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5 NFL Draft Prop Bets for Round 1: When Tua Tagovailoa Will Be Drafted, More

5 NFL Draft Prop Bets for Round 1: When Tua Tagovailoa Will Be Drafted, More article feature image

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa

  • The 2020 NFL Draft begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
  • Matthew Freedman shares five of his favorite prop bets for Round 1 of the NFL Draft, including a bet on where Tua Tagovailoa will be picked.

Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft is almost here. The prop market is remarkably robust this year, and that’s great for us.

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 do like a lot of the props out there.

Here are my five favorites worth betting on draft day.

Odds as of Thursday morning and via various legal sportsbooks. Check out our reviews and list of the best promos at books in your state.

Under 0.5 RBs in Round 1 (+150) at FanDuel

Running backs D’Andre Swift (Georgia) and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) are strong prospects, but both have their weaknesses: Swift has never been a high-volume rusher, and Taylor is a pass-catching liability.

Both make more sense in Round 2 than Round 1.

[Easy Money! Get 2-1 Odds on Joe Burrow to Go No. 1 … (Yes, We’re Serious)]

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.

In just 40% of these mocks do we see a running back go off the board in Round 1.

PICK: Under 0.5 RBs Drafted In Round 1 (+150): One unit. Limit +100.
[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Second Overall Pick: Chase Young (-1250) at BetMGM

For the third time in five years, we’re going to see a Buckeyes pass rusher selected with a top-three pick. Like Joey Bosa (No. 3 in 2016) and Nick Bosa (No. 2 in 2019) before him, Young will be the first non-quarterback off the board in his class.

And if circumstances were a little different, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him go No. 1 overall, as edge defender Myles Garrett (2017) did even though his class had three strong quarterback prospects in Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky.

In his standout junior season, Young had 16.5 sacks in 12 games and ranked No. 1 at his position with a 96.1 Pro Football Focus grade. Per PFF: “Young is the best edge prospect we’ve ever scouted.”

The unanimous All-American selection is as close as it gets to a top-two lock.

This line is -3000 at FanDuel and as high as -10000 at PointsBet, so there’s significant line-shopping value at -1250. It’s a lot of juice to lay, but at -1250, Young has a 92.6% implied probability of going No. 2, whereas his true odds are probably closer to 99%.

PICK: Young Drafted No. 2 Overall (-1250): One unit. Limit: -3000.
[Bet now at BetMGM. NJ only.]

Third Overall Pick: Jeff Okudah (+150) at DraftKings

A few sharp drafters have mocked defensive tackle Derrick Brown (Auburn) to the Lions, who could certainly use help on the interior of their defensive line, but Okudah is the strong chalk at No. 3 and too much of a difference-making player and value to forego at this pick.

Last year, the Lions allowed a league-high 503.2 air yards and yards after the catch per game (per, and they traded away No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay this offseason. Even though they signed Desmond Trufant in free agency this offseason, they still need significant help in the secondary.

Okudah is an unanimous All-American selection and easily the top perimeter defender in the class: He held opponents to a passer rating of just 45.3 last year (per PFF).

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jeff Okudah

At the combine he exhibited elite explosiveness with his 41-inch vertical and 135-inch broad jumps, and based on his college production and athleticism, the player to whom Okudah is most comparable as a prospect is Jalen Ramsey (per Player Profiler).

The Lions might desire to trade down two to three spots in order to pick up more draft capital, but I’m doubtful they will be able to find a trade partner: Based on the general market, quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) and Justin Herbert (Oregon) seem likely to fall to picks Nos. 5-6 if the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers simply stay put.

In 85% of the expert mocks I’ve surveyed, Okudah goes No. 3.

PICK: Okudah Drafted No. 3 Overall (+150): One unit. Limit: +100.
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Second CB Drafted: C.J. Henderson (-455) at BetMGM

Entering the combine, Henderson was grouped into a sub-Okudah tier with cornerbacks Kristian Fulton (LSU) and Trevon Diggs (Alabama), but thanks to his strong combine performance, Henderson is now a tier unto himself.

Some teams reportedly even have him ranked ahead of Okudah.

Henderson has No. 1 cornerback potential as a man coverage defender with the size to handle big receivers and the speed to stick with small ones.

Two years from now, this first-team All-SEC standout could be a legitimate shutdown shadow corner whom quarterbacks try to avoid. Of all the perimeter defenders in the class, Henderson might have the smoothest feet.

In 95% of surveyed mocks, Henderson is the No. 2 cornerback selected.

PICK: Henderson No. 2 Cornerback (-455): One unit. Limit: -800.
[Bet now at BetMGM. NJ only.]

Tua Tagovailoa Draft Position: Over 4.5 (-250) at PointsBet

Tagovailoa entered the 2019 college season as the presumptive No. 1 pick, but a potentially career-threatening hip injury in November has drastically changed his draft outlook.

His talent is unquestioned: In his abbreviated junior campaign, Tagovailoa completed 71.4% of his passes and had an elite 13.4 adjusted yards per attempt.

But multiple teams reportedly are worried about Tagovailoa’s health.

He has dealt with all manner of injuries over the past two years — broken finger, sprained knee, strained quad, twisted ankles, dislocated and fractured hip. More than a few NFL evaluators reportedly believe that Tagovailoa is fragile. Brittle. Too small to be a dependable starter.

And that might be the case.

I like Tagovailoa as a rookie pick in dynasty, but his draft stock has plummeted over the past month. In only 5% of surveyed expert mocks does Tagovailoa go before pick No. 5.

PICK: Tagovailoa Over 4.5 -250: One unit. Limit: -500.
[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ and IN only.]

More 2020 NFL Draft Betting Picks

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, part of The Action Network.

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