NFL Scouting Combine prop bets are a bad idea. That is to say: they're a bad idea for books. For us? They're awesome.
Maybe they were a good idea years ago when combine prep was far less sensationalized and shared on social media, when training systems weren't as good at improving technique and thereby improving times and when the NFL draft just wasn't as big of a thing.
But by now, these bets have become a liability and line movement is rapid. If you want to have a good weekend, shop the books and attack lines early.
As it stands, the only one I can find with combine prop lines is Bet Online, where these lines were taken from. These are my recommendations for the biggest lines and best values for the week ahead.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: O/U 4.51-second 40-yard dash
This is the easiest bet we've got and, accordingly, some of its value has already fallen off. The under on Jonathan Taylor's 40-yard dash is now at -500, so there isn't much money to be made here on an under bet.
And I'm here to tell you: Taylor is running a 40 in the 4.4 seconds. He ran a 10.49-second 100-meter dash in high school and won back-to-back state championships in the same event in New Jersey. Taylor actually ran for the Wisconsin track team this past season!
So yes, he's going to weigh in at 210-plus and big backs don't typically run in the 4.4-second range. But Taylor is an exception to the rule, and his track experience will help him get off the blocks. He's running 4.4 seconds.
Take the under (-500).
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson: O/U 4.57-second 40-yard dash
I would strongly advise staying away, even though 4.57 seconds seems like a juicy figure for the under. Right now, the line is even at -120 odds on both the over and the under, so feel free to take it if you like it. But I'm too hesitant.
Tee Higgins is a long strider with good build-up speed, but he lacks explosiveness and may labor to get out of the blocks. With good training, he should start well enough to run in the 4.5-second range and come under this figure, but not by a big enough margin that I feel comfortable taking the bet.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma: O/U 4.58-second 40-yard dash
Quarterbacks don't train for the 40 like skill position players do unless they want to be a candidate for other positions in the league. And Jalen Hurts has made it explicitly clear he does not intend to play another position.
Hurts may not even run, which returns your investment. But if he does, he's up against a line that has only 27 QBs under it in history. Hurts is more so a tackle breaker than he is an explosive runner with breakaway speed and is unlikely to bust 4.6 seconds.
Take the over (-200).
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: O/U 4.38-second 40-yard dash
Do you like free money? If so, you're unlucky because Bet Online has removed Henry Ruggs III’s prop.
But it has not removed the prop that asks who runs the fastest 40-yard dash between Ruggs and TCU’s Jalen Reagor. If you believe Ruggs is going to run under 4.38 seconds, it's reasonable to take him as a faster player than Reagor, who is likely in mid-4.3 range.
Take Ruggs (-400).
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State: O/U 4.49-second 40-yard dash
I wouldn't touch this one. The idea that J.K. Dobbins has a lower 40 figure than Taylor is fascinating given Taylor's track background. It's likely a result of Dobbins' unbelievable athletic profile as a high school recruit.
You're reading that right: a 4.45-second 40-yard dash in high school at just over 200 pounds. Dobbins is likely to come into Indianapolis at least 10 pounds heavier, if not 15. Dobbins is still a candidate to clock 4.4 seconds and may come under 4.49, but I don't trust his high school speed to translate at his different body composition now.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: O/U 4.51-second 40-yard dash
I'm emphatically with the league on this one. Even if Jefferson exceeds expectation, it will be right on the border of the line set for him, so you can feel safe in an over bet.
Take the over (-400).
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: O/U 4.54-second 40-yard dash
I wouldn't be surprised if CeeDee Lamb runs exactly 4.54 seconds.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: O/U 4.44-second 40-yard dash
If Taylor is the player I feel most confident in coming in under his line, Jerry Jeudy is my biggest and most profitable bet. At -120 on both sides, the under on Jeudy is incredibly enticing. During Alabama’s Junior Day Ruggs run 4.25 seconds and Jeudy ran 4.40-seconds flat. Meanwhile, he's made public his expectation of running a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, which indicates that he's already running practice timed reps in the 4.3 seconds.
Jeudy is a bursty player with a delightful open stride for the flying 20. As long as he's set out of the blocks, he's likely to run right around the 4.4-second mark and possibly come under it.
Take the under (-120).