2020 NFL Draft Odds & Picks: How to Bet the Top 3 Draft Picks
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow interviews during the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine.
Now that the NFL free agency market is starting to settle down, it’s time to take a serious look at the 2020 NFL draft betting market.
Last year, I went 54-29 (+17.7 units) on draft props. There’s no guarantee I’ll have similar success this year, but I’m pleased with the bets I’ve already made.
2020 NFL Draft: No. 1 Overall Pick
- Joe Burrow: -2200
- Chase Young: +1200
- Tua Tagovailoa: +1900
- Andrew Thomas: +2700
- Justin Herbert: +3600
- Jacob Eason: +4300
- Jake Fromm: +4300
- Jeffrey Okudah: +4300
- CeeDee Lamb: +6500
- Jerry Jeudy: +6500
In late December, PointsBet had Louisiana State quarterback and Ohio native Joe Burrow to be the No. 1 pick at -286, which is where I first bet it. (Thanks to Action Network executive editor Scott Miller for pointing it out me.)
Since then, I have added to the position, betting on Burrow at -500 and once again at -1000.
When it comes to projecting the NFL draft, I take a “wisdom of the crowds” approach by surveying as many reputable mock drafts as possible.
I find that these drafts, created by mockers with established records of success, collectively give me a good sense of the realistic range of outcomes.
And in not one of these mocks — at least in no mock I’ve seen since January — is anyone other than Burrow slotted in at No. 1.
I don’t like laying a lot of juice, but Burrow’s -2200 odds carry a 95.7% implied probability of being selecting No. 1, and I think his true odds are closer to 99%.
You can’t bet a lot of NFL props, and everyone must make their own decisions as to how much juice they’re willing to lay, but I think there’s still value at this line.
My Pick for No. 1
Joe Burrow -2200: 2.2 units. Limit: -3000.
2020 NFL Draft: No. 2 Overall Pick
- Chase Young: -330
- Tua Tagovailoa: +210
- Jeffrey Okudah: +1700
- Jedrick Wills Jr.: +2000
- Andrew Thomas: +10000
- Justin Herbert: +10000
That Burrow isn’t even a bettable option at No. 2 suggests how likely he is to go No. 1.
At No. 2, most mockers have locked in Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young for months, although Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa shouldn’t be discounted.
A case can be made for Tagovailoa (hip), who has reportedly looked good in his medical checkups, and just last year, the Cardinals took Kyler Murray at No. 1 after drafting Josh Rosen at No. 10 in 2018.
If the Cardinals felt as if they could discard Rosen after just one season, the Redskins at No. 2 might feel as if they could do the same with 2019 No. 15 pick Dwayne Haskins.
But there’s no certainty that Tagovailoa will make a full recovery, Young is a strong prospect at No. 2, and Haskins probably did enough as a rookie to ensure he opens the season as the starter.
In only two mocks have I seen Tagovailoa go No. 2 instead of Young — and they were done by writers who tend to go off the board before April just to experiment and be provocative.
Young’s -330 odds suggest that he has a 76.7% chance of going No. 2, but I think his true odds are closer to 85%.
And you can find this line at DraftKings at -305. Remember, it’s always worth it to shop around for the best line.
My Pick for No. 2
Chase Young -305: One unit. Limit: -500.
2020 NFL Draft: No. 3 Overall Pick
- Tua Tagovailoa: -160
- Chase Young: +220
- Isaiah Simmons: +500
- Jeffrey Okudah: +550
- Jedrick Wills Jr.: +1500
- Justin Herbert: +1900
- Joe Burrow: +6000
This is where the draft starts to get intriguing.
While most mocks have Burrow and Young locked in at Nos. 1-2, at No. 3 we see a sharp split.
In all the non-“Tagovailoa at No. 2” mocks — so in almost every mock — either Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah goes No. 3.
And it’s split pretty evenly between the two, with a slight lean to Okudah, whom I think is the likelier to go No. 3.
And given their current odds, they collectively offer value as a packaged bet.
In all of the “Tagovailoa at No. 2” mocks, Young goes No. 3 — but I doubt the Redskins will take Tagovailoa at No. 2, and I also doubt a team will offer them enough in a trade to entice them away from Young at No. 2.
So I doubt Young will fall to No. 3.
And it’s notable that in not one draft I’ve seen has Tagovailoa been No. 3.
The Lions hold the pick, and while they might trade it or be tempted to draft Tagovailoa and develop him behind long-time starter Matthew Stafford, I think they’re likely to keep the pick and use it to draft a player they hope will be a difference-making defender.
The Lions have a defense-focused head coach in Matt Patricia, and no immediate need at quarterback. I expect Okudah or Simmons to be the pick at No. 3.
My Pick for No. 3
Jeffrey Okudah +550: One unit. Limit: +250.
Isaiah Simmons +500: One unit. Limit: +250.
Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, part of The Action Network.