NFL Draft Odds: Looking at J.J. McCarthy, Brock Bowers, and Other Valuable Bets

The NFL Draft odds are maturing, but by using Ian Cummings' most recent mock, there are still valuable options that can be had!

The great Ian Cummings has released his latest 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, and you, as the betting public, would be wise to match up his insights with the latest NFL Draft odds. Let’s dive into his mock draft and uncover some savvy bets to consider!

What 2024 NFL Draft Odds Are Most Intriguing?

Let’s start by getting something out of the way — it’s OK to pick a favorite. I’m going to cover five players and swallow minus money with three of them with one coin flip and one underdog. Don’t forget that this is an information game more than “typical” sports betting.

When betting on a football game, all of the information is great, but at the end of the day, anything can happen between the lines. When betting on the NFL Draft, information is quite literally currency, thus making these markets unique.

J.J. McCarthy Pick Number: Over/Under 5.5

This over/under makes plenty of sense. We are expecting quarterbacks to go 1-2-3 with the Cardinals and Chargers holding the next two picks, respectively. There are two paths to cashing an “under” bet, and I think one of them coming to fruition is far more likely than not to come through.

1) A team has J.J. McCarthy labeled as a top-three QB
2) A team trades up

If past NFL Drafts (and recent Super Bowl results) have taught us anything, it’s the value of the QB position. Over the past 23 drafts, 17 times has a quarterback gone first overall, and Patrick Mahomes just won a title without an ace receiver — we’re living in a world where “overrating” a QB prospect is near impossible due to the reward of getting it right.

That makes a trade-up (like Cummings has in his mock) the most likely outcome in my eyes, but let’s not rule out that first option.

There are more than a few skeptics on the ordering of the top four quarterbacks, giving McCarthy every chance to be picked without a trade. Even if that doesn’t happen, I think those of us holding an “under” ticket are in a good spot.

If McCarthy is QB4 on most boards and the three others are selected to open the festivities, I’m perfectly fine in laying this juice with the thought being that one of the QB-needy teams will be offering a king’s ransom for the right to get a bite at the apple.

The Cardinals and Chargers pick 4 and 5 and have their QB positions set in stone. Why wouldn’t they accept a deal for a pick that is inherently going to be more valuable if traded than made due to the aforementioned importance of the quarterback position?

For those two franchises, it would be irresponsible not to cash in on that value, and I expect that to be the case if McCarthy is still on the board after the first three picks are made.

  • Pick: Under (-150)

Rome Odunze Pick Number: Over/Under 8.5

This is a loaded receiver class, and I think Cummings nails this pick. This is, to a degree, correlated with the McCarthy angle, so if your sportsbook will allow you to parlay the two, I’m in!

It’s widely accepted that the QB class has a four-man top tier, and with the thought (above) that they all come off the board before the Giants pick sixth overall, I make New York a heavy favorite to invest in the WR position.

What better way to try to make Daniel Jones work than to give him an athlete ready to be a WR1 from Day 1?

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft WR Rankings

Cummings adds an interesting wrinkle that I like. He has the Cardinals trading for the No. 8 pick from the Falcons, a team already loaded with early investments at skill positions.

Is it possible that the receiver position experiences a spike in value after the QBs are off the board this season, with that being a way to quick-fix an offense for a team already committed to a non-elite signal-caller?

If the Falcons are, in fact, open for business, that removes one team almost assuredly not tripling down on their draft philosophy from years past and opens the door for an offensive-needy team to step in. Whether that team is the Cardinals or someone else, “under” bettors don’t really care — it’s the idea of another team seeking skill-position help moving inside the top nine.

  • Pick: Under (-165)

Brock Bowers Pick Number: Over/Under 12.5

The profile of Brock Bowers is elite, there’s just no way around that. The value of tight ends with his makeup are becoming more valuable with each passing season.

That said, with the expected rush on quarterbacks and the potential all-time nature of the receiver position in this specific draft, you start to run low on landing spots for Bowers inside of the top 13.

In fact, you could argue that, at the moment, there’s only one — the Los Angeles Chargers. On the surface, that feels like a match made in heaven, given LA’s lack of passing-game playmakers right now, but maybe not?

Isn’t it possible that Jim Harbaugh moved Keenan Allen and let Mike Williams walk because he feels that the NFL game overvalues the passing game as a whole, and that he’d be better off investing elsewhere?

If that’s the case, why would he use the fifth pick (or even the ninth, a trade Cummings projects) on a tight end who is essentially a receiver? If Harbaugh views pass catchers as replaceable, he can find them another way and build his franchise another way, right?

I like the Chargers’ fit for Bowers, but I’d label that as a coin-flip at best. If he falls past them, I think a mini-slide is certainly possible, with the Colts making all the sense in the world at pick 15.

Earlier I mentioned franchises looking to band-aid their rebuild plan by adding an elite receiver with an early pick. Well, the Colts have a strong offensive coaching staff, an elite prospect in Anthony Richardson under center, and are short on reliable playmakers in the passing game.

Jonathan Taylor (with Richardson) make this team terrifying on the ground, and re-signing Michael Pittman Jr. helps the aerial attack. But we could be looking at a top-10 offense in short order with a potential Bowers’ addition.

Am I worried about a team potentially trading up for Bowers should the Chargers pass? A little, but that risk is worth the odds here. If you want less risk, take the “over” on his draft pick. However, in looking at the board as it stands right now, I’m not sure how different that result is from an “exact team” wager.

  • Pick: Over 12.5 (+160)
  • Pick: Drafted by the Colts (+350)

Bo Nix Pick Number: Over/Under 32.5

I’ll keep this one short — I’m betting “unders” on quarterbacks until I lose money in doing so. We saw it years ago with Lamar Jackson, and I think there’s a decent chance we see it again with Bo Nix this year.

That is, teams are more than willing to move when they feel there is value to be had at the position. Nix has enough size and mobility for a team to sell themselves on him, not to mention accuracy that saw him complete north of 71% of his passes in his two seasons at Oregon.

MORE: Which Teams Could Draft Bo Nix?

As NFL defenses look to limit the impact of downfield passes, quarterbacks who can fit the ball into tight windows and pick up chunks of yards with their legs are valued like water in a desert.

Is Nix a perfect prospect destined to take the league by storm? No. Is he more than enough to sell a fan base on for the short term and good for head coach job security? Yes, and I think that’s more than enough to lay the significant juice here and get Nix into Round 1.

  • Pick:  Under 32.5 (-210)

Will Jonathon Brooks Be the RB1?

The idea of not paying up for running backs is an accepted train of thought at this point, which has me staying away from trying to project exactly where the potential bell cows come off the board.

That said, the hierarchy of the position is a market I’m interested in.

It’s clear that the excitement around Jonathon Brooks is there, and the perceived value of him is likely to sway a team that has the luxury of capitalizing on his fall.

Cummings has only two running backs going inside the top 100 overall, and given that all whispers have he and Florida State’s Trey Benson as the top tier at the position, there’s value in this being labeled as a coin toss.

Benson has visited the Bills (pick at 60), and I think that landing spot makes some sense with James Cook’s ability to thrive in the passing game and Buffalo’s need to reload a bit on the offensive end.

If we pencil that in, the question is now — will a team select a running back before pick 60?

Yes!

The Dallas Cowboys are sitting at 56th overall, which is the most likely landing spot for Brooks with Tony Pollard leaving town. But could the Bengals (pick 49) consider such a selection with Joe Mixon moving on?

What about the Giants? We’ve never seen them spend up at the position, have we? Could a team be willing to move up due to medicals to their current starting RB?

KEEP READING: Which Teams Could Draft J.J. McCarthy?

There are plenty of paths for a Brooks to go inside the top 60, and that would likely make him the first player drafted at the position. This is no longer overpaying for a running back — this is an instant impact piece that can elevate a good team to a true contender.

  • Pick: Jonathan Brooks First RB Selected (-110)

Our Betting Lines page has the freshest lines and promos to get BANG for your buck. PFN’s FREE Parlay Calculator and Betting Odds Calculator are also available for your betting process! New to sports betting? Check out our guide on How to Bet on the NFL. Visit our Sports Betting Legal Tracker on how to bet legally in the U.S.

Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Betting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles