The 2012 NFL Draft is approaching quickly. For many franchises, this year is a pivotal turning point in the future direction of their franchises. For the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins, their fates have been almost decided since the end of the 2011 regular season.
Listed on the following slides are my top five prop bets for the upcoming NFL Draft. I also listed three more potential bets that can be considered as well and sample unit sizes and justifications.
Current Line: Over 3.5 (+160)/Under 3.5 (-230)
My prediction: Over 3.5 (+160)
This bet is an interesting one. First we know that two quarterbacks will be taken within the first two picks of the NFL Draft: Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
Ryan Tannehill, the Texas A&M quarterback will likely be a top-10 pick Thursday evening. Although I have my doubts as to whether or not he will succeed in the NFL, he will be a first-round pick guaranteed in the NFL Draft.
If Ryan Tannehill is gone by the end of the top 10 picks, the next potential first round quarterback picks are Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State University and Brock Osweiler of Arizona State University.
Although I disagree that Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler should be first-round picks on Thursday night, another team might be forced to take one earlier than anticipated to fill the void at the quarterback position.
In my opinion, I can see Brandon Weeden going as early as 22nd overall to the Cleveland Browns, or possibly as late as 31st to the team that trades up for the New England Patriot’s second pick.
For this, I am fine with wagering 2 units on this bet to win 3.2 units.
Current Line: Over 36.5 (-200)/Under 36.5 (+150)
My prediction: Under 36.5 (+150)
As I explained in Prop Bet 1, I feel that Brandon Weeden is the clear cut favorite to be the fourth quarterback off the board in the draft. I personally feel like he will go in the first round, but I am pretty confident, he will be selected before the 37th pick.
Yes, this bet couples with the first bet, where if you are wrong with Prop Bet 1, you will most likely be wrong with Prop Bet 2, however I feel like the risk is well worth the reward at the current line.
For this, I am wagering 1 unit on this bet to win 1.5 units.
Current Line: Over 8 (-150)/Under 8 (+110)
My prediction: Under 8 (+110)
This is my favorite prop bet out of this list for multiple reasons. First, is that the Miami Dolphins pick at the eighth pick overall. Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins owner, is reportedly in love with Ryan Tannehill, and there is not a coincidence in my mind that the former Texas A&M head coach was hired as the Miami Dolphin’s offensive coordinator position.
If Stephen Ross likes him, the latest Ryan Tannehill will go is No. 8 overall. Since this prop bet is for 8 instead of what I think it should be set at of 7.5 with a steeper price to pay for the over, the odds makers believe that 8 is the farthest he will fall and I agree completely.
Now let’s consider the two scenarios that I listed.
Scenario 1: Stephen Ross takes him at eighth overall. Your prop bet is considered a draw and you lose zero dollars as it is a draw.
Scenario 2: A team decides it really wants Tannehill and trades up to Jacksonville’s pick at seven overall for the position and you win the prop bet. Also, if Miami really likes Tannehill, they may even trade up with the St. Louis Rams at sixth overall or Tampa Bay Buccaneers at fifth overall to pick him themselves.
Whatever happens in this prop bet, you have an expected value that is positive. Let’s say there is a 50 percent chance somebody trades up for him, you win 50 percent of the time at the current line of +110. If nobody trades up, then he gets selected at eighth overall and you net zero profit.
Conclusion: Positive expected return.
For this, I am wagering 3 units on this bet to win 3.3 units.
Current Line: Cleveland Browns (-300)/Any Other Team (+200)
My prediction: Cleveland Browns (-300)
The Cleveland Browns have received a lot of slack recently for trading out of their draft position to acquire more picks. They are seen as a team not “trying” to win right now or a team that is “too cheap” to pay for premium players.
I disagree strongly with these statements as I believe their trade last year from sixth overall to 27th with the Atlanta Falcons was a genius move and already has helped turn their franchise around. However, top players may not think this way.
With that in mind, many Cleveland Browns fans have been outspoken about not trading the pick and taking the best player available on the draft board. This is the route I believe the Cleveland Browns will take and will not trade out of the pick.
For this, I am wagering 3 units to win 1 unit.
Note: Yes, risking 3 units to win 1 unit seems like a lot, but if you win this bet your rate of return is 25 percent for this venture. Not many stock traders or investment bankers can promise this rate. Take the money while you can!
Current Line: Trent Richardson (-200)/Ryan Tannehill (+150)/Justin Blackmon (+425)/Morris Claiborne (+600)
My prediction: Trent Richardson (-200)
In the AFC North one thing is certain: Have a good ground game is the key to success. The defenses are just too good for any offense to be one dimensional.
I see the Browns deciding between Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon. I think Trent Richardson is the better prospect, and I think he will be the most likely pick in this position.
Although Ryan Tannehill could be considered to fill the quarterback void, I do not think the Browns will take him because I have read from multiple sources that the Browns prefer Brandon Weeden with their 22nd pick (acquired from the Atlanta Falcons) over Tannehill with the fourth overall selection.
For this, I am wagering 2 units to win 1 unit.
Prop Bet 6: Who will be the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft?
Current Line: Matt Kalil (+750)/Morris Claiborne (-180)/Stephon Gilmore (+250)/Trent Richardson (+175)
My prediction: Morris Claiborne (-180)
Morris Claiborne is too good of a prospect to pass up, and I think Matt Kalil and Trent Richardson will both be gone by this point in the draft at third overall and fourth overall, respectively.
For this, I am wagering 1.8 units to win 1 units.
Prop Bet 7: Who will be the third overall pick in the NFL Draft?
Current Line: Matt Kalil (-175)/Morris Claiborne (+105)/Justin Blackmon (+425)/Riley Reiff (+1000)
My prediction: Matt Kalil (-175)
Matt Kalil is the best prospect on the board that fills the biggest need for the Minnesota Vikings. There is a rumor they are trying to shop the pick to get similar value that the St. Louis Rams received for the second overall pick, but that will most likely not happen and the smart move is to take the best offensive tackle on the board.
For this, I am wagering 1.75 units to win 1 units.
Prop Bet 8: How many WR’s will be selected in the first round?
Current Line: Over 3.5 (-350)/Under 3.5 (+225)
My prediction: Over 3.5 (-350)
This bet would be much higher, but the line is really high, and I would rather use my limited bankroll on the other five props listed above.
Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, and Kendall Wright will be first-round selections. I believe Stephen Hill will be too and even possibly Alshon Jeffery with a strong showing at his pro day workout.
For this, I am wagering 1.75 units to win 0.5 units.
The NFL Draft is a very exciting time for all teams, fans and sports enthusiasts overall. The NFL Draft represents much more than a gateway to the NFL.
The NFL Draft represents hope, mingled with fear, exhilaration and pure speculation for all parties. It really is the most underrated day in sports!
Good luck with all of your bets! Thank you in advance for all of your comments and questions.