NFL Draft 2016: Prop bets for the big night

Will Fuller out of Notre Dame looks a good bet at 9/2 to be the first WR taken in the 2016 NFL Draft
Will Fuller out of Notre Dame looks a good bet at 9/2 to be the first WR taken in the 2016 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft starts in the early hours of Friday morning UK time and Neil Monnery brings us a guide for prop bets to keep viewers entertained.

"When Tennessee held the first pick they would not have taken a QB as they have their franchise quarterback of the future in situ. Therefore both big time quarterbacks on the board saw little interest in this market but when they traded away the pick to the Rams, both Goff and Wentz saw their odds tumble."

NFL Draft
Start-time: Friday 00:00 BST (first pick expected at 01:00)
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1
 


Overview

Every year NFL teams get to restock their talent pool with eligible players from the college ranks. The worst teams from the previous year get assigned the first pick with the Super Bowl winners the final pick with the order repeated through all 12 rounds. Teams are allowed to trade draft picks and that is exactly what has already happened this year as the team with the honour of going first, the Tennessee Titans, have traded their the number one overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

Predicting how teams will plan for the draft is difficult at the best of times but we've already seen the #1 and #2 picks get traded to the Rams and Eagles, both are expected to grab a QB. This means that in what many see as a down year for signal callers, we could legitimately see four quarterbacks go in the first round when maybe only two should.

I'll look at some of the markets where the first picks aren't seen as a fait accompli but before I get into them, I have to look at the big market - 1st Overall Pick - a market that has seen some turmoil in recent weeks...


First player taken

When Tennessee held the first pick they would not have taken a QB - they have their franchise quarterback of the future already in situ. Therefore, both big time quarterbacks on the board saw little interest in this market but when they traded away the pick to the Rams, both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz saw their odds tumble.

This market has seen all sorts of drama in the past couple of weeks but the excitement is slowly dying down as all the talk coming out of Los Angeles is that they will take Goff out of California. This was 11/10 on the Betfair Sportsbook on Saturday but is now as short as 1/6. This one looks locked in. No value here.


First WR taken

This is the market where I am seeing value. Will Fuller is a player I am not big on, I see him as a second round guy but there are rumblings that he might go as high as #22 to Houston and if that is the case, it is highly likely he'll be the first WR taken. He stands at 9/2 on the Sportsbook right now to get that honour.

The links are clear, Houston head coach Bill O'Brien likes him as he recruited him to Penn State and indeed he was a Penn State commit until the sanctions hit, when he reneged on his verbal commitment and flipped to Notre Dame. He has top line speed and would stretch the field, his only issue is he doesn't catch everything thrown his way. Scouts are torn on him but he's got a great chance at going above slot because O'Brien rates him. 9/2 is great value.


First DE taken

Interesting market this as Joey Bosa is short favourite at 8/15 on the Sportsbook but some people believe the best DE in the draft is DeForest Buckner. Bosa has long been seen as a next-level talent and has dominated the Big Ten at Ohio State. Scouts.inc for ESPN has him rated as the best player coming out of college this year but then Peter King at the MMQB believes that Buckner might be the best player.

It all comes down to who you believe. I have yet to see a mock take Buckner over Bosa and I just don't see it happening. I think Bosa goes at #4 to Dallas to give them that wrecking ball rusher that they need. Quotes of 8/15 aren't exactly enormous but if you are one of those that likes taking on short odds bets then he should come through.


First DT taken

I won't cover all the available markets on the Betfair Sportsbook as many of them don't provide much value because it seems clear who'll go first in those positions. The last market where the favourite is longer than 1/2 is DT where Sheldon Rankins is widely regarded as the best available and at 4/6, that looks a good bet to go first in that market. He might be on the board for a while though with New Orleans at #12 being his likely spot.


A word of warning

Watch out for draft day trades and react as soon as you can. These picks have all been based on the current draft order but things can change very quickly. There are some interesting floaters out there who teams may fall in love with and draft up for. Currently most see three QBs going in the first round (Goff and Wentz at #1 and #2 respectively) and Paxton Lynch either at #8 to Cleveland, at #20 to the Jets or #31 to Denver but watch out for Christian Hackenberg.

He was widely seen at a potential #1 overall pick after his freshman year but has stagnated under John Donovan's offense in Happy Valley. Jon Gruden says he would be shocked if he doesn't go in the first round, Pro Football Focus say he's so bad he can't even be drafted. So when you have players who differ opinion to such a vast degree then you have to be fast to react to any trades of picks.


Recommend Bets
Back Will Fuller to be the first Wide Receiver drafted at 9/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook
Back Joey Bosa to be the first Defensive End drafted at 8/15 on the Betfair Sportsbook
Back Sheldon Rankins to be the first Defensive Tackle drafted at 4/6 on the Betfair Sportsbook

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