Here at Pro Football Network, our expert team of NFL Draft analysts — comprised of guys like Nick Farabaugh, AJ Schulte, Ian Cummings, Andrew DiCecco, and Neal Driscoll — have covered the upcoming draft class from head to toe. The goal of this enterprise is to piggyback on their breadth of draft knowledge and weaponize their information for money-making strategies for draft-related player props on sportsbooks. Unchanged:
Over the last week, with little content for most sportsbooks to rely on, they decided to release a plethora of NFL Draft props. With enticing options on the board, I put together a list of questions that I could ask our group of experts. By combining what each of them thought, I was able to get a consensus opinion on some draft and player props where I see value with the number bookmakers have released.
In the world of sports betting, nothing is ever a guarantee, but being educated when making a bet is usually a winning formula. Unchanged: Unchanged: Combining what I learned from this group of NFL Draft experts and PFN’s brand new Mock Draft Simulator, I was able to make a calculated projection as to how the draft will unfold.
Unchanged: [sv slug=mocksim]
The quarterback landscape in the 2020 NFL Draft
Added: When it comes to the quarterback position, there are a number of interesting props available. But, instead of simply asking the team who they liked and where they would be drafted, I tried to get a better understanding of their impressions on the class in general. It is hard to argue, but like me, nearly all of them think this could be one of the strongest QB classes in awhile. How can we use that information? Well, let’s take a look at some of the draft props regarding the most important position in football.
ed: Over/Under 4.5 quarterbacks drafted in the first round
This was one of the rare questions that the team answered with complete unison. There is little chance that more than four quarterbacks are drafted in the first round. Sportsbooks are already ahead of the curve on this one with the over sitting at +300. Nonetheless, if you had an unlimited bankroll and want to make some quick money, -500 odds arent that terrible.
Added: “I’d say a very small chance. It all depends if someone wants to bank on Jalen Hurts’ or Jacob Eason’s upside. I don’t see Fromm slipping into the first round, so if some team is really enamored with Eason or Hurts that much, he could slip into there, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying there will be any more than four,” said Nick. Added:
The feeling was mutual with the rest of the team. They all said that the chances are incredibly slim, so I will take the -500 and look to parlay it with another longshot later on in the draft. Now, looking more specifically at some of the actual prospects, other interesting props are available.
Where is Tua going to be drafted?
This one is obviously the big question of the 2020 NFL Draft. Tua Tagovailoa has been rumored to be selected anywhere from the first overall pick to fifth. The Miami Dolphins have obviously been quite open about their admiration for the young quarterback, but recently both Washington and Detroit have also expressed interest, not to mention the Los Angeles Chargers.
So, what do our experts think? Instead of trying to figure out who will be taking Tua, I asked them which pick they thought would be used on him. As expected, the number was all over the place. Both Nick and Ian think that he will be taken third overall, AJ second, Andrew fourth, and Neal fifth. Besides first, Tua could be taken anywhere in the top five. But what do sportsbooks think?
It seems like third and fifth are betting favorites right now at +140 and +185 respectively. If you think Tua goes second, then you could get a juicy +400 and an even juicier +1000 for fourth. Nick expressed the difficulty in making this pick perfectly.
“Tough to know. I think you gotta wonder who moves up and who moves down. For example, does Washington move down? All teams from 2-4 could move down. For right now, I’ll say the Lions do and it will be pick three that is used on Tua given the Bengals with Burrow and Washington with Young.”
Like he says, it is tough to know. For right now though, I think second at +400 might be the bet I like the most. PFN’s Matthew Valdovinos recently put together a piece analyzing the chances of Washington trading back. He had this to say about the team’s current mindset.
“Nobody, not even the Redskins, know what they’ll be doing come draft night. If they decide that Young is too good of a prospect to pass up on, then so be it. However, with the way they’ve approached free agency this season, nobody should be surprised, or upset, if they decide to move back and gain some extra draft capital. The Redskins shouldn’t trade back just for the sake of trading back, but if someone calls with a strong offer, like the two previously listed, I’d expect the Redskins to swing the deal.”
