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Betting on the NFL Draft

ap-nfl-draft-football-16_9_r722_c720x400As all you sports nuts know (if you don’t know, you’re not allowed to lay claim to that title), the NFL Draft starts tonight, thanks to the NFL’s war on TV ratings. Thanks to Bill Barnwell of Grantland  and the online sportsbook Bovada, we’ve got a plethora of bets currently listed in regards to outcomes for tonight’s draft (note: I only read the first section of Barnwell’s article. Any of the same choices or reasoning is completing coincidental). I’ve decided it would be fun to go on the record with my choices and see how I turned out. For this exercise, we’ll use the fictional currency “Jerjonesy,” a nearly worthless piece of plastic with in over-valued sense of self. As for special rules of the game, I will have 100,000 Jerjonesies to bet, with the goal of doubling up on my investment.

Who will be the second overall pick of the draft?

Eric Fisher (-200)
Dion Jordan (+175)
Geno Smith (+750)
Luke Joeckel (+1500)

Pick: Joeckel (15,000 Jerjonesies).

Reason: There’s been a lot of speculation lately that Eric Fisher, and not Joeckel, is the choice of the Chiefs. If that happens, I can’t imagine a team with such a need on the offensive line as the Jaguars passing up this chance. Great quarterbacks, like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, don’t need great offensive lines. When you’re lining up Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne, you do.

Also, at 15-1 odds, the reward is well worth the risk.

The following bets will be Over/Unders on the draft slot of the given player.

Geno Smith (8.5)

Pick: Over (15,000)

Reason: I highly doubt the Jags use the second pick on him, I don’t think the Eagles are interested in using the fourth pick on him, I can’t see him going to Arizona with them bringing in two new QBs and Buffalo seems to have a crush on Ryan Nassib. I think Smith falls past Buffalo at eight and ends up in a precipitous free fall until a team trading back into the first round grabs him.

Matt Barkley (37.5)

Pick: Under (15,000)

Reason: As we discussed during our Simply Awesome Sports podcast, we think that once the QBs start falling off the board, they’re going to come off quickly. If the situation above presents itself, a slew of other teams could be trying to trade back into the first round to get ahead of QB-needy teams like the Chiefs, Jags, Cards, Raiders and Bills. Don’t be surprised if there are multiple trades in the late part of the round specifically to draft a quarterback.

Marcus Lattimore (84.5)

Pick: Over (15,000)

Reason: Lattimore failed to show durability during his college days as a Gamecock. With the decreased reliance upon quality running backs and the ease of finding late-round/undrafted free agent running backs (Arian Foster, Alfred Morris) lately, teams are going to waste a third round pick or higher on somebody who could never play a meaningful down in the NFL.

He’s got loads of talent and potential, and he’ll definitely be in somebody’s camp, but it won’t be because he was drafted before pick 84.

Tavon Austin (13.5)

Pick: Under (10,000)

Reason: If the Jets have ANY sense whatsoever, they’ll use their second pick they just received from Tampa, in a deal we predicted seven weeks ago, on the dynamic receiver out of West Virginia. Outside of Santonio Holmes, the Jets are completely void of offensive playmakers. Having someone who can loosen up defenses and ease the burden on Mark Sanchez is well worth the thirteenth pick.

Note that this is my lowest bet because I don’t have any faith in the Jets having sense.

Manti Te’o (25.5)

Pick: Under (15,000)

Reason: This is strictly a bet of playing the odds. Looking at the draft order, I see five draft spots for teams that are desperate for an inside linebacker (NYG, Chicago, Indianapolis and Minnesota twice), with only Te’o and Alec Ogletree (who has been no darling off the field, either) as the only viable options. Do these teams have other needs? Of course, but with such a glaring need, both of those players are likely gone by pick 26.

Tyrann Mathieu (75.5)

Pick: Over (15,000)

Reason: I just don’t see how a drug-riddled prospect who hasn’t played a game in over a year and doesn’t have elite physical traits gets taken in the first two-and-a-half rounds. I see him as a late third or fourth-rounder. There have been too many cases in the past where teams have been burned by the talented prospect who screws up a lot, and hopefully, they’re starting to learn.

Check back next week to see how I did and watch out for my Draft Grades Report Card on FootballOutsiders.com.

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  1. April 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

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