2020 NFL Draft Gambling Roundtable

Mike Fanelli, Givanni Damico, Connor Neal, Sam Schneider, Raul Vazquez | April 22nd, 2020

The 2020 NFL draft is finally here! With no live sports for several weeks now, the draft has been the center of the sports world. In addition to being the center of the sports world, it is also the center of the sports gambling world. There are hundreds of different bets that can be made from over/under on player’s draft selection to the number of cornerbacks selected in the first round to which quarterback will be drafted second after Joe Burrow.

Here at The Scorecrow, we offer an NFL draft gambling roundtable. Five of our writers have come together to give their opinions on six of the more popular NFL draft bets. Be sure to reach out to any of our writers on twitter if you have a question about their answers or any other NFL draft gambling advice.

All lines can be found on Draft Kings. Remember our writers aren’t professional gamblers and please gamble responsibly.

Tua Tagovailoa Draft Selection: Over/Under 5.5

Mike: Over (+110)

Given the hands off draft process, several teams will be scared off from drafting Tua because of his injury history. Reportedly, some teams have taken him off their draft board completely. The Dolphins have done a lot of homework on Justin Herbert and he is the safer pick given Tua’s injury history. Herbert had a productive offseason from the Senior Bowl to the combine and private meetings. I believe Herbert will be the Dolphins choice at fifth overall, making Tua’s ceiling sixth overall to the Chargers unless a team trades up for him, which I don’t see happening.

Gio: Under (-134)

If Tua is there at fifth overall, I’ll find it hard to believe if the Dolphins pass on him. The only thing that could potentially stop this from happening is if the Lions and Giants stay put at their respective draft positions. If that occurs, Herbert could be the pick for Miami, but I fully believe that Tua will be a Dolphin and that he will be selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Connor: Over (+110)

After the recent news broke that Tua not only broke his wrist not once but twice during his time at Alabama, combined with all of his other injury history, I have a hard time believing he goes in the top-five. His ceiling starts with the Chargers at sixth overall but they could wait till day two to select a quarterback. Given his medical history, I believe Tua has a real chance at not only sliding past the Dolphins at fifth overall but potentially into the back half of the top 10 picks.

Sam: Under (-134)

Popular thinking is that he cannot get past the Chargers at number six and while that makes sense, he’s not falling that far. If the Chargers want the southpaw now that they have fortified the right side of their line, they will have to trade up to take him and general manager Tom Telesco historically is not fond of trades. There could be multiple teams offering up a pretty penny for Tua and the Redskins could still shock the world by taking him at number two, but I doubt it. This has Miami at number five written all over it barring a team mortgaging their future for a player that will put asses in seats.

Raul: Over (+110)

This bet is solely in the hands of the Dolphins. I think it is fair to take the over and gamble on Tua landing with the Chargers or any other team. There have been some rumblings around the league that the Dolphins have Herbert graded higher than Tua. On top of that, there has even been some talk that Miami might not take a quarterback at fifth overall.

Defensive Players Selected in the First-Round: Over/Under 15.5

Mike: Over (+130)

I’m on the over not so much because I love the defensive depth in the first-round but rather cause I don’t see a ton of first-round talent on the offensive side of the ball. I believe we will see four quarterbacks, one running back, five wide receivers, and five offensive tackles come off the board in the first round. That totals 15 players, leaving 17 available spots for defensive players. Even if a sixth offensive tackle like Ezra Cleveland or wide receiver like Jalen Reagor comes off the board, that means 16 defensive players will be selected, still hitting the over.

Gio: Over (+130)

In my latest mock draft, I have 15 defensive players going in the first round, but I made a couple picks that I’m not incredibly confident in. My margin of error could very well be one or more, so it’s not worth it for me to take the under. There’s loads of offensive depth in this draft which may lead teams to wait till day two or three to take receivers or running backs.

Connor: Over (+130)

I believe 14 to 17 defensive players could go in the first round. While the number at 15.5 is right in the middle (as it should be), I’m going to take the over for two simple reasons. One, the depth on the defensive side of the ball at certain positions is thin, pushing up players on the draft board. Two, there is plenty of depth at almost every offensive position, which will push players down on the board.

