It’s NFL draft week, and as the NFL prepares to welcome its newest class of athletes, we take a look at the betting markets and try to predict which players will be chosen. The lock of the week is Roger Goodell to be booed when he first goes on stage. DK doesn’t have a market for it, but I’d say the odds there are -10000.
While it’s a foregone conclusion that Alabama’s Bryce Young will be the first player chosen by the Carolina Panthers, there are several franchises that could be troublemakers on the first night of the draft. The Cardinals, Texans, Colts, and Falcons are all under new leadership and might be looking to move around to secure pieces for their future. The Bears just moved down to 9 and look to be building a contender behind Justin Fields in the NFC North. And of course, let’s not forget that Bill Belichick is a lock to trade down from pick 14.
Here are some of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Round 1 of the NFL draft.
Anthony Richardson before CJ Stroud: +285
Richardson picked up a lot of steam following his performance at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day. As the hype builds around him, it also fades around Ohio State’s CJ Stroud. Some mock drafts have him slipping well past 3, and in a QB-needy league, I see a second quarterback being drafted in those first few picks. Are the rumors about his failed test true? I’d guess no, but NFL teams are prone to letting narratives drive their decisions, and I’ll take the rising stock of Richardson ahead of Stroud.
Will Anderson First Defensive Player: +100
Alabama’s Will Anderson is the most talented and high-motor defensive player in this class. He should be a lock for the top 5, and his only contention for defensive players are Georgia’s Jalen Carter, who has character and off the field concerns, and Texas’ Tyree Wilson, who is simply a more raw prospect at this stage in his career and has a rumored medical issue. The Cardinals, Colts, and Seahawks are all great landing spots for Anderson, and I see those teams prioritizing the Alabama Edge over other players in this draft
Christian Gonzalez 1st CB Drafted: +170
The hype around Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez is real, as arguably the most versatile and rangy cornerback in the class. Combining solid discipline with ball skills and a lengthy frame, Gonzalez seems like a future star at the cornerback position. The other tier 1 corner in this class is Devon Witherspoon from Illinois, who might be more pro-ready but has penalty of concerns and is two years Witherspoon’s senior. I’ll take the plus money to have Gonzalez over Witherspoon as the first CB off the board.
Devon Witherspoon O 6.5: -115
With at least three quarterbacks projected, Anderson, Wilson, and now Gonzalez going before Witherspoon, we’re having a tough time fitting him into the top 7 picks. Taking the O 6.5 at -115 odds.
Paris Johnson Jr U 9.5: +100
The Bears have been connected to Johnson as a tackle-needy team with a quarterback who was teammates with Johnson at Ohio State. The Bears have been known to take guys with connections to their team, as evidenced by their selection of Cole Kmet in the 2nd round 2 years ago. I’m willing to bet they’re the ones to take Johnson at 9, and we’ll hit the under here!
Dalton Kincaid First TE: +110
With the Aaron Rodgers trade, this pick gets a little more spicy. I firmly believe the Packers are interested in Kincaid and would take him in the first. They’re desperate for weapons, and it would be the ultimate diss to Rodgers to grab a 10 year offensive weapon in the first round. While I believe Meyer is the better TE, I have confidence in the rise of Kincaid this offseason in him to go off the board.
Bijan Robinson 2nd RB Drafted: +5000
How about this one as a long shot. Given the recent and rapid decline of former first-round RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette, the RB position has been proven to be a less viable investment than other spots. If RBs fall, there is an increased chance a team drafts for fit rather than talent, which would open the door for a Jamyhr Gibbs or Devon Achane to be taken ahead of Robinson in the 1st or 2nd rounds. Merely a speculative play, I’ll put a small amount on Bijan to be the 2nd RB off the board.
Quentin Johnson O 26.5: -155
No receiver has fallen from the graces of the NFL media more than Quentin Johnston this offseason. His lackluster pro-day, combined with concerns about separation and drops may see his stock fall on Thursday night. To me, he profiles as a solid #2 option than the alpha most teams will look to acquire in the first 31 picks. I’ll take the O on 26.5 there.
Under 5.5 OL in 1st Round: +320
I currently have 5 OL projected to go in the 1st round, and with the unknowns at QB/WR/TE and Edge in this draft, I’m not sure any teams will value an O’Cyrus Torrence or Dawand Jones enough to take them on night one.
Let me know what you think about these picks! I’ll be watching the draft live and tweeting out my reactions! Follow me at @JeffGailius for more.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.