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NFL mock draft based on betting handle

We’ve got a 2020 NFL mock draft based on how the public is betting at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Tua Tagovailoa talks with Jerry Jeudy of the Alabama Crimson Tide before the game against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft is one day away, and most of the free world knows that LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is going to be the Cincinnati Bengals pick at No. 1. Washington is a strong bet to draft Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young at No. There are some logical options after, but trades and needs will shake up the draft board, potentially as soon as the Detroit Lions make their decision at No. 3.

Mock drafts are showing plenty of options starting at No. 3, and SB Nation’s mock draft database can offer some clarity on potential picks. We’re going to add our own two cents to the mix, but we’re taking this from a different angle.

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering hundreds of wagering opportunities for the 2020 NFL Draft. You can bet on everything from who will go No. 1 to what position will be the last pick as Mr. Irrelevant. The sportsbook provides updates on what the betting splits are looking like for each wager. We’re going to use that to develop a mock draft for the top ten in the first round.

We’re using betting handle to determine the pick. Total bets is pertinent information, but handle is more useful. Money bet is more useful than total bets since a $1000 bet might tell us more than a $10 bet.

1. Cincinnati Bengals — Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

This is the obvious pick, and no surprise 69 percent of the betting handle for No. 1 overall pick is on him. While 21 percent of wagers are on Burrow, it’s notable that 20 percent are on Young, and 17 percent are on Tagovailoa. I suspect people want to roll the dice on a big upside wager.

2. Washington — Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

It’s interesting that 73 percent of total handle for who will go second overall is on Young — four percent higher than Burrow at No. 1. However, what’s really interesting is that while 28 percent of bets are on young, 43 percent are on Tagovailoa. People seem to either think Washington will move on from Dwayne Haskins, or trade down with a team looking to draft a quarterback.

3. Detroit Lions — Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions are a favorite of many to move down from the third pick, especially with Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert the x-factors in what could shake up this draft. Okudah is the favored cornerback in a big way, and the betting splits reflect that. 66 percent of total handle on who will go third overall is on Okudah. He’s getting 26 percent of total bets, while Tagovailoa is getting 24 percent. It’s worth noting this wager is on who will go third, not specifically to the Lions (in case of a trade).

4. New York GiantsIsaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Lions pick is tricky because of a potential trade, while this pick is tricky because the Giants have several areas of need. DK Sportsbook is offering a prop bet on which player the Giants will select with their first draft pick. 36 percent of the handle gives Simmons a plurality, followed by 27 percent to offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, and 22 percent to offensive tackle Jedrick Wills.

5. Miami DolphinsTua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

DK Sportsbook is offering a wager on which team will draft Tagovailoa, and the Dolphins are leading betting by a sizable margin. 44 percent of the handle is on the Dolphins, followed by the Lions at 21 percent and then the Patriots at 9 percent.

6. Los Angeles ChargersJustin Herbert, QB, Oregon

DK Sportsbook is also offering a wager on which team will draft Herbert, and the Chargers are leading betting here by a sizable margin as well. 45 percent of the handle is on the Chargers, followed by the Dolphins at 24 percent and then the Jaguars at 7 percent.

7. Carolina PanthersDerrick Brown, DT, Auburn

This is where things get a little more complicated in our mock draft. You can bet on the playing position of the Panthers first draft pick, and right now defensive lineman and linebacker are favored at +125. In going through some specific “who will pick player X” odds, Brown shows up on our radar. The Lions are getting the biggest percent of handle at 40 percent, but the Panthers are a close second at 37 percent, followed by the Cardinals at 14 percent. Brown has been showing up in some Lions mock drafts, but Okudah remains the heavy favorite. This would fill a need for the Panthers.

8. Arizona CardinalsTristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

You can bet on the playing position of the Cardinals first draft pick, and offensive tackle is the favorite at -200. In going through some specific “who will pick player X” odds, Wirfs is of note. The Giants are getting bet heavily, with 64 percent of the Wirfs handle on the Giants. The Cardinals are next at 20 percent, followed by the Jets at 5 percent. In SB Nation’s mock draft database, Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills leads the way in 33.7 percent of mocks, while Wirfs is next at 28.6 percent.

9. Jacksonville JaguarsJerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Jaguars could end up stealing a big name from a team behind them with this pick. The Jaguars are second in total handle to draft Jeudy at 26 percent, behind the Raiders at 27 percent. Defensive line currently has the best odds for the Jaguars position of choice at +140, while wide receiver is a longer shot at +650. However, Jeudy is showing up in some Jaguars mock drafts, so there could be some value here.

10. Cleveland BrownsMekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Offensive lineman has the best odds for the Browns first pick, favored at -200. It’s not surprising considering Browns mock drafts are dominated by offensive tackles. In looking through the offensive linemen, Wirfs is the most heavily bet with 60 percent of the hand to be the first off the board. Becton is next, followed by Georgia product Andrew Thomas. And so, Becton is the pick to close out the top 10 of our NFL mock draft.

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