Quarterback conundrum: Who are bettors backing as NFL Draft approaches?
There likely won’t be any surprises when it comes to the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the selection, and barring something completely shocking, they seem set on taking LSU Tiger quarterback Joe Burrow. The Washington Redskins will likely take edge rusher Chase Young with the No. 2 pick.
There are never any guarantees when it comes to the NFL Draft, but the picture seems clear as far as the top two selection go this year.
The same can’t be said for the remaining selections in the first round. Rumors are flying around about teams potentially trading up or down.
Bettors also appear to have differing opinions on a number of NFL Draft markets at BetAmerica. Let's examine two of them now.
Tua Tagovailoa vs. Justin Herbert: Who will be drafted first?
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This could all change with one blockbuster trade, but for now, the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers have the fifth and sixth overall picks, and both are in need of a quarterback.
The debate has ratcheted up in the past few days about which quarterback the Dolphins will take. They’ve been linked in the past to Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but are reportedly very interested now in Oregon pivot Justin Herbert.
So, between these two quarterbacks, who will be drafted first? As of Wednesday, bettors seemed to believe it will be Herbert.
About 72% of money wagered on this market is on Herbert to be selected first. The interesting thing is that 52% of money is on Over 5.5 for Justin Herbert’s draft position. Meanwhile, about 96% of money wagered on Tua Tagovailoa's draft position is on Under 5.5.
Recent reports that the Dolphins favor Herbert could mean that Tagovailoa, whose injury history may be of concern for some teams, falls out of the top five.
As of Wednesday, odds on the Over 5.5 for Tagovailoa’s draft position were +120 at BetAmerica. There have been reports this week that he could fall even further down the draft order, with discussion that his stock is falling.
How many wide receivers will be drafted in the first round?
CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III – the top-three ranked receivers in the draft – are all expected to be selected in between the 10th and 20th overall picks, and there were suggestions earlier this month that perhaps as many as six receivers could be taken in the first round on Thursday.
The total for wide receivers taken in the first round has been set at 5.5, with about 66% of money on the Over.
Beyond the top three receivers, it’s expected that LSU Tigers product Justin Jefferson will be able to leverage an outstanding 2019 season into a first-round selection. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings hold the 20th, 21st, and 22nd overall selections and all three appear to have a need at wide receiver.
Tee Higgins out of Clemson and Denzel Mims out of Baylor could also factor into the later portion of the first round. If so, the Over would hit.
It’s ambitious, but this is a talented, highly touted crop of receivers, which certainly doesn’t hurt the Over here.