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NFL Draft: Building a mock draft based primarily on what betting odds tell us - Part I - TSN.ca
17th April, 21:55The biggest live event on the spring calendar is less than a week away.
With the rest of the sports world shut down due to COVID-19, the anticipation continues to build towards the 2020 NFL Draft, which runs virtually April 23-25, with the first round going Thursday night starting at 8 p.m. ET and running until 11:30 p.m.
By this point, most football fans have already read their fair share of mock drafts.
However, even the best NFL Draft experts will admit how difficult it is to navigate the unpredictability of the league's 32 general managers.
It's easy to understand why it's so tough to project how the selection process will unfold.
Perspective is important, which led us to this question:
What would the 2020 NFL Draft look like if each pick were dictated by the betting odds we see in the prop markets?
We took the time to build a mock draft based primarily on that information.
Here is a look at the top 10 picks for the 2020 NFL Draft as dictated by the sports betting odds posted by Bodog.
The Bengals can't pass on the opportunity to hit the reset button with a legitimate franchise quarterback.
Coming off one of the best college football seasons ever at the position, Burrows is listed at -10000 to go first overall.
There is always the possibility a team attempts to trade up to No. 2 if they become enamored enough with a quarterback prospect.
However, the fact that this line has already shifted from -1200 to -1400 over the past couple of days seems to reaffirm the position that Young's ceiling is too high for Washington to pass on with this pick.
Bodog considers the trifecta of Burrow, Young, Okudah the most likely exact outcome of the first three picks at -125 odds.
Detroit is listed at -600 to use its top pick on a defender.
Okudah is the betting favourite to go third overall at -110 odds.
This pick has been a popular trade target in mock drafts that feature teams that want to move up to select a quarterback.
However, with the draft position over/under prop bets for Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert set at 4.5 and 5.5 respectively, the odds dictate that the Lions stay put and take Okudah third overall.
This pick is where things get interesting from a betting perspective.
Earlier this week, Bodog had Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa as the betting favourite to be the second offensive player drafted after Burrows at +150 odds.
Since then, Tagovailoa has dropped to +235 to be the second offensive player drafted, while teammate Jedrick Wills Jr. has emerged as the betting favourite at +200.
The Giants are listed at -220 to select an offensive player and they need help at tackle so Wills would make sense at fourth overall.
However, when we look at the draft prop for the first offensive lineman drafted, it is Wirfs listed as the favourite at -140 compared to Wills at +165.
Also, Bodog's "Who Will Be Drafted First" prop bet lists Wirfs at -170 versus Wills at +130 in a head-to-head matchup.
All things considered, Wirfs makes the most sense at fourth overall.
Trades are the most unpredictable aspect of the NFL Draft.
While the betting odds initially dictated the Dolphins would have to trade up in order to select Tagovailoa, the latest update has them staying put and landing their franchise quarterback at fifth overall.
Nobody will be shocked if a team trades up to draft Tagovailoa.
However, his prop bet draft position is set at over 4.5 -240.
There has been a lot of talk about Herbert being the second quarterback off the board.
Bodog has Miami at EVEN money to take either one of Tagovailoa and Herbert.
Still, Tagovailoa at least temporarily remains the slight favourite over Herbert in Bodog's "Who Will Be Drafted First" prop bet at -135 to -105, so he gets the edge at this pick.
Another interesting note from Bodog: L.A. is listed at +110 to be the team that drafts Herbert compared to +150 to be the team that gets Tagovailoa.
While they might be tempted to grab one of the top defensive prospects still on the board, the Chargers are listed at -550 to go offence with their first draft pick.
Herbert remains the betting favourite to be the third quarterback off the board at -115.
This pick also lines up with Herbert's draft position over/under prop at 5.5.
Carolina is listed at -550 to draft a defensive player with its first pick.
The Panthers get an absolute gift here with Simmons - an ideal replacement for the retired Luke Kuechly.
Simmons is listed at -4500 to be the first linebacker off the board.
The Clemson linebacker's draft position over/under is set at 6.5.
Acquiring DeAndre Hopkins without spending a first-round pick means Arizona can address another immediate need with a tackle at No. 8.
This pick also lines up with Wills' draft position over/under at 8.5.
This was another interesting pick since Jacksonville is the betting favourite to draft Utah State quarterback Jordan Love at +300 odds.
While they could still be in the market for a quarterback, Bodog has the Jaguars listed at -200 to use their first pick on a defender.
The betting favourite to be the second defensive lineman drafted at -450, this selection also lines up with Brown's draft position over/under at 8.5.
This pick also checks the boxes for a team that needs protection help.
Cleveland is listed at -600 to spend its first selection on offence.
Becton fills a significant void as the best remaining tackle on the board.
Note: Part 2 of this two-part series on NFL Draft prop bets will run during the evening of Monday, April 20 at TSN.ca