I would tend to agree with Matt and AJ. I think there is a good chance Washington passes on Young and makes a deal with Miami. Meaning the +400 odds of Tua being selected second overall is promising.
Added: The market surrounding Jordan Love
Added: Love has been one of the tougher prospects to figure out. After a discussion with PFN Betting Analyst Drew Haynes, I decided to confer with the experts to figure out where Love might land. The current draft prop is asking whether he will be taken before or after 14.5, with the juice on the over at -150. Haynes believes this is an easy over, but what about the draft team?
Added: This one was much less unanimous than the first. Our experts agreed that being selected sixth overall is likely going to be Love’s ceiling and his floor would be 23. Added: “I don’t think he cracks the top-five, but I do think there’s a chance he comes off the board as early as six to the Chargers,” said Andrew DiCecco. Added:
Ian Cummings added something similar, “Call me crazy, but I can see him going as early as six. Mind you, I don’t think that’s what will happen, but he has enough physical upside and smarts to warrant the pick, especially with opinions across the board on Justin Herbert. The lowest I see him going is 23; the Patriots shouldn’t hesitate to pick him up if they don’t have to trade up to get him.” Added:
Without more of a consensus, it might be better to sit back and watch this one. If not, you could side with Haynes and even Neal, who have Love going 15th overall. If that is the case, you could win this bet by the skin of your teeth.
The rise and fall of Jalen Hurts’ draft stock
<h4><strong>Jalen Hurts and his plummeting draft stock</strong></h4>
Added: At one point, there was talk that Hurts could find a way to be a first-round draft pick. Those talks have long since faded and he now sits with a draft prop of 75.5. The juice is one the under at -155. Not only do the experts have a strong agreement on a side, but they even pinpoint his landing spot as either the Las Vegas Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers.
Added: Andrew, Ian, Neal, and AJ all believe that Hurts is likely to be selected in the second round. Neal was quite clear with how he felt, “I think he goes way before pick #75. I think the Steelers with pick #49 could be a landing spot.” Added:
The one thing you want when betting on an under player prop is healthy competition. Neal believes that the Steelers want Hurts, while Nick is under the impression that Las Vegas is in on him as well. Added:
“I tend to think Hurts goes either in the late second round or early third round. The Raiders could certainly make a move up to get him, and we know the reports are that they like him a lot. I have no idea if he makes it to 80 in the third round, but I have a feeling we could see a team like the Raiders move up for him in that early third-round range.”Deleted: Added:
If the Raiders want Hurts, they may need to compete with the Steelers. This means that there will probably be a trade up to grab him and we should be comfortable betting on the under 75.5. Lay the number or parlay it with the under 4.5 quarterback prop to bring the juice down a bit.
added: The battle between Fromm and Eason
This one might not be a battle after all. The current draft prop asks who between Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm will be drafted first? The clear answer? Well according to all of our experts, Eason will have his name called before Fromm.
Added: It is rare that you can put four different experts in a room and get close to the same answer from all of them. Well, that is what we accomplished with this prop. Both Ian and Neal not only believe that Eason will be selected first but they also both think he could be heading to Tampa Bay to learn behind Tom Brady. Added:
“I think Eason goes first. Fromm has some traits that will be popular among NFL teams, but Eason has more upside with his arm. The Colts’ second second-round pick at 44 is a good spot for Eason, as he can learn behind Philip Rivers for a year, and the Buccaneers also present a good match at 45, as Eason’s best traits would be magnified in Bruce Arians’ offense,” said Ian.
Added: This draft prop is likely going to be the one that I invest the most in, especially now that I know PFN’s draft team is all on the same page. You still need to lay a bit of juice, -154, but that isn’t enough to scare me away: Eason > Fromm.