Sam: Over (+130)

The talk of this draft is depth and talent at wide receiver which leads me to believe that aside from the top tier players, most teams will opt for the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker is what makes this a safe over as there is an opportunity for teams who have already picked to move up and back into the first round for a Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, or Zack Baun depending on how the chips fall. This just adds to a list that is likely to feature at least six defensive backs, a few defensive tackles, and a few edge rushers.

Raul: Under (-159)

To my count, there are only ten defensive players who are considered first-round locks. Of course, there are always first-round surprises like Terrell Edmunds a few years ago. I would take here but just barely. I can see several defensive players who could sneak their way into the back half of the first round so I don’t have a lot of confidence in this pick.

Running Backs Selected in the First-Round: Over/Under 0.5

Mike: Over (-200)

I wouldn’t be surprised if a running back didn’t go in the first round and if I was running an NFL franchise, I wouldn’t draft any of these running backs in the first round. However, we have gone five straight drafts with at least one running back being drafted on day one. Over those five years, 1.8 running backs on average go in the first round. The latest NFL reports say several league executives believe at least one if not two running backs go in the bottom third of the round. With teams like the Dolphins, Seahawks, Ravens, and Chiefs all potentially taking a running back, laying a price of -200 is expensive but very likely to hit.

Gio: Under (+163)

I just don’t see any team picking a running back over another position that they need more. I expect at least four running backs to go in the second round, but teams are going to realize that they can wait on running backs and draft another position that is of more need or value to them. If the Titans didn’t bring back Derrick Henry, I would’ve gone with the over.

Connor: Over (-200)

With the recent report that many in the NFL believe two running back could go off the board between the Dolphins at 26th overall and the Chiefs at 32nd overall, I find it hard to believe that every one of the several running back needy teams passes on one. Give me the over despite the heavy price.

Sam: Over (-200)

Sure, there’s a lot of talent in this draft at the wide receiver position but the first round will not go without a running back. Whether it’s the Chiefs staying at 32nd overall or a team like the Falcons or Jaguars jumping back into the first round for a running back, I don’t see the night ending without a running back coming off the board.

Raul: Over (-200)

You only need one team to take a running back in the first round so I would definitely take the over. A report came out yesterday that the sweet spot for the running backs is between picks 26-32 and that we could see one or two taken in that range. I can see either the Chiefs or Dolphins taking a running back in the first round and that’s assuming no one trades up for one.

Wide Receivers Selected in the First-Round: Over/Under 5.5

Mike: Under (+163)

Four wide receivers are first-round locks: Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Justin Jefferson. After that, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the fifth wide receiver off the board. However, whether it’s Reagor, Denzel Mims, or Tee Higgins, I don’t see how two more wide receivers come off the board before the night is over. After the Eagles pick at 21 overall (where many draft experts believe Jefferson will land), the Vikings are the only team left in the first-round who have a big need at wide receiver. If this number was 4.5, I would take the over but I think we end day one with just five wide receivers off the board.

Gio: Under (+163)

Jeudy, Lamb, Ruggs, Jefferson, and Brandon Aiyuk are my guesses to go in the first round. Mims could be that sixth guy to screw up my bet, but I think teams may get too comfortable due to the depth in this class and wait until day two to take a receiver.

Connor: Under (+163)

Finally, I pick an under. We know the big four receivers of Lamb, Jeudy, Ruggs, and Jefferson will be picked in the first round. However, after that, it’s a big question mark. Could two more wide receivers go off the board before the end of the night? Yes, but it’s unlikely to happen, especially without a lot of wide receiver needy teams in the back third of the round and with the depth at the position this year.

Sam: Under (+163)

There is not going to be a true run on wide receivers in the first round because the class is just too deep. Once the top names are off the board by pick 22 (if not sooner), teams will be content to wait it out and see who falls into their lap on Friday. Green Bay might take the fifth wide receiver at 30th overall but even then the under still hits.

Raul: Over (-200)

This one is one of the easiest ones for me. This should absolutely go over. The locks to go in the first round are Jeudy, Lamb, Ruggs, and Jefferson and then from there, it is all about the preference for teams. With the depth of the class, teams might be inclined to take their guy in the first round instead of waiting. Guys like Mims, Aiyuk, or Higgins could help push this over.

First Running Back Selected

Mike: D’Andre Swift (-155)

While draft twitter seems to be in love with Jonathan Taylor after his blazing fast 40 time at the combine, reports are that most NFL teams have Swift as their highest graded running back. Swift was viewed by many as the top running back in the draft class at the beginning of the college football season while Taylor and J.K. Dobbins gained momentum as the season and draft process went on. However, given his impact in both the pass and run game, Swift is likely to be the only running back drafted on Thursday night.

Gio: D’Andre Swift (-155)

He’s not my top graded running back but I think teams will recognize his versatility in the receiving game that Taylor and Dobbins don’t quite have. He may be viewed as more of a “complete” running back, although if I were basing it off that, I’d rather have Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Swift to Tampa Bay at pick 45 as the first running back off the board would be my bet.

Connor: D’Andre Swift (-155)

As the league evolves, running backs need to make an impact in the passing game. Of the big three backs: Swift, Dobbins, and Taylor, Swift is easily the best pass catching back. While many draft experts believe Taylor is the best back in the draft, he had limited work in the passing game at Wisconsin and I believe that will hurt his chances of being the first running back off the board.

Sam: Jonathan Taylor (+200)

As I mentioned earlier, whether it’s the Chiefs or a team like the Falcons or Jaguars trading back into the first round, a running back will go 32nd overall. I believe Taylor fits the most team’s preferred running back style and between the Chiefs wanting a track star lineup and Taylor’s productive college career, he should be the first running back off the board.

Raul: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+800)

Much like the offensive line, there is a top-four for running backs in this draft class: Taylor, Dobbins, Swift, and Edwards-Helaire. Who knows how the teams have the players ranked but for the value, I love Edwards-Helaire at +800. He is a crazy good value and is worth the gamble while Taylor could very well be the first back off the board, I’ll take a bit of a long shot and hope the NFL loves Edwards-Helaire’s upside in the passing game.

First Offensive Lineman Selected

Mike: Tristan Wirfs (+200)

To me, this seems like easy money. Of the big four offensive tackles in this draft class: Wirfs, Jedrick Wills Jr., Andrew Thomas, and Mekhi Becton, Wirfs is the safest one of the group. Reports are some NFL teams have concerns with Wills’ ability to pick up a complex blocking scheme, while Becton reportedly failed his drug test at the combine, and Thomas isn’t the pass blocker Wirfs is. Reportedly the Giants are zeroing in on an offensive tackle with their fourth overall selection and I believe they want the safest floor player and that is Wirfs.

Gio: Tristan Wirfs (+200)

Wirfs has a ton of potential. He’s a great athlete who is also a powerful presence. I could make an argument for Thomas, Wills, or Becton, but it would seem wrong for a team to pass on Wirfs if he were still on the board. Wirfs to the Cardinals at pick eight overall is my guess when the first offensive lineman comes off the board.

Connor: Tristan Wirfs (+200)

The Giants are likely going to be the first team to select an offensive lineman tomorrow night. Wirfs ran the fastest 40 time at the combine among offensive lineman(4.85) and had both the best vertical and broad jump. We know that Dave Gettleman loves athletic freaks and with that being said, I expect Wirfs to be the first offensive lineman drafted because of his athleticism.

Sam: Tristan Wirfs (+200)

The mystery is not which one goes first but where. Wirfs has all the tools and in the 2020 NFL, having a bonafide tackle fall into your lap is like finding gold. Depending on what happens at the top of this draft with quarterbacks, Wirfs won’t make it past Los Angeles at number six overall; assuming their quarterback is already gone. Regardless, there will be plenty of teams crumbling up their “ideal” first-round pick sheets if he’s still on the board.

Raul: Jedrick Wills Jr. (-167)

For the offensive line, there are the obvious top four that everyone has been talking about leading up to the draft in Wills, Becton, Wirfs, and Thomas. With different circumstances surrounding this year’s draft, the pick will almost certainly come down to who is most pro-ready and can start right away which is why I think Wills is the first one off the board.

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