The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away and approaching quickly. Unless something drastically changes, the NFL is planning to go ahead with the draft, as scheduled, on April 23-25. The NFL, not surprisingly, has been quite tight lipped on how exactly they are planning to take the proper precautions and what type of modifications they will have to make to the communication within teams’ staff as well as between teams.
There has also been speculation that the league may need to explore modifying the draft structure itself, especially when it comes to the amount of time that teams will be allowed between picks due to the unknown nature of how effective communication will be in practice, not just in theory.
Fear not though gamblers, the wagering shops are still treating the draft just as they would’ve any other year by offering plenty of opportunities to put down some money. In fact, many sportsbooks are offering even more NFL Draft prop bets than they normally would since the sports betting landscape is currently so thin.
William Hill seems to be leading the way with their wagering menu as they recently released 85 more NFL Draft prop bets. They’ve even taken it a step further and have released some of the data regarding which bets are drawing the most attention based on ticket count, total dollars wagered or both.
Where the Public is Right
Isaiah Simmons, the all-purpose defender from Clemson, has an over/under of 6.5 regarding the spot in which he will be selected. The under is juiced slightly to -125, while the over is +105. Currently at William Hill books, 81% of the tickets and 97% of the total dollars are on under 6.5, meaning that bettors are clearly in agreement that Simmons will come off the board before the 7th pick.
In our opinion, whenever books see numbers that are this lopsided it’s generally a good idea to stay away from the bet entirely or even to fade the “public” and get on the same side as the book. These types of numbers can be huge red flags…when something looks too good to be true, you know the rest.
In this case however, we can’t find much to argue with the “public” about. The Giants and Lions both have picks in the top-6 and are considered by most draft experts to be plausible landing spots for Simmons. The Panthers are also in the conversation of teams to have interest in Simmons, however Carolina has the seventh pick and they would need to trade up in the order for the under 6.5 to cash, should they decide that Simmons is their guy. Seeing the Panthers trade up to get him though, wouldn’t be a huge surprise considering the type of athleticism and versatility Simmons showed while at Clemson.
Simmons is an absolute athletic freak of nature. His combine statistics were outstanding and he’s the type of defender that can practically be considered position-less. At Clemson, he did everything from pass coverage as a traditional safety, to rushing the passer almost as a DE/Edge type player and everything in between.
With the exception of playing interior defensive line, he can essentially do everything on the defensive side of the ball. In other words, just get this man on the field and let him make plays.
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Where the Public is Wrong
Recently, we published a piece on why Jordan Love would be drafted under 13.5. William Hill has released a line that is even more favorable to that mindset as they have his over/under set at 15.5.
Even with the more favorable line, William Hill is still seeing extremely lopsided action. The William Hill books are reporting 74% of tickets and 96% of total dollars are being wagered on over 15.5, meaning that bettors overwhelmingly agree that Love won’t be selected until the 16th slot or later.
We won’t go into all the details here, as our previous piece comprehensively covers the reasoning that points towards the under. Simply put, we see Love as a possible top-10 pick. This is one of those spots where the “public” is going to get crushed by the books.
Picks: Simmons Under 6.5 -125. Love Under 15.5/13.5 -110
*Odds and wagering info provided by William Hill