The 2021 NFL Draft is almost here and it will be the biggest ever from a betting standpoint. The first two picks seem pretty decided with Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the New York Jets, but the fun really starts after that.
Betting odds are listed all over the place for a variety of different things surrounding Thursday’s first round from Cleveland, Ohio. It seems rather ironic that the NFL Draft begins on April 29 in Cleveland, considering that it is usually the biggest day of the year for the Browns, but they won’t pick until late in the first round.
There are a ton of betting opportunities out there, but we’ll focus on three best bets for the NFL Draft with odds and betting options from across all the different sportsbooks.
Position of New York Giants First Drafted Player – Offense (-136) (PointsBet)
You can also find this one at DraftKings at -137, William Hill at -140, or BetMGM at -140 if those are available to you. The Giants need offense. Whether the pick is Devonta Smith or another wide receiver, that position is one of the greatest of need. The other big need is on the offensive line.
When you look at the exact position the Giants are expected to draft with the first-round pick, wide receiver ranges from +150 to +200 and offensive lineman from +260 to +300.
At FanDuel, the top three choices for exact player drafted are Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, believed to be the second-best offensive tackle on the board.
It would be a big shocker if the Giants went defense with so many great offensive options at the top of the board. The only thing that would throw a wrench in their plans is if the quarterbacks don’t go as highly as expected, but teams may start trading up if a Justin Fields drops or something.
This seems like a great bet.
Najee Harris Draft Position Over 25.5 Draft Position (-125) (DraftKings)
Running backs may be making something of a resurgence in the NFL, but using draft capital to get a running back in the first round seems like a fool’s errand for General Managers that are trying to improve the roster, but also keep their jobs.
Najee Harris is pretty widely regarded as the first back off the board in this year’s draft. Of the teams picking near the tail end of the first round, there are not a lot that are in need of a running back. Teams that could use a back have much greater needs.
Frankly, no running backs in the first round pays +250 at FanDuel. That might be a bit of a stretch, but if it isn’t Harris, would some team reach on Trey Sermon? He’s +5000 to be the first RB taken at BetMGM.
Total Safeties Drafted in First Round – Over 0.5 (-175) (BetMGM)
Safeties are critically important in today’s NFL. Tight ends are creating mismatch nightmares all over the league. Teams are sacrificing cornerbacks to try and hang with tight ends, but it simply isn’t working out well against the league’s best. The safety position continues to grow in importance, especially as teams use running backs more in the passing game.
This is a weak safety draft, as only Trevon Moehrig out of TCU has a true, consensus first-round grade. Personally, I don’t think that matters. Teams are going to make that a position of need and a position of emphasis and will be comfortable with expanding the draft board to draft for need.
If you look at a Big Board, you’ll see that most of the safeties beyond Moehrig are listed in the 50s and 60s of the best players available. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see two of them make the first round, clearing this with room to spare.
For more NFL Draft Prop Bets and Picks, here’s Brian Blessing on offensive players in the first round and then on defensive backs: