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Rabalais: Who will Joe Burrow hug first? Mom? Dad? His dog? Prop bets add spice to NFL draft
22nd April, 21:40The lack of live events to wager on because of the coronavirus pandemic has knocked the sports betting industry on its back like an underdog challenger in an MMA fight. According to an ESPN article last week, March sports betting revenue in New Jersey alone was down nearly 60 percent in terms of money won by sportsbooks.
Las Vegas is taking an even bigger hit than usual considering the fact the NFL draft was supposed to be held in the gambling capital starting Thursday, an event that surely would have drawn tens of thousands to The Strip. The draft will still go on as scheduled though not as planned, of course, with teams drafting players remotely while they await the call at home.
Not surprisingly, prop bets being put out by sportsbooks are looking pretty imaginative this year. Here are a few of note, courtesy of the folks BetOnline.ag:
Who will the No. 1 overall pick hug first? That pick being former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, odds are even money that he will first embrace his mom, Robin. Dad Jimmy gets second odds at 5/2, followed by Joe's girlfriend at 3/1 and friends and siblings at 7/1.
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Will the No. 1 overall pick cry? "No" is the heavy favorite at 1/7, while "Yes" is at 4/1. Personally, I don't think Burrow will blubber at the official news of getting drafted by Cincinnati -- though considering how bad the Bengals are, he may cry later. Still, it's worth remembering how choked up he got during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech.
Will any team not get its pick in on time? This is one of the more tantalizing props considering, as we said, all the teams are literally working from home without benefit of a traditional "war room" set up (we refer you to the now infamous Saints/Dixie brewery controversy). "No" there won't be an issue is the 2/3 favorite while "Yes" is at 11/10.
This year's circumstances would seem to make a costly glitch more likely, especially since picks got bungled twice in recent drafts. The Baltimore Ravens in 2011 and Minnesota Vikings in 2003 both missed their first-round slots as they were trying to execute trades. Neither team lost their selection, but both ended up drafting two spots lower (Baltimore at No. 28, Minnesota at No. 9) after other teams rushed their picks in.
Will the NFL draft be hacked? Another pertinent techno-draft question, but one that doesn't appear as likely to the oddsmakers. "No" is an overwhelming 1/25 favorite, with "Yes" at 8/1. The kids at Cal Tech and MIT, who have pulled off some inventive in-game pranks at the Rose Bowl and the Harvard-Yale game, are now on the clock.
First three wide receivers drafted in exact order. The top contender for this trifecta is Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs at 9/4. The combo of Lamb, Jeudy and LSU's Justin Jefferson is a sporty seventh choice at 12/1.
Which pick will Jefferson, K'Lavon Chaisson, Kristian Fulton and Patrick Queen be drafted? Not an exacta or anything, we're just grouping them for brevity. Chaisson's over/under is 16½, followed by Jefferson at 21½ and Fulton and Queen at 24½. The Saints go into the draft with the 24th overall selection, so that makes the Fulton and Queen props extra juicy.
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By the way, there is no prop bet on where Burrow gets drafted. If there was, it would probably look like his odds the day before the Heisman ceremony.
Highest drafted offensive lineman and running back. He isn't projected to go until Friday's second and third rounds, but LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry is the 2/3 favorite over Auburn's Prince Tega Wanogho (13/5). At running back, former Tiger Clyde Edwards-Helaire (also a projected second-day selection) is second choice at 7/5 behind Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins (4/5).
Total dogs shown during the first round. The over/under is 3½. Something tells me the guys in Vegas know exactly how many potential first-rounders own dogs. For the other pet demographic, the over/under on cats shown is one-half. Woof!
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