Prop Betting Preview for the 2017 NFL Draft

When the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, football fans around the world will be tuning in to see which prospect their team takes.

Dynasties can be built on the back of a successful draft, while the league’s perennial laughingstocks can usually look to a lackluster slate of picks as the precursor to their misery. The NFL knows how important this annual ritual has become too, stretching the draft’s seven rounds over three nights.

Sports bettors can get in on the action too, courtesy of online sportsbook Bovada and its assortment of special draft day props:

Draft Position – Christian McCaffrey

Over 9.5 (-140)/Under 9.5 (EVEN)

This prop concerns Stanford’s standout running back and slot reciever Christian McCaffrey, and which pick will be used to select him.

As the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2015, McCaffrey has been heralded as a potential top-10 pick. His numbers came back down to Earth a bit in 2016, but even so teams like the New York Giants have been rumored to be looking at trades to move up and grab McCaffrey.

Per Bovada anyway, he’s a favorite to be chosen with picks 1 through 9, rather than dropping any further.

How Many Alabama Players Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 4.5 (EVEN)/Under 4.5 (-140)

Simply put, this prop asks how many players from Nick Saban’s dynasty down in Alabama will be selected in Round 1. The Crimson Tide have only put one player through as 1st-rounders in each of the previous two drafts, making Under the clear favorite.

How Many Defensive Players Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 18.5 (-120)/Under 18.5 (-120)

With pigskin pundits proclaiming this year’s draft class to be cornerback and linebacker heavy, Bovada asks how many defensive players will go in the first round. Last year saw 16 defenders chosen, while 15 made it in the first round in 2015, but this year could be the exception.

How Many Offensive Players Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 12.5 (-200)/Under 12.5 (-150)

Without a battle for quarterback supremacy, the prop for offensive players drafted in the first round looks a little low – especially considering 15 went last year, and 17 the year before. But defensive prowess is expected to be prized this time around, leading to the lopsided disparity between the underdog Over and favorite Under.

How Many Quarterbacks Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 2.5 (-300)/Under 2.5 (+200)

Speaking of QB’s, veteran football writer Peter King’s latest MMQB mock draft lists three passers going in the first round: Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, and Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes. That aligns nicely with Bovada’s line, and given Dak Prescott’s ascendance in Dallas last year as a rookie, the Over is a heavy favorite.

How Many Running Backs Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 2.5 (-300)/Under 2.5 (+200)

Using the same MMQB metric, King only lists two running backs among his top-32 – McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette of LSU. And once again, Bovada straddles that line with its numbers, so Under bettors are banking that no team takes a flier on Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.

How Many Wide Receivers Will Be Selected in the 1st Round?

Over 2.5 (-400)/Under 2.5 (+250)

King and his MMQB column predict three wideouts going in the first round: Mike Williams of Clemson, Corey Davis of Western Michigan, and John Ross of Washington.

If his predictions hold up, the big line to lay on the Over bet makes perfect sense. But King has Ross going at #32, so gambling on the Under wouldn’t be the worst bet by any stretch.