With the first betting event related to North American sports now in the books, I wanted to take some notes of what I learned from betting on the NFL 2020 draft. We posted our prop bets article (can be found here) with the intent to help you get some action on the event as well as, reflect on how we did. Some did better than others but, I believe for some picks we all had the same thought process. I will now take a stab at what I believe are the 3 takeaways from betting on the NFL Draft.
1. Information is King so Take Advantage
What’s the one thing everyone who had interest in this draft was looking at or completing themselves? Mock drafts. Although mock drafts can create paralysis by analysis, there are certain nuggets that can lead to a bet with a high degree of certainty. An example of this, as said on the Ross Tucker Even Money Podcast, is a bet made by long time Vegas bettor Steve Fezzik. “Who will go first in the draft, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love”, with Justin Herbert being the favorite at -200. I ciphered through probably hundreds of mock drafts, completed many with friends and not once did I see Love going before Herbert. The price and the degree of certainty associated with this bet is so much stronger than your average -200 bet.
Mock drafts, beat writers and draft experts who have relationships with NFL personnel (Daniel Jerimiah, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, etc.) are the main sources of information to keep in mind. These 3 should be considered your pillars of information gathering for betting on the NFL Draft. Beat writers can be of concern because their job may evolve into providing the public with smoke and mirrors however, they know their teams the best and provