SOURCE: USA Today
The NFL draft can drag at times, especially when your favorite team isn’t on the clock. How do you spice it up? By putting some (hypothetical) money on some prop bets, of course.
The NFL allowed sports books to offer draft prop bets for the first time in 2017, and they’re back in 2018. Here are some tips from Charles Curtis and Steven Ruiz on the bets that could win you money on draft day.
1. Baker Mayfield’s draft position
OVER 6.5 +185
UNDER 6.5 -280
Steven: Mayfield has said he’s not going any lower than fifth, and I believe him. He’s still getting some “first-overall pick” buzz, too. Give me the under, even with the worse odds. Now whether he is worth such a high pick is another story.
Charles: This might be left over from a season of being terrible picking against the spread, but I’ll take the opposite route than what my gut tells me. Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen will be top-5 picks. Mayfield will drop, but not farther than 11 (Miami) or 12 (Buffalo).
2. Lamar Jackson’s draft position
OVER 17.5 -155
UNDER 17.5 +115
Steven: This is a tough one. While I do think Jackson is worth a top-15 pick, I don’t know if NFL teams will agree. But with the better odds for him going before the 18th pick, I’ll roll the dice. Under.
Charles: I’ll also take the under. Arizona is at 15, and although I wonder if the Cardinals trade up, they also might take Jackson there as their QB of the future.
3. Saquon Barkley’s draft position
OVER 4.5 +170
UNDER 4.5 -250
Steven: This one comes down to the Giants, right? If New York wants a quarterback, Barkley will drop out of the top five. Unless, of course, the Browns take him at No. 4. But it’s sounding like Bradley Chubb will be the pick for Cleveland. I say the Giants take their QB of the future and the Browns take the pass rusher. Over.
Charles: Three scenarios come to mind here: The Giants take Barkley with the No. 2 pick, they trade down and someone else takes him, or the Browns end up pairing their No. 1 overall QB with a once-in-a-generation RB in Barkley. Under!
4. How many defensive players selected in 1st round?
OVER 15.5 -105
UNDER 15.5 -135
Steven: I’m counting 12 defensive players who are locks to go in the first. And there are a lot more than four who can sneak into the top-32. I say a late run on receivers and offensive linemen happens and we get the under, though.
Charles: I’ll go under. Seems like a more offense-heavy first round.
5. How many RBs drafted in 1st round?
OVER 1.5 -249
UNDER 1.5 +165
Steven: Barkley is definitely going in the first. From there, you have Derrius Guice and Sony Michel as the other possibilities. There are a bunch of teams with a need at running back, and Guice has been seen as a franchise back (if that even exists) by some analysts. It’s unlikely he’ll slide to the second day. Over.
Charles: I’ll go Over as well, but I think it’s just Barkley and Guice. That means there will be so much value in names like Michel, Nick Chubb ad Rashaad Penny.
6. Number of Alabama players drafted in 1st round?
OVER 3.5 -270
UNDER 3.5 +180
Steven: Minkah Fitzpatrick might be the only stone cold lock here. Calvin Ridley should go in the first, but he could slide. Ronnie Harrison, Da’ron Payne and Rashaan Evans are on the fence. I’ll roll with the better odds and take the under.
Charles: The under seems like a good call. Ridley is a definite first rounder, Fitzpatrick is the best safety in the draft and it seems like Evans could go in the first. Also, here’s an arbitrary but fun fact: In 2011, four Crimson Tide players went in the first. Since then, four Alabama players have been chosen in the opening round in two other years. It doesn’t mean a thing here, but I just thought I’d point that out.
7. How many QBs drafted in first round?
OVER 5.5 +150
UNDER 5.5 -200
Steven: I’m taking the under all the way here. Mason Rudolph is the sixth quarterback with a chance to go in the first, but he doesn’t have enough elite skills to warrant such an investment. Teams will be willing to wait for him.
Charles: Love that under. It’ll be Allen, Darnold, Mayfield, Rosen, Jackson and that’s it.
8. Who will be the 1st overall pick?
SAM DAROLD -180
JOSH ALLEN +175
SAQUON BARKLEY +600
JOSH ROSEN +1800
BAKER MAYFIELD +450
BRADLEY CHUBB +4500
Steven: The odds on Allen are tempting, but Darnold has the most upside in this draft. I can’t see Cleveland passing on that. At +450, Mayfield is tempting but I’m sticking with the safe bet.
Charles: I know what I just said about Mayfield, but I can’t resist throwing some money at +450. That doesn’t mean I think he’ll be the first overall — I agree that Darnold will be the Browns’ guy.
9. Who will be the 2nd overall pick?
SAQUON BARKLEY +115
BRADLEY CHUBB +350
SAM DAROLD +275
JOSH ALLEN +450
JOSH ROSEN +450
BAKER MAYFIELD +1800
LAMAR JACKSON +5000
MASON RUDOLPH +6600
Steven: I’m hedging my first bet by taking Darnold again. If the Browns pass up on him, there’s no way the Giants are. And if hedging isn’t your thing, I’d pick Rosen. New York is going to take him or trade down and swap picks with another QB-needy team. No other move makes sense.
Charles: I fully believe this Barkley-to-the-Giants talk is a big ‘ol smokescreen. If Darnold goes first, Rosen is the pick. If Allen goes first, Darnold is the pick. But remember! I said the Giants could trade down and let someone else pick Barkley. I’ll ultimately go with Rosen as well.
10. Will all the top 3 picks be quarterbacks?
Steven: Yes. Without a doubt. There’s no way the Giants are using the second-overall pick on a running back. This is the best bet of the 10 we’ve picked here.
Charles: Just to disagree with Steven, I’ll say no. But he’s probably right.