One of the most talented wide receiver classes in years
After thoroughly breaking down the quarterback props, we move to the wide receivers and tight ends. Many draft analysts have deemed this year’s draft as one of the most deep and talented groups in recent memory. Unlike most years, it is a genuine toss-up as to who out of the “big three” names will be taken first. Our draft experts weighed in on who they think will be the first off the board.
CeeDee Lamb vs Jerry Jeudy vs Henry Ruggs
The decision between these three guys is up in the air right now, with Jeudy the slight betting favorite at -115. Lamb is not far behind him at +137 and Ruggs at +275. One of PFN’s betting experts, Chris Smith, recently wrote about how much he liked the value of taking Lamb back when he was +200.
“If Lamb projects as having a DeAndre Hopkins-type ceiling, it’ll be difficult to see him fall out of the top 10-12 picks come April. I truly think Lamb vs. Jeudy is a can’t lose coin flip for NFL franchises. From the pure gambling perspective, grabbing Lamb at +200 to be the first wide receiver drafted is too much value to pass up on here.”
Do any of our experts agree with Chris? Andrew thinks that Lamb is the top prospect, but feels like Jeudy will ultimately be selected first. Ian does, however, agree with Chris and thinks that CeeDee can be the first wide receiver drafted. “CeeDee Lamb. The guy is the full package.”
What I find to be the most interesting, is the fact that two of our experts actually think that the longshot, Ruggs, could potentially be selected over the other two. Nick actually believes that due to his impressive speed, Ruggs could end up going inside the top-10.
“The more I hear, the more I think it’s Henry Ruggs. We keep hearing how he might be a top-10 pick and the smoke around him going high is all there. Lamb and Jeudy have their landing spots in between the 11-15 range when you look at it, and a team could certainly love what they see in Ruggs and make the move up for his game-changing speed.”
At those odds, and with two of our experts behind me, I think that putting a bet on Ruggs to be the first wide receiver drafted could be profitable. I have watched his tape as well, and it is hard not to fall in love with the speedy receiver’s game. I know that Denver is quite high on him, and could look to trade up to grab him early in the first.
Whose draft stock has exploded more?
Behind the top names, there is an interesting prop pitting Justin Jefferson and Tee Higgins against each other. As of right now, Jefferson is the favorite at -200. It is a steep price to pay, but both of these guys have had their draft stock explode recently. Could there be some value with Higgins?
Well, the quick answer is no, there is no value on Higgins. Our five draft experts agreed that Jefferson is going to go first, potentially in the first round. In fact, they believe there is a good chance that a number of receivers are taken before Higgins comes off the board. Nick had this to say regarding the prop.
“Jefferson is going first between the two. Likely in the 20s, but I do not see Higgins even going in the first round. I think he goes in the second-round and sputters down a little bit. Jefferson has more athleticism and is a better route runner, which is what the league mostly looks for nowadays.”
Andrew and Ian weren’t far behind Nick, “Justin Jefferson, 200 percent. Then Denzel Mims. Then Jalen Reagor.” Well, that is enough to convince me. Again, there is quite a bit of juice, but parlaying this with one of the other plays with a lot of juice will provide value: Jefferson > Higgins.
What about the tight ends?
A position that isn’t often talked about in this year’s draft is tight end. The class is much less impressive than last year, but there are still a couple of names to keep in mind. I asked the draft experts how they felt about this year’s TE class and if we could find an angle to find some profit.
Immediately, the same name continued to come up, Cole Kmet. It looks like Kmet is the favorite to be the first tight end off the board right now at -150. Behind him, is a distant Adam Trautman. Surprisingly, this one was not unanimous and our experts brought up a couple of interesting scenarios that could take place on draft day. AJ and Nick were behind Kmet being taken first.
“I think Kmet will be drafted first based off of his combine in the late second to early third round. Okwuegbunam could go first after his combine but I’d bet Kmet and Trautman for one and two,” said AJ.
But, Neal had an interesting argument for how he sees the TE situation going this year. “Cole Kmet is my top-ranked tight end; however, he comes with injury concerns. I think Trautman goes slightly before Kmet, but I have Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) as the first tight end selected.” This is interesting because it gives us different names to consider.
As of right now, Trautman is +600 to be the first taken. A nice price considering Kmet’s injury history. However, Brycen Hopkins sits at a juice of +800 right now. If the current Hopkins hype is to be believed, he might represent some impressive value at that number. On top of that, both Ian and Andrew believe that Trautman deserves to go first. Listening to the experts, I think putting a little bit of money on both Trautman and Hopkins could end up profitable.
Also, if you wanted to make sure you had a share of Kmet just in case, you can find a prop pitting Kmet against Trautman. Kmet is -200, but this way you will have all your bases covered.
Will the SEC player prop dominate the first round?
The SEC usually dominates the NFL Draft, most notably because the national champions are more often than not from that conference. That was the case once again this year thanks to the LSU Tigers. Two props that are interesting ask the questions: 1) how many SEC players will be drafted in the first round, and more specifically, 2) how many from LSU?
Sportsbooks put the line at 15.5 players in the first round, with juice on the over. Our draft experts all agreed that the under is likely to come in, but just barely. AJ and Nick think the number will land right on 15, while Andrew and Neal are one below at 14, and finally Ian with 13.
“Going to go with the under at thirteen. The SEC is always talented, but the Big Ten and the Big 12 have a lot of top-flight talent to challenge them this year,” said Ian.
That is good enough for me! I will be taking the under 15.5 at +110 at most books. It could end up being close, but with the draft experts all on the under, there is too much value to turn away.
But what about LSU specifically?
When a team wins the national championship, they usually see a boost in players selected high in the draft. So I asked the team what the chances were of LSU seeing more than 5.5 players drafted in the first round. Again, it was pretty unanimous that the champions would only have five players selected.
Those five are Joe Burrow, K’Lavon Chaisson, Patrick Queen, Justin Jefferson, and Kristian Fulton. The wild card in all of this according to Neal is Grant Delpit.
“Burrow, Fulton, Chaisson, Queen, and Jefferson likely go first-round, but Delpit is the wild card. I don’t see anyone else who could go in round one aside from those six. So you’re banking on Delpit’s stock and it’s not looking good for him right now.”
Neal is right. Since the NFL Combine, Delpit’s stock has continued to tumble. So if sportsbooks are baiting me with a 5.5 and my bet relies on Delpit’s stock, then I will gladly take the -160 on the under.
Where might LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson be taken?
We broke down the SEC prop. Then we looked specifically at LSU, and now, we take a look at one of the tougher LSU players to figure out K’Lavon Chaisson. Sportsbooks have set his line at 16.5 with -120 on both sides. Basically, that means books have no idea where he is going to go. Luckily for us, we have a team of experts who know a lot more than them.
Our experts were nearly unanimous on this one. Both AJ and Andrew believed that Atlanta would have likely been the spot at 16. However, with the recent Dante Fowler signing, that is looking less likely. Ian, Neal, and Nick all believe that the Dallas Cowboys at 17 will end up being his landing spot.
“Before free agency, I would’ve said before 16.5, but now, I think Chaisson sneaks past that point and gets swiped up by the Dallas Cowboys at 17.”
I think 17 is the right number and can see him even slipping further if the Cowboys decide to draft a center instead. I will agree with most of our experts and take the over on this one.
Official 2020 NFL Draft plays:
Under 4.5 QBs drafted parlayed with Jefferson before Higgins: 1 unit -120
Chaisson over 16.5: 1 unit -120
Eason before Fromm: 2 units -154
Tua to go second: 0.25 units +400
Hurts to go under 75.5: 1.5 units -155
Under 15.5 SEC players in the first round: 1 unit +110