2019 NFL Draft Bets: Our Staff’s Favorite Prop Picks
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Clelin Ferrell, Kyler Murray, Byron Murphy
- Will Kyler Murray be the No. 1 overall pick? How many quarterbacks will be selected in Round 1?
- Our analysts break down their favorite bets for the 2019 NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday (8 p.m. ET on ABC).
Our staff has been busy analyzing the 2019 NFL Draft betting market in the lead up to Round 1 on Thursday. (Our resident prop prophet, Matthew Freedman, especially.) And all that work has brought us here.
From Kyler Murray’s and Dwayne Haskins’ draft positions to how many Clemson players will be selected on Day 1 and more, our crew has broken down their seven favorite draft bets.
Let’s dig in.
BlackJack Fletcher: Over 3.5 QBs Selected in Round 1 (-200)
It feels like a fait accompli that Kyler Murray is going No. 1 to Arizona. It would be surprising if the Giants didn’t take a QB somewhere in the first round as well. And some combination of teams will take a shot on the remaining two; the Raiders, Redskins, Dolphins and Bengals are all prime candidates.
Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones will go in the first round. Because if you don’t have a quarterback in this league, you have nothing.
I’d play this up to -350.
Scott Miller: Kyler Murray to Go No. 1 Overall (-350)
Laying this much juice is never fun, but consider: Murray was -2500 at Westgate earlier this week before the book took the prop off the board. They haven’t reposted as of writing, but some books still have odds up, and they’ve actually shortened considerably as the draft draws closer.
No new — or substantial — info seems to be driving the move. In fact, if anything, we’ve gotten a pretty good indication that Murray thinks he’s going No. 1, as he showed up in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon with his family, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It’s hard to see Murray attending the draft in person if he doesn’t feel very good about his chances.
I think this bet has value up to -500 odds, which is equivalent to an 83.3% chance to win.
Travis Reed: Dwayne Haskins’ Draft Position Under 13.5 (-110)
There have been some rumblings that Haskins’ stock is falling heading into the draft, but I’m not buying it. This is 100% a quarterback-driven league, and teams will reach and move up if they think a quarterback can change their franchise.
There are five teams within the top 13 picks that could cash this ticket: The Raiders, Giants, Broncos, Bengals and Dolphins. That doesn’t include teams that might trade up to get the quarterback they covet like the Redskins, or the always present “mystery team.”
I would be really surprised if Haskins falls out of the top 10, much less makes it past Miami at No. 13, so I love the under in this spot. The highest I would take it is -200.
Matthew Freedman: Over 2.5 Clemson Tigers Drafted in Round 1 (+120)
The Tigers won the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship, and now they might see three defensive linemen selected in Round 1: Edge Clelin Ferrell and defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence.
I love the over. I’ve surveyed the six most recent mocks of respected analysts, and in five of them, all three Clemson defensive linemen are selected on Day 1. And in the lone dissenting draft (a two-rounder), the third Tiger is selected at No. 35.
If we look at the average draft position in the mocks for any given Clemson alum, the first Tiger comes off the board at 13.2, the second at 20.7 and the third at 26.8.
At +120, there’s a 45.5% implied probability that at least three Clemson players will be drafted in Round 1, but the true odds I think are closer to 75%, maybe 80%. I’d bet the over down to -250.
Chris Raybon: Byron Murphy First DB Selected (+275)
Greedy Williams is the front runner, but I’m not so sure he should still be such a large favorite. He’s falling in mocks, and there’s a chance no team takes a DB until the Steelers at No. 20 — a team which, as Freedman notes in his most recent mock, might prefer Murphy to Williams due to his more complete skill set.
I also have some action on Deandre Baker at +550. I think he’s a longer shot than Murphy or Williams to be taken first, but some of the more analytics-based teams could find it hard to pass on a corner who shines in Pro Football Focus’ metrics and hasn’t been scored on in more than two years.
Ian Hartitz: Under 4.5 DBs Selected in Round 1 (-134)
Freedman and I discussed the complete slap in the face that this prop truly is during the most recent episode of The Action Network NFL Podcast: There just aren’t many cornerbacks or safeties who have seemingly separated themselves as Day 1 talents aside from Williams and Murphy.
Sure, cornerbacks like Rock Ya-Sin from Temple, Sean Bunting from Central Michigan and Deandre Baker from Georgia have also earned some first-round love among the draft analyst community, but they join Delaware safety Nasir Adderley and Washington safety Taylor Rapp as prospects who are more widely viewed as top-50 picks vs. top-30 picks.
I’d bet this prop up to -150, but any further and I’ll likely just take my chances on Under 5.5 defensive backs at -278.
Katie Richcreek: Marquise Brown First WR Selected (+175)
None of the top wide receivers are locks, so there could definitely be more value on A.J. Brown (+700), who has been the first receiver off the board in some mocks. But I feel more confident in Brown’s chances of being drafted ahead of the favorite, D.K. Metcalf (-140).
I’ve seen Brown tied to the Ravens at No. 22 and to the Eagles at No. 25, either of which could be the first team to draft a receiver. (I’m leaving Washington out because who knows what will happen there.) And if the Ravens opt for, say, Erik McCoy to strengthen the interior of their offensive line for Lamar Jackson, then give me Brown as the first wide receiver off the board courtesy of the Eagles.
I’m sure no one is loving the DeSean Jackson comps more than the team that initially drafted him then traded to bring him back.
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