I will take a look at the quarterback position on its own for an NFL draft betting story also here at Doc’s, but today let’s look at a few of the first-round prop odds available on Bodog – and the site has dozens of draft props available. Of course the draft starts Thursday in prime-time this year, so if you are planning to get those bets down don’t wait much longer.
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The Top 3 NFL Draft predictions seem to be a lock: Sam Bradford, Ndumakong Suh and Gerald McCoy. Then things should get interesting. The Washington Redskins currently have the No. 4 pick, and they might be very eager to move that because they have an NFL-low four picks in this draft. If the Skins stay put, most experts believe they will target an offensive lineman to help keep new QB Donovan McNabb upright. Thus, Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung and Oklahoma’s Trent Williams are the two Bodog favorites to go No. 4 at 20/23 and 10/11, respectively. Most experts say it will be Okung.
Don’t rule out a team like perhaps Buffalo or Cleveland moving up to this spot to grab Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, who actually is graded higher than Bradford on Mel Kiper’s board (if that matters). Clausen seems like good betting value at 6/1 to go No. 4, but no way the Skins take him.
One of my other favorite prop bets is who will go No. 8 because that’s where the Raiders sit, and you absolutely never know what Al Davis will do (redraft Jim Plunkett?). I could see Davis taking a high-risk, high-reward player such as Georgia Tech DE/LB Derrick Morgan, who is 11/2 on Bodog to go No. 8. Maybe he takes Clausen, although even that would be shocking for the Raiders.
Two other props I like are the total amount of wide receivers/tight ends to go in the first round and the number of running backs.
Let’s start with the backs first, because it seems like a really weak group this season – Bodog lists the total of first-rounders at just 1.5. Obviously Clemson’s C.J. Spiller is a first-round lock. So in reality you will be betting here on whether you think Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews stays in the first round, and he is certainly on that bubble. Most of the major sites’ experts do have Mathews going in Round 1, either to Houston at No. 20 or San Diego at No. 28. But if you look at the teams drafting from No. 20 on, only the Texans and Chargers seem even remotely interested in a tailback, so you would be taking your chances with those two teams only. The ‘under’ is an excellent price at +300, so I would go that route compared to -400 for the ‘over’ 1.5.
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As for the receivers and tight ends, Bodog lists the total 2.5 with the ‘over’ and ‘under’ both at -115. Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant is a lock for Round 1 and nearly every mock draft I can find has Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham as a first-rounder. The only other possible first-round pick among this group would be Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas. Would the Baltimore Ravens at No. 25 be interested despite having added Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth? I don’t see it (the Rams might snap up Thomas at the start of Round 2 to give Sam Bradford someone to grow with) and don’t see any other receiver-needy teams following the Ravens in Round 1. Take the ‘under’ here.