Ian Hartitz just recently published a guide to the 2018 NFL combine’s superlative prop bets, and I want to follow up quickly on a discrepancy he highlighted between some of the lines posted at various books. Here’s what Ian wrote :

The only matching superlative prop on both sites is whether a player will break the NFL combine 40 record. One book offers -250 No and +200 Yes. The other is much more confident Ross’ record will stand, offering -750 No and +475 Yes.

As of writing (Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 10:30 pm ET), these lines are still available.

Depending on how you feel about the possibility of someone breaking John Ross‘ 40-yard dash combine record of 4.22 seconds, you can take advantage of the line disparity in a few ways. One of them entails literally making free money. It’s not a lot — but are you the type of person who turns down free money?

1. Bet the Better Line

As Ian points out in our piece on the top players to watch at the combine, there are a few players who might have a shot at breaking the 40 record, such as Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and North Carolina State running back Nyheim Hines. If you think that someone has a reasonable chance to break the record, make sure you take the bet with the better line.

Of course, only eight combine participants since 2006 have run the 40 under 4.3 seconds, and Chris Johnson‘s mark of 4.24 seconds stood for nine years before Ross broke it last year. In the same sense, if you think it’s highly unlikely that someone will break the record, be sure to grab the friendlier line,

2. Freeroll the +475 Yes

Let’s say that you lean slightly toward yes, but you don’t have enough conviction in the bet to put any money it. No problem: You can freeroll your action on the +475 Yes by placing a corresponding bet on the -250 No. Here’s how it works.

  • Place $100 on No at -250 to win $40.
  • Place $40 on Yes at +475 to win $190.

If the record is not broken, the $40 won will cover the $40 lost. If the record is broken, the $190 won will cover the $100 lost, leaving $90 of profit. In this way, you can get exposure to the upside of a record-breaking performance without needing to put any money at risk.

3. Arbitrage the Lines

If you have no lean one way or the other, you can still make money on this prop — free money. Here’s how.

  • Place $100 on No at -250 to win $40.
  • Place $24.35 on Yes at +475 to win $115.66

If the record is not broken, you will win $40 and lose $24.35, netting $15.65. If the record is broken, you will win $115.66 and lose $100, netting $15.66. And if you want to lean in one direction or the other with the bet while still locking in a profit, you can do that too by adjusting the amount you bet.

Bottom line: Bet the combine, and keep these general strategies in mind whenever you see big discrepancies across sportsbooks.


Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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