NFL Draft (11:00 AM ET ESPN & NFL Network)

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NFL Draft (11:00 AM ET ESPN & NFL Network)


NFL Draft betting

There are few days in sports that carry the anticipation of Saturday, the opening of the annual NFL Draft betting . It seems that each year, the offseason happenings in the NFL betting are hyped more and more, and this year's college entry draft has been no different. After all, this year's selections will be the next crop of players entertaining us each Sunday in the fall. Of course, as is the case with any other major sporting spectacle, there are a vast number of betting opportunities to take advantage of, including odds to be the top pick, over/under positions on key players, and other fun miscellaneous props. Here is a look at the options at…

2007 NFL Draft betting First Pick
Adrian Peterson 50-1
Brady Quinn 30-1
Calvin Johnson 1-1
Gaines Adams 30-1
JaMarcus Russell 1-6
Joe Thomas 30-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: By virtue of owning the league's worst record in 2006, the Oakland Raiders are first on the clock for Saturday and according to oddsmakers, they are most likely to choose either Jamarcus Russell, the gi-normous quarterback from LSU, or Calvin Johnson, the super-freak wide receiver from Georgia Tech. Brady Quinn is also a longshot possibility, but most experts give Russell the nod over the prototype QB from Notre Dame. In fact, considering that seven of the last nine top picks have been quarterbacks, Russell would seem to be the smart pick for both Oakland, and the NFL Draft betting bettor.

Selection Over/Under Position - JaMarcus Russell LSU QB
1st Pick 1-6
2nd Pick 2-1
3rd Pick 10-1
4th Pick 25-1
5th Pick 50-1 zx
Field (any other pick) 50-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: To me this is a tricky bet. In the likely event that you win, the 1-6 odds are not very rewarding. However, should the Raiders throw a curveball into the entire process by either trading the pick or choosing someone else, you lose big. Remember, the Texans threw everyone for a loop last year by going with Mario Williams over sure-fire #1 Reggie Bush.

Selection Over/Under Position - Brady Quinn Notre Dame QB
1st Pick 20-1
2nd Pick 8-1
3rd Pick 5-4
4th Pick 6-1
5th Pick 12-1
6th Pick 8-1
7th Pick 6-1
8th Pick 6-1
9th Pick 10-1
10th Pick 15-1
zx Field (any other pick) 10-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: Quinn's draft day stock has gone up, down, and around more times since January than a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. On the surface, he would seem to be the prototype, golden boy quarterback that every franchise is looking for. However, some teams are either playing dumb, like the Lions at #2, or simply trying to not lead on regarding their interest in the Notre Dame star. The odds at #2 are very favorable at 8-1, and considering Detroit's need for a QB, could be worth a look. Otherwise, he's likely to go to Cleveland at #3. Word is, beyond that, he could fall all the way to Miami at #9.

Selection Over/Under Position Adrian Peterson Oklahoma RB
1st Pick 35-1
2nd Pick 30-1
3rd Pick 1-1
4th Pick 9-2
5th Pick 10-1
6th Pick 6-1
7th Pick 9-2
8th Pick 10-1
9th Pick 12-1
10th Pick 12-1
zx Field (any other pick) 10-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: Peterson's projected position in most experts' mock drafts have been all over the place, and thus the reasoning behind the vastly large underdog NFL odds at every draft pick number. Cleveland holds the #3 pick, and the 1-1 odds to pick the Oklahoma stud, but keep in mind the Browns signed Jamal Lewis over the offseason and have more pressing needs. The fact is that beyond the Raiders at #1, not many of the top 10 teams are looking for a franchise running back. Did I really just say that?

Selection Over/Under Position Calvin Johnson Georgia Tech WR
1st Pick 11-5
2nd Pick 6-5
3rd Pick 7-2
4th Pick 4-1
5th Pick 15-1
6th Pick 60-1
7th Pick 60-1
8th Pick 100-1
9th Pick 100-1
10th Pick 100-1
zx Field (any other pick) 50-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: Widely recognized as the top talent, or can't-miss pick of this year's crop, the only thing holding back Johnson from being the #1 pick is that he plays wide receiver. It's a pretty sizeable risk for the Raiders to use their top selection on a wideout when the Randy Moss experiment went so miserably wrong. Beyond #1, the Lions and Browns need quarterbacks, and don't forget, OT Joe Thomas of Wisconsin is also getting extremely favorable reviews as a #2 or #3 pick. Most experts feel Johnson won't make it past Tampa Bay at #4, so the 4-1 odds there could be one of the better underdog options available.

Prop Option - Number of WRs + TEs taken in Round One
Over 5.5 (+160)
Under 5.5 (-200)

StatFox Steve's Analysis: This is a strong year for playmakers at the wide receiver and tight end positions. As many as five or six wideouts, and two tight ends have been described as first round talent. My own mock draft lists a total of six, and the movement since has been favorable, so I may play the over at +160 here.

Prop Option - Number of Running Backs taken in Round One
Over 2.5 (+325)
Under 2.5 (-450)

StatFox Steve's Analysis: There are two sure-fire first round running back picks in this year's draft crop, Peterson, and Marshawn Lynch of Cal. Beyond that, I believe it comes down to whether or not franchises feel that Antonio Pittman of Ohio State is first round material. I don't think it goes any further. Still, at +325 to go over 2.5, this could be a nice option, especially considering the success that rookie running backs have had over the last couple of years in the NFL Draft betting.

Prop Option - Number of Offensive Linemen taken in Round One
Over 4.5 (-110)
Under 4.5 (-120)

StatFox Steve's Analysis: All I can say here is that my own mock draft only had three offensive linemen selected in the first round, and since doing that, no real other contender has made a big name for himself. Most experts seem to agree that this is an off year for the big fellas up front on offense. I'll stick to that tune and side with under 4.5.

Prop Option - Number of Defensive Linemen taken in Round One
Over 7 (-155)
Under 7 (+125)

StatFox Steve's Analysis: The majority of the projections I've seen have listed about eight different qualified first round picks on the defensive line. Pass rushers and run-stuffers are an essential ingredient to any team's success, and this year's crop of draftees offers numerous options. I personally had eight defensive linemen going in round one in my own mock draft, none less than the 24th pick. Therefore, it would seem that the over 7 would be a safe bet for me, even at 155.

Prop Option - School with Most Picks in the 1st Round
FSU 12-1
Florida 30-1
LSU 1-4
Miami Florida 5-1
Michigan 12-1
Ohio St 40-1
Penn State 50-1
Tennessee 8-1
Texas 7-1
USC 30-1

StatFox Steve's Analysis: This is one of those types of props where you figure that their must be a reason that LSU's odds are so strong. I myself had the Tigers with three first rounders, but I also had Texas with the same amount. However, the Longhorns draftees were projected much later in the round, so even at 7-1, it could still be a risk. In the end, I probably won't play anything on this.

You know you'll be watching the draft at various points this weekend on either ESPN or the NFL Draft betting Network. What better way to spice up the coverage than to have some action on it?

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