We’re less than three weeks from Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft, which means most online sportsbooks are carrying some NFL draft props, and those that already were, are carrying more.
BetOnline added multiple new over/unders for particular players, as well as totals for first-round selections at particular positions. I grabbed three bets on the new numbers and shared my logic here.
Trey Lance: O/U: 6.5
BetOnline has made the odds for the third-overall pick available; and after a massive swing to Mac Jones last week, the odds settled back to close the gap between Jones (-175) and former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+125). Trey Lance is a distant third at +450.
Books, as of now expect the first three picks to go: Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and either Jones or Fields. This will leave one of Jones or Fields, along with Lance, available on the quarterback market at No. 4. With Lance’s total draft positioning sitting at 6.5, that leaves three picks in which he could be selected. But draft positioning makes that difficult.
With the Miami Dolphins trading up for No. 6 overall after moving out of the top three, it would be stunning to see them trade out of that pick. They won’t take a quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa already in hand; so a quarterback isn’t going at No. 6. The Cincinnati Bengals, at No. 5, might be wise to trade out of the spot for a QB needy team, but the Bengals don’t trade often in the draft; and general manager Duke Tobin spoke last week about Cincinnati’s excitement to hang at five and pick an elite player at a position of need—whether that position is tackle or wide receiver, we don’t yet know.
In reality, we’re betting on whether or not the Atlanta Falcons—or another team—take Lance at No. 4 overall. While it’s tough to project now, as we aren’t certain what other quarterbacks might be available at the spot, we do know that not every team will be willing to draft a one-year FCS starter with a top-five selection. For my money, this is an OVER.
Trey Lance: OVER 6.5
First Defensive Player Selected
As of April 12, here are the options:
- Patrick Surtain II (-120)
- Micah Parsons (+200)
- Jaycee Horn (+400)
- Kwity Paye (+550)
- Jaelan Phillips (+1200)
I’m not sold that Jaycee Horn actually ends up the first defensive player off the board, but I do think +400 is about as good of odds as you’re going to get on him. I like it enough to take it.
Horn is the sort of player who rises late in the process because coaches will really love him, and as they get in on the film, they’ll start to make noise in draft rooms. Horn’s testing helps him in this regard too; he tested better than Patrick Surtain II, played in the same conference, enjoyed tons of success, and is more schooled and pro-ready in press coverage—the crown jewel of NFL coverages. I’d say throw in the NFL legacy that Horn has, but hey, Surtain has that as well.
I’m confident the first defensive player drafted will be a cornerback. Micah Parsons was a 2020 opt-out and has some maturity concerns, Jaelan Phillips has a concussion history, and Kwity Paye was not very productive in college. Considering corner is a premium position, and the heavy number of teams with corner needs at the top—including the Falcons, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles—one of Surtain or Horn should be the first defensive player at the top. With the odds disparity considered, I’ll take Horn.
First defensive player selected: Jaycee Horn (+400)
First Offensive Tackle Selected
As of April 12, here are the options:
Very simply, this is a matter of principle. These odds imply that Penei Sewell is around three or four times more likely to be the first tackle off the board than Rashawn Slater is. We might say, of the teams who could potentially take a tackle early (Falcons, Bengals, Dolphins, Lions, Panthers), four of the five of them prefer Sewell to Slater. None of these are tied to a particular logic; I just want to detail what the odds are implying.
Everything we’ve heard from the league implies that Slater is the OT1 for a decent margin of teams. Both Peter Schrager and Daniel Jeremiah had Slater as the first OT off the board in their most recent mock drafts. Those are some plugged-in guys that I’m unwilling to ignore. I think the NFL is more so split between Sewell and Slater than they are heavily leaning towards Sewell.
This is similar to Horn. If the odds were even, I’d take Sewell to go before Slater; but with this significant difference between the two options, I’ll take Slater for the value.
First offensive tackle selected: Rashawn Slater (+250)