5 more draft bets and my reactions to position over unders

Following up last week with more bets for the draft in two weeks

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The draft is 13 days away and sportsbooks are beginning to post more markets. Caesars and DraftKings were the first to post player position over unders this week. Here are my thoughts on the newly available markets.

*Note, the following are not bets I am making. The prices in brackets are current odds at the time of writing. The bets I am making are in the second section of this email below. 

Bo Nix (DK 32.5 o-165, CZ 26.5 o-230)

The price at Caesars has not moved, but DraftKings initially posted 32.5 u-155 and has now flipped on what they have deemed effectively a yes/no first round prop on Nix. My personal take is that Nix will not be drafted in the first round and Denver will draft on defense. Todd McShay said on the Ryen Russillo podcast that “there is not a single person in the league, evaluators, scouts, directors or GM’s that have a first round grade on Bo Nix.” (Credit to Tim Murray for posting the link).

Where I am torn is the number of mocks from people I respect that have Nix going to Denver or in the first round in their mock drafts. This week Evan Silva has him at #12. Last week Brendan Donahue had him at #12. Daniel Jeremiah had him at #14 in his Mock 1.0 (which is the only one he has done which did not account for specific scenarios which altered the entire mock).

Brian Thomas Jr (DK 16.5 o-175, CZ 16.5 o-125)

Caesars opened this prop at 17.5 before DraftKings posted. I got a text last Saturday afternoon from the sharpest draft bettor I know who said he bet the under at that number. Thomas got down as low as 15.5 -115 at both Caesars and DraftKings on Monday. Since Wednesday morning, the price has been smashed the other direction and is nearly back at the initial opener.

The best piece of public intel on Thomas I have seen is from Gregg Rosenthal who thinks the Colts at 15 is the floor but it is far from conclusive given his role at the network.

Since Josh Allen listed Thomas first in a WR list late March, there has been growing sentiment the Bills may trade up. That sentiment became stronger last week after his LSU teammate Malik Nabers said on an IG live stream that he thinks Thomas will go to Buffalo. Receiver is a priority for the Bills, but trading up in such a deep WR class seems like an unlikely decision.

The if he does not go to the Colts, I’m not sure he doesn’t slide towards the 20’s.

Byron Murphy II (DK 16.5 u-165, CZ 17.5 u-185)

Both DraftKings and Caesars have moved down since open after a service release on April 8th. DK initially posted 16.5 u-110 and Caesars was 18.5 u-145.

Daniel Jeremiah has Murphy 19th in his top 50 and the only defensive tackle inside the top 30. Dane Brugler has him 16th in his top 50. Yesterday Murphy met with the Seahawks (pick 16) for the second time after previously visiting with them at the combine. He has also met with the Raiders (pick 13) and Vikings (pick 11).

ESPN Draft analyst Matt Miller said sources inside the Seahawks organization believe that 16 is the floor for Murphy and cited new HC McDonald prioritizing the defensive tackle position as reason for interest.

The move from 18.5 to 16.5 reads more significant than it is. Neither Jacksonville nor Cincinnati at 17/18 are expected to go defensive line. This is really a question of the floor for Murphy being 16 or 19. If he makes it past Seattle, he should go 19 to the Rams.

JJ McCarthy (DK 5.5 u-190, CZ 5.5 u-165)

McCarthy has not moved a position at DK or Caesars, but over money has come in. DraftKings has moved from -240 to -190 and Caesars has moved from -210 to -165.

The consensus thought is that the Vikings traded with the Texans to be able to move up to get McCarthy. Denver nor Las Vegas has the ammo on paper to move up past Minnesota and neither Arizona or LA would take a QB at 4 or 5. So the fact this is 5.5 in my opinion makes it a question of do the Vikings move up?

Adam Schefter threw a wrench into that thinking saying it was actually the Texans who approached the Vikings, wanting another mid round pick to acquire Diggs. (Credit Connor Allen for posting the link).

After the trade in March, Daniel Jeremiah said that he has intel the Vikings are making the push for Drake Maye and not JJ McCarthy. If Minnesota does not trade for him at pick 4, he may slide to Denver at #12 or beyond

DraftKings Only:

Joe Alt (7.5 u-220)

The top offensive lineman in the draft opened 7.5 u-150 and has only been bet up since after the Chargers (5th pick) had yet another coach comment about the importance of the position. Titans are projected by almost everyone (but me for some reason) to draft an offensive lineman at pick #7.

Rome Odunze (8.5 o-125)

Odunze is the only player who has not moved since open at DraftKings. Adam Schefter said this week if he had to make a friendly wager the Giants would take a wide receiver or offensive lineman at pick #6. Malik Nabers has been bet heavily and is now -230 to be the second WR taken, which would likely push Odunze to pick #9 unless Atlanta throws a curveball

Caesars Only:

Brock Bowers (11.5 o-165)

Likely a single bet on Bowers over was enough to push this up to the current price of -165 from the opener of -130. The only spot Bowers makes sense inside the top 11 is the Jets at #10. Their TE coach Ron Middleton was at his pro day this week. The Jets were overwhelming favorites to draft OL before signing three starters when the Bowers rumours picked up. As great as this sounds for Jets fans, I still have (slightly) more confidence they go OL than the star TE prospect at pick #10.

Amarius Mims (22.5 o-180)

Mims opened at 22.5 u-120 and has seen his price flip considerably in the last 24 hours after his pro day where he chose not to weigh in or test. Mims did not do anything but position drills, and also pulled out of the combine with a hamstring injury. 

The following are available at FanDuel, DraftKings or Caesars at the time of writing.

As I have done throughout this entire process, I want to reiterate that I am not a draft expert. This is my first time fully handicapping and betting the draft. I do not have connections to the teams nor staff within the league. This is not a cop out in case of losing selections, it is the truth. The bets below (as were the ones last week) are based off publicly available information that can be read or consumed through media online.

Los Angeles Chargers 1st Pick: Offensive Lineman (-110)

I might be crazy, but why is this not much higher? I know it makes sense that the Chargers may want to draft a wide receiver after losing Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. I just cannot ignore the mountain of evidence that the Chargers actually want to take an offensive lineman. In February, OC Greg Roman had a strong stance on building a run game for Justin Herbert. In late march HC Jim Harbaugh had an incredible video talking about OL importance for the team. This week run game coordinator Andy Bischoff said the Chargers are now an OL centric building with it at the forefront of their thinking for everything they do. I don’t think this is a smokescreen either as the four teams ahead of LA are not going to draft OL. Could the Cardinals trade pick #4 to Minnesota for a QB leaving Harrison for the Chargers? Sure. But even then it is not a given. I just can’t not bet on the strong subjective quotes from this new staff.

New York Giants 1st Pick: Wide Receiver (-165)

I think this Adam Schefter comment was terrific about the Giants taking a WR, and the sentiment from him is more than enough for me to make a bet here. I do not see a quarterback making sense at #6. I have not seen anything concrete to suggest they want to go QB either. All mock drafts I respect have a WR at 6. Malik Nabers would be a very good fit for Daboll and Kafka in this offense.

First Defensive Player Drafted: Laiatu Latu (+330)

In his most recent top 50, Daniel Jeremiah called Latu the most skilled pass rusher in the class. However, uncertainty around his neck injury have held him back from being ranked higher. Something I learned from watching so many GM interviews is the medical process is what they value most in player meetings. Yesterday afternoon, it was leaked that the Rams had medically cleared Latu, along with multiple other unnamed teams. It is likely we see this price crash as the more medical notes that come out, the higher he will climb in draft boards. If Jeremiah is right on his scouting, he may go ahead of Turner and Verse who are the consensus top defensive players in the draft. Latu was also confirmed last night to be one of 13 players in attendance at the draft.

9th Pick of Draft: Rome Odunze (+200)

Yesterday the Chicago Bears team website posted thoughts from 16 draft experts on what they will do with the 9th pick. Of the 16 experts, 10 said they will select Odunze. With Malik Nabers firmly taking over the #2 WR draft spot, it is becoming increasingly likely that Odunze is available at #9. He met with the Bears in late March after the combine. Evan Silva, Brendan Donahue, Mel Kiper and Daniel Jeremiah each have this happening in their latest mock drafts as well.

Amarius Mims Over 22.5 (-180)

I noted the Mims line move above, but is starting to look like a candidate for a draft day slide. Mims is a physical freak. His size was lauded at the combine. However, this offensive line class is very deep and Mims comes with a lot of uncertainty. He started just 8 games in college because of injury. He pulled a hamstring running at the combine and this week elected not to weigh in or test at his pro day. After being tied to him for weeks, the Steelers apparently did not send anyone to his pro day this week according to the report linked above. Mims has met with five teams. Denver (12), Jacksonville (17), Cincinnati (18), Pittsburgh (20) and Green Bay (25). I’d rule out the first four now, and think he lands in Green Bay, or on the second day.