The NFL draft is just two days away. Over the past day, a new betting favorite has emerged to be drafted first overall. However, that’s not the only draft prop available at BetMGM for the first round. Currently, you can bet on which position you think every team will take with their first pick of the draft. Let’s take a look at three bets with longer odds that could result in a handsome pay day on draft day.
Bengals to draft a defensive back
We’re going to have to wait a while for this one on Thursday night, as the defending AFC champions don’t pick until pick No. 31.
Oddsmakers currently think it’s most likely that Cincinnati drafts an offensive lineman, as that position has +100 odds to be Cincinnati’s first pick. If you haven’t paid much attention since the Super Bowl, that would make sense. Cincinnati’s offensive line was their biggest weakness during their magical run.
However, they added three starters over the offseason in Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’El Collins. Add those three to Jackson Carman (last year’s second-round pick) and Jonah Williams (a recent 11th overall pick) and suddenly, the offensive line is in much better shape. Cincinnati no longer needs to be desperate and draft for need.
Another storyline from last year’s playoffs was the play of Eli Apple, who was being clowned online on a weekly basis by football fans and even players of other teams. The Bengals re-signed Apple, but they certainly understand a need to upgrade their secondary. The AFC bought in quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan, so having a good secondary will be necessary to make another run in this conference. I’ll take the +225 odds on the Bengals to add to their secondary with their first pick.
Bills to draft a running back
The last time a running back did not go in the first round of the draft was 2014. While the position continues to be devalued and committees become more prominent, there always seems to be at least one running back to sneak into the first round.
Breece Hall is currently a -250 favorite to be the first running back taken in this draft, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffalo drafted him with their first pick. Buffalo is currently +500 to use their first pick on a running back.
Chris Simms recently came out and said he has heard the Bills have a “little love affair” for Hall. Travis Etienne was convinced the Bills were going to take him at 30 last year, but the Jaguars beat them to the punch by drafting him at 25. Bills general manager Brandon Beane drafted Christian McCaffrey in the first round in his last draft with the Panthers, and he has expressed that there are definitely running backs worth using a first round pick on.
The Bills have used third-round picks on Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in recent years. They’ve been fine, but far from game-changers. With Buffalo having the luxury of limited holes on their roster, they’re in a position where they can afford to use a high pick on a running back to get their guy. The Bills certainly want to limit the hits Josh Allen takes and using him less as a runner should be a serious consideration. Hall is also a very good pass-catcher, which is a must these days in the NFL.
At 5-to-1 odds, I’m taking a chance on the Bills using their first-round pick on a running back.
Titans to draft a quarterback
My colleague Mark Drumheller wrote about this already, but I fully agree with him.
We all watched the Titans in the playoffs. At the risk of being too harsh, I think we all walked away with a similar thought. The Titans can’t win in the playoffs in the AFC with Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback.
Unfortunately for Tennessee, they’re in a weird spot. They are well coached, and they have a good roster. Tannehill is good enough, but also not good enough. They likely will never be bad enough to have a pick high in the draft where they’d be able to draft a top-end, can’t-miss prospect.
Therefore, they have two options to find a franchise quarterback. They can trade a boatload of assets and deplete their resources for years like the Browns and Broncos did in their trades for Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. Or, they can try and draft a quarterback in the mid-late first round and hope he hits. It’s a lot less likely, but it’s not impossible. We saw the Ravens do it with Lamar Jackson in 2018.
With the 26th pick, the Titans are likely looking at someone like Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder. These guys have tools and intriguing traits, but they would benefit from some seasoning. They can backup Tannehill in 2022, learn the league and the offense, and then make a push to be the starting quarterback in 2023 when the team could save cap space by moving on from Tannehill.
At this point, it’s rather obvious that Tannehill is not the answer in Tennessee’s quest for a Super Bowl, and the Titans have to see that. Tennessee is +500 to draft a quarterback with their first pick. There has certainly been rumblings about this possibility, and it makes sense. At those odds, I’m willing to take a flyer.