2020 NFL Draft Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Top Round 1 Value Bets
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Looking for some value bets for the NFL Draft? Our breaks down their favorite bets for Round 1.
- These picks include total running backs to be drafted, Jalen Hurts' draft position and more.
The 2020 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. ET.
Odds for the draft have been posted for weeks and some numbers have moved quite a bit, but our NFL analysts still think there’s some good value out there and picked out three of their favorite value bets for Round 1:
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The Bet: Under 0.5 RBs selected in Round 1 +130 (bet365).
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 50% of these mocks is a running back selected in Round 1.
There are only three backs who have a chance of being selected in Round 1: D’Andre Swift (Georgia), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) and J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State). But all of them have significant issues. Swift is a great receiver, but he’s never been a high-volume rusher. Taylor is an outright negative in the passing game. And Dobbins might be too small to be an NFL lead back.
Given the questions surrounding the top three, the relative strength of the backs likely to go immediately after them (Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Cam Akers) and the league’s continued shift toward the passing game, there’s little reason for any team to take a running back in Round 1.
I’d bet this down to +120.
The Bet: Jeff Okudah to be picked No. 3 overall +130 (FanDuel)
It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Joe Burrow and Chase Young will be the first two picks. The only questions surrounding the first five picks seem to be: Will the Lions trade down? Who will be the first OL drafted? Who will be the second QB drafted?
Jeff Okudah is the consensus No. 1 CB, and it’s highly likely the Lions will draft him if they keep their third pick. I’m speculating the Lions end up keeping the pick given they do need a cornerback but also due to the uncertainty of the first-ever online NFL Draft.
I think it’s even more likely they take the safe road with the third-overall pick and not attempt to make any aggressive moves until they, and the rest of the league, adapt to the online draft in real-time.
The Bet: Cowboys draft defensive player -300 (FanDuel)
I am willing to eat the chalk for this bet as I make the line closer to -500.
I can’t see any way Dallas doesn’t go with a defender with their first pick based on positioning and how loaded the team is on offense.
The price is steep but value is value.
The Bet: Jalen Hurts Over 55.5 -110 (DraftKings)
All of the various Tua Tagovailoa props will be more popular, but taking the over on his former Alabama teammate could be the best value in the board.
On average, Hurts goes off the board at pick No. 94 in ESPN’s model, and he lasts into the third around in pretty much every mock draft out there.