2021 NFL Draft Props: Best Bets for Round 1
The BetQL staff gives their favorite wagers for the NFL Draft
We have arrived! The 2021 NFL Draft is here and there are countless odds to sift through to make some money watching the most anticipated event of the offseason.
BetQL's Thomas Casale, Reed Wallach, and Vikas Chokshi give their best bets for Thursday night's first round.
Thomas Casale: Azeez Ojulari Under 25.5 (DraftKings)
One of my draft strategies is to bet unders on quarterbacks and pass rushers where I see value. Those are the two positions NFL teams crave the most. I see a lot of value here with Ojulari at 25.5.
In his two full seasons at Georgia, Ojulari was a disruptive force in the SEC, registering 14 sacks. He possesses the kind of lightning-quick speed off the edge that makes NFL teams fall in love with a draft prospect.
The other reason I really like this under is because the way the draft sets up from 11-25. There are a lot of teams that could go pass rusher during that stretch including the Giants, Vikings, Patriots, Dolphins, Raiders, Colts, Titans, Jets, and Jaguars. That's simply too many opportunities for Ojulari to come off the board for me to pass up this prop. My money is on at least one of those teams betting on Ojulari's upside and making him a Top 25 draft pick.
I also really like Micah Parsons under 13.5. I'm not buying into the reports that Parsons will slide on Draft Day. Don't be surprised if he goes off the board as early as seven to the Detroit Lions.
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Reed Wallach: Exact Outcome: No. 3 Mac Jones, No. 4 Kyle Pitts, No. 5 Ja'Marr Chase (+200, DraftKings)
I have published different thoughts on draft props over the past several weeks. As I noted, markets move based on information and as we get to draft night, markets are tighter.
However, I still see value in this result.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch seemed to confirm that Mac Jones is going to be the pick at No. 3 in a strange press conference earlier this week. He is the prohibitive betting favorite to be selected there and the writing is on the wall. I disagree with the pick as a whole, but I’m betting on the result, not the future of the 49ers.
It also appears that Atlanta is going to be stuck picking at No. 4 and teams will be more interested in trading up to No. 6 through No. 8 for a cheaper price. There have been plenty of reports that link the Falcons to Florida tight end Kyle Pitts in hopes of one last postseason run with Matt Ryan at quarterback.
I think it’s more likely than not that Pitts is the pick, he’s -134 to go under 4.5 at FanDuel, for reference.
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Lastly, I see the Cincinnati Bengals picking Joe Burrow’s LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. While the team needs help on the offensive line, this is a deep Draft at that position and Chase grades out as a fantastic prospect.
I think we see these three go in order at picks three to five and cash this ticket. I’d bet it down to +175.
Vikas Chokshi: Kyle Pitts First non-Quarterback to be Drafted (-150, DraftKings)
I have a couple of different draft bets going, but this is my favorite one. The betting markets across several books indicate that Pitts is going to be a top-5 pick come Thursday unless something crazy happens. Currently at DraftKings Sportsbook, they have his draft slot bet offered at 5.5, with the under heavily juiced at -240. We're getting much better value on him being the first non-QB selected, so instead of paying that much juice on the UNDER 5.5, I love this bet instead.
Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are going to be the first two picks, and the third pick is also most likely going to be another QB. I expect Pitts to go to Atlanta at No. 4 and I wouldn't be surprised if another team trades up to get him. That's how much teams are salivating over his ceiling.
The only way I see this bet not hitting is if the Falcons trade out of the No. 4 slot to a team that wants a QB. But, I've had a chance to talk to a couple of different oddsmakers this week, along with some media people in the information business, and they all indicated to me that Pitts is who they see being the first non-QB off the board.
I normally don't like to lay this kind of juice, but with that information, I like the spot here. to back Pitts.