Best Prop Bets to Make Before the NFL Draft Kicks-Off on Thursday!
Odds are courtesy of TopBet!
Who will be selected number one overall?
For the longest time, the two names we heard floated most for Cleveland’s top pick were Sam Darnold (-260) and Josh Allen (+150).
There’s a late rumor involving Baker Mayfield (no odds listed on TopBet) but we’re not buying it. If anything, Cleveland is just baiting a team — one actually in love with Mayfield — into a trade. It’ll take a king’s ransom to move up to number one, and we’re not here to play what ifs
Back to Darnold and Allen. Darnold is the safer selection and possesses all the characteristics teams look for in a franchise quarterback. Whereas Allen, with superior size and arm strength, is the “upside” pick. His numbers at mid-level Wyoming were forgettable, but his ceiling is higher than any other prospect.
Honestly, you should bet both here. However, if you can make only one wager, Allen is your guy. Not because we think he’s a better player (we don’t), but the Browns are going to do what they do best — make a colossal mistake. Cleveland’s brass will somehow overlook Allen’s 56-percent completion rate against middling competition and still find a reason to pick him over the far more accomplished Darnold.
Pick: Josh Allen (+150)
Will top 3 picks all be quarterbacks?
It’s almost a foregone conclusion the Browns will go quarterback, and so will the Jets at number three. However, the Giants at two is the wildcard.
Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger at 37, but New York has bigger holes to fill after a disastrous 3-13 season. Chief among them is giving Manning and Odell Beckham support in the running game. Last season, they finished seventh-worst on the ground — a slight improvement over a 29th overall rushing attack in 2016.
Considering what Tom Brady and Drew Brees are doing, it’s not unimaginable for Manning to last another three seasons at least. One sure-fire way to prolong his career is to draft a running back to take the burden off him.
That’s why Saquon Barkley makes so much sense here. A generational talent like Barkley is long overdue at the position for New York. The franchise hasn’t had a running back top 1,000 yards rushing since 2012 and its last elite player was Tiki Barber over a decade ago.
While it’s true running backs are dime a dozen, the Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman did use last year’s ninth overall pick on Christian McCaffrey while in Carolina. By and large, Barkley blows McCaffrey out of the water.
Pick: No (-180)
Where will Shaquem Griffin be drafted?
The one-handed Griffin is the feel-good story of the NFL Draft, and for good reason.
He was the heart and soul of UCF’s national championship team — we’re kidding, Alabama fans — then turned heads at the combine with a 4.38-second time in the 40-yard dash (best among linebackers since 2003) and 20 bench presses with a prosthetic hand.
Unfortunately for Griffin, the NFL is the most judgmental league in the United States. Just look at Josh Rosen. He’s being knocked for being an “intellectual” and coming from a rich family. Name any other profession where those two qualities are looked down upon? Then there’s Colin Kaepernick, well, you already know that story.
Oddsmakers peg Griffin’s chances of being drafted mostly in day two or early day three — the second (+220), third (EVEN), and fourth (+125) rounds have the lowest lines. We’re not nearly as optimistic.
Those low odds — +220 for the second round is laughable — are nothing more than hooks to lure casual bettors rooting for Griffin. Those bettors don’t understand how nasty the NFL can really be.
Pick: Fifth round (+350)
Josh Rosen over/under 4.5 draft position?
To recap, we have Allen (or Darnold) going at one and Barkley at two. Cleveland also has the fourth selection, and obviously won’t double-up on signal callers. That leaves the Jets at three with Rosen’s fate in the balance.
The rumor mill has Mayfield as the more likely landing spot at three than Rosen. Unlike Mayfield to Browns, this hear-say actually has merit.
The Jets employ a West Coast offense predicated on short and medium throws. Above all, accuracy and touch from a quarterback makes or breaks the attack.
Between the two, Mayfield is the more pinpoint passer. Last season at Oklahoma, Mayfield finished as the nation’s most efficient quarterback with an eye-popping 198.9 rating. He threw just six interceptions and completed 70.5 percent of his passes.
Then again, in the event Darnold is available at three, forget about either Mayfield or Rosen. Darnold has actually played in a West Coast style, unlike the spread offenses that Mayfield, Rosen, and Allen come from.
Either way, this spells trouble for Rosen. If there’s one quarterback primed to fall down the draft a la Johnny Manziel and Aaron Rodgers, it’s him.
Pick: Over 4.5
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