NFL Draft Preview and Best Bet

Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warms up.  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP
Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warms up. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

With the NFL Draft happening later in the week I take a look at the event as a whole and give you my best bet of the night.

Taking place in Cleveland there’s a jump back to reality after the virtual draft of last season being hosted from Roger Goodells’ basement, there will be fans in attendance to add to the atmosphere as the world transitions back to some sense of normality.

Goodell will be there in person ready to hug the newly minted rookies and give them their jerseys. It’s going to be a strange affair compared to a standard year with many of the predicted first round picks choosing to stay at home and celebrate their moment with family rather than travel to Ohio led by Trevor Lawrence with the expected first pick staying home.

Every year the range of markets available increases and that will continue while sports betting is expanding across the states, so I’ll have a look at some of the main markets.

First Overall Pick

There’s no value here, Trevor Lawrence is BEST PRICED -5000 at the leading online sportsbooks.

Second Overall Pick

Not much value here either, everyone seems to know it’s going to be Zach Wilson, best priced -2000 for him.

Third Overall Pick

This is where things get a little more interesting. It has fluctuated between Mac Jones and Justin Fields and at the moment seems to be going back towards Jones, then overnight there was news leaked that the 49ers are choosing between Jones and Lance. While that could be a smokescreen, it has put me off Fields as the selection now. If you wanted Jones you can get -225 on him at Pointsbet and +200 on Lance at most top rated sportsbooks.

First Non-QB

It’s fairly certain the top 3 will be QBs, so the first non-QB will either be at 4 or 5. The Falcons have options, if Fields is still on the board they should get a good offer to move, if not they might take him themselves to play behind Ryan for a year or two. Pitts is the favorite at the moment, but if they don’t go QB then it will be Sewell or more likely Chase to the Bengals at 5. Pitts -150, Chase now 2nd at +260 at Bet365 and Sewell +500 with Unibet. I like Chase at the price, I’m fairly sure the Bengals are taking him.

First Defensive Player

I wrote an article about Micah Parsons last week and whether he’d be the first defensive player. I still think he’s the value at a best price of +400. If the Broncos don’t take QB at 9, then I think they take him. If not it’s likely Patrick Surtain at 10 to the Cowboys, best price of -125 over at Bet365

First Player of Each Position

There’s a market out there for most position groups now, but the value isn’t there for me to consider most of them. OL, CB, LB, WR, Safety are all short, and I agree with the favorite in each case. First RB draft being Najee Harris seems likely, but it’s always a tough position to guess, however I don’t think the price on Travis Etienne is good enough for a 25% chance.

You can bet on which side of the ball each team will choose in the first round.

Will “Specific Team” Choose Offense or Defense?

Over at Pointsbet you’ve got the option of offense or defense for every team with their first pick.

I think there’s an opportunity on some of these but there’s one I will be backing, the Baltimore Ravens are plus money to take an offensive player. With their need for pass-catchers, and after trading Orlando Brown to the Chiefs they’ve now got two first round picks. I think they’ll be taking WR and OL with those picks (these are the two shortest prices on markets where you can choose a specific position), both offensive players, so getting +105 at Draftkings for Offense looks good to me.

Players to be Drafted Over/Under a Certain Pick.

With the draft being largely information based there’s always some value on these if you get on at the right time.

I don’t believe Travis Etienne will be drafted in the first round, so over pick 33.5 at -115 with William Hill should land. Jaylen Waddle is now odds-on to be taken before Devonta Smith, but the better selection on him would be Waddle drafted under pick 11.5 at -135 with Draftkings. I think there’s a good chance the Dolphins or Lions take him at 6 or 7.

So there’s a decent selection of picks to choose from, my favorite for night one of the 2021 NFL Draft?

Baltimore Ravens 1st pick to be offense +105 with Draftkings