all likely to be offensive players either WR/TE or OL (The Panthers took entirely defensive side of the ball in last years draft so I think will look offensive)
He’s lined at o/u 11.5 – Honestly, I’ve no idea. I think Denver is the most likely landing spot at 9 with the Cowboys at pick 10 likely to take a CB (Patrick Surtain seems the pick touted for them) – Redzone have priced up landing spot for him with the Lions (at pick 7) shortest at 4/1 and they have needs all over the field, so wouldn’t be the biggest surprise. Broncos 5/1 looks good to me though.
First defensive player being Parsons at 7/4 looks a decent price. If he goes to Denver then he’ll be before Surtain (13/10)
Patrick Surtain is 7/4 to be the Cowboys pick at 10 and under 10.5 is 20/21 on Hills for him, so while it’s not Surtain, seems the most sensible option. (Sorry. Not sorry) – You could also take Surtain as the first CB at 1/2 which seems like it’ll land – Jaycee Horn is 9/4 for that market. – If you wanted to get on Surtain another way William Hill are offering 8/13 on him being drafted before Caleb Farley.
Surtain and Horn will both be 1st round CBs, then the likes of Caleb Farley coming off a red-shirt year, Elijah Molden are all projected first rounders, Greg Newsome seems to sneak into the first in a few mocks as well. – Skybet have 3 or fewer at 7/4 and 4 or more at 2/5 – WillHill have o/u 4.5 Cornerbacks with the under at 20/27 – So it seems like there will be 4. If you think otherwise then you’ll be able to get plus money on it with o4.5 at 21/20 on Hills.
Total Safeties in the first round?
From a quick scan around it looks like it will be 1, at most, with Trevon Moehrig going to the Jags at 25 in a couple, Redzone have o/u 0.5 with the over at 2/5, Skybet a little better at 4/9, Hills at 5/13 for at least one to be picked.
Total D-Linemen in the first round?
Not my strong suit so I’ll just quickly go through what’s on offer – o/u4.5 on Hills 5/8 on the under, 13/10 the over. Skybet allow you to choose the exact amount, 2,3,4 (4/6) or fewer and 5 or more (11/10) with the expectation on there being 4 chosen. Redzone are o/u 4.5 (10/13 under and Evens for more than 4 taken)
Total LBs in the first round?
You’re looking at essentially o/u 4.5 on LBs as well, with plus money on the over. 6/5 at RZ and Skybet, and a standout 17/10 at Hills for 5 or more being taken.
Total O-Linemen in the first round?
Other side of the ball and you’re looking at the big lads protecting the QB, Sewell is likely the first one taken, but 1/5 on that happening isn’t worth it, there’s a small chance someone prefers Rashawn Slater (10/3) and there will be more taken before day two with the line at 5.5 on Redzone, and 6.5 on William Hill could be an opportunity for a double win if it hits exactly 6. Over 5.5 at 1/2 and under 6.5 at 4/6 are the options there. Skybet has 7 or more at 5/6, the same as their price for 6 or fewer.
Sewell, Slater, Vera-tucker, Darrisaw, Jenkins seem to be the 5, and then you’re looking at the Chiefs possibly re-loading there as a position of need, the likes of Leatherwood, Eichenburg could sneak in.
Landon Dickerson is an interesting one at 30th or earlier or 31st/later on Redzone – Listed as center, but good at guard as well, it looks like he might slip to the 2nd round. Evens on 31st/later maybe not the worst bet.
Total tight ends in the first round?
It’s Kyle Pitts and no others. 1/5.
What have I personally backed?
This is all after-timing, so won’t help people much.
- Chase first WR. (was 1/2)
- Chase to the Bengals (was 7/4, 11/4)
- Cover bet of Sewell picked in the top 5 at 21/20 (Hills, available now)
- Broncos to draft Micah Parsons (placed today at 5/1 on Redzone)
- Falcons to take Penei Sewell at 20/1 on Skybet (placed today)
I was going to tag the Draft comp to the bottom of this, but it’s a long post already I’ll get something sorted on another page.
Annoyingly it doesn’t seem like runyourpool are offering a pool on it, which means more manual work for myself.