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How To Bet the No. 3 Pick In the 2021 NFL Draft (aka Mac Jones to the 49ers)

How To Bet the No. 3 Pick In the 2021 NFL Draft (aka Mac Jones to the 49ers) article feature image

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones

A couple of weeks ago the 49ers traded for the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and since then, people have speculated about which quarterback San Francisco plans to select with that pick.

  • Justin Fields (Ohio State)
  • Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
  • Mac Jones (Alabama)

I think they should select either Fields or Lance, but I doubt that happens.

In my recent post-free agency mock draft, I have the 49ers taking Jones at No. 3. And I think you should bet on that happening.

Last year, I was 124-88-1 (+26.2 units) betting the NFL draft and the No. 6 mocker in the FantasyPros accuracy contest. In 2019, I was 54-29 (+17.7 units) on the draft and was also a top-20 mocker in the FantasyPros accuracy contest and Mock Draft Database contest.

Mac Jones No. 3 to 49ers

Right now, there are five sportsbooks through which you can bet on Jones either going No. 3 or going to the 49ers.

Since the 49ers traded up for the No. 3 pick, I view these bets as being effectively the same.

I already have bets at all these books at plus money.

H/t to @amicsta: Schefter on ESPN Radio – Mac Jones to 49ers at No. 3 looks very likely.

If Daniel Jeremiah & Adam Schefter are both on it, I'm all in & think anything better than +100 is bettable.

No. 3: +125 DK, +140 FD, +120 BetMGM, +135 PB
To SF: +180 FB

1 unit each.

— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 6, 2021

After most of these books shifted to -200, I put another bet in at -125 at Fox Bet, which has been incredibly slow to move the line.

Here’s the thing: I still think there’s a lot of value in the market on Jones to the 49ers at No. 3.

Not all that long ago, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson was -200 to go No. 2. Now he is -1000 to -2000 at most sportsbooks.

We know that the Jets are going to take a quarterback, but they haven’t come right out and said that they’re taking Wilson. Everyone just assumes that they will draft him — based primarily on what NFL insiders like Adam Schefter and Daniel Jeremiah are saying.

And his odds have moved accordingly, presumably in line with the action that the books have taken.

I think we will see similar line movement for Jones in the next few weeks. Even a few days from now, -200 might be a price you’d love to find in the market.

On top of that — aside from trying to get ahead of line movement — I think Jones is likely to be the pick.

Adam Schefter & Daniel Jeremiah: 49ers are taking Mac Jones at No. 3.

49ers fans & writers of various 49ers blogs: YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 7, 2021

Many 49ers fans and writers are skeptical, but Jones is the type of quarterback who head coach Kyle Shanahan has had success with in the past.

On top of that — and this really is the key for me — both Schefter and Jeremiah think Jones is the guy. Two independent insiders working for two different media companies — Schefter at ESPN and Jeremiah at NFL Network — have both reached this conclusion.

In Jeremiah’s most recent mock draft, released just yesterday, he has Jones going No. 3.

Mac Jones as a top 3 draft pick? Is he better than Justin Fields or Trey Lance?@BuckyBrooks says on @MoveTheSticks that Jones is like Iron Man, but what happens when he takes off the suit? 🤖


Apple ➡️

Spotify ➡️

— NFL Podcasts (@NFL_Podcasts) April 6, 2021

And on Tuesday, Schefter — who to that point had been somewhat reserved with his expectations for the No. 3 pick — said unequivocally when asked, “Oh, it will be Mac Jones.”

Snippet of audio from the DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg show this morning

Adam confidently proclaims Mac will be the pick, then details the 49ers plans

— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) April 6, 2021

Schefter didn’t hedge at all. He didn’t say, “I’m hearing from sources …” He didn’t say, “I would not be surprised if …” He just put it out there, as if there’s no doubt in his mind.

Schefter is rarely wrong about anything to do with the NFL.

Jeremiah is rarely wrong about NFL draft rumors, especially when he goes out on a limb.

What do you think the odds are that both of them are wrong in a big spot like this? This is the kind of thing that’s hard to estimate with any certainty, but maybe 10% at the very most? And even 10% feels high.

Translated: I think there’s at least a 90% chance that Schefter and Jeremiah are right.

That’s what I’m betting on. And if I’m wrong, at least I’ll be wrong on the side of the insiders who tend to be right.

At -138 (Fox Bet), -200 (DraftKings/BetMGM/PointsBet) and -210 (FanDuel), the implied odds of Jones going No. 3 to the 49ers are respectively 58%, 66.7% and 67.7%. And that means we have a long way to go before this prop loses value.

I’m not going to bet any more on this, because I already got in good at plus money and 6.25 units feels like enough, but there will be value in this line to at least -500.

Honestly, I wanted to write -1000 in that last sentence, but my false sense of humility forced me put -500 instead.

Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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