Betting on the NFL Draft
by Matt Severance - 04/23/2009
Without sounding like a homer for Bodog, I do want to give kudos to the site for some very inventive NFL Draft props. It's a nice fix for those of us having football withdrawal and having already scoured all the futures options.
I'd love to go over all of the props (last guy in green room is a hilarious bet option), but that's just not practical. With that said, here's a look at a few of the options for betting on the NFL Draft on Bodog and a piece or two of advice.
I like the "Who will be the second player drafted" bet because I think it provides excellent value on Mark Sanchez. The former USC quarterback's stock is skyrocketing, with teams like the Broncos, Jets and Redskins, among others, trying to trade up to get him. Seattle may be poised to get him at No. 4, so all the teams who want Sanchez likely would have to jump ahead of Seattle. I would like Sanchez even more as an option at No. 3, but Bodog doesn't provide that.
Bodog lists Sanchez at 12/1 to go second, and that's worth a few dollars. I definitely don't expect the Rams to take him, but someone could jump into that spot because the Rams have made it clear they are ready to deal. And some have Sanchez as No. 1 on their board.
I also believe there is tremendous value in putting some money down on B.J. Raji at third overall at 16/1. He is by far the best defensive tackle prospect in the draft, and those failed drug test rumors were proven to be just that. He stock also is on the rise, and teams will likely need to get ahead of the No. 5 Browns to get Raji. It's doubtful the Chiefs take him at No. 3, since they got DT Glenn Dorsey last year, but Kansas City also is shopping its pick.
The teams that don't land Sanchez probably will be looking at Kansas State QB Josh Freeman in Round 1, and Bodog lists four clubs with odds to get Freeman: N.Y. Jets (20/21), Tampa Bay Bucs (5/4), Denver Broncos (7/2) and Washington Redskins (5/1). Obviously, the advantage of betting on Denver is that the Broncos have two first-round picks. I don't see the Redskins grabbing Freeman, because he is too much like current starter Jason Campbell.
New York picks two spots ahead of Tampa, so if Freeman doesn't go at No. 17 to the Jets, I think there's no question he goes at No. 19 to Tampa Bay (although Denver's second pick as at No. 18). But at 20/21 for the Jets, it's just not worth it. If you want to put money down here, the best value is Denver, followed by Tampa Bay, which I think lands Freeman.
Perhaps the best value bet involving first-round picks is which running back will go first, Georgia's Knowshon Moreno or Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells. I would have said Wells would go first, and he is the Bodog favorite to do so at -190, but SI.com is reporting that there are lingering foot issues for Wells and that teams are backing off; in fact, Don Banks' latest mock draft on SI.com has Wells dropping to the end of the first round and even behind UConn's Donald Brown. Thus Moreno and his +150 might be a great bet.
I also love the prop on what round West Virginia QB Pat White will go. Bodog lists the second round as the favorite at 5/7, but I believe White is a third-round lock. I'm not just saying that because White's grade is in the third round (more as a receiver/Wildcat-type offensive threat) but in that you get great value at 17/10 and there are four extra third-round picks this year in the form of compensatory picks. Teams are much more likely to take a project starting in the third round with the comfort of calling it a "second-day pick."
Enjoy draft day and take solace in the fact that the first NFL exhibition game is only about 3 ½ months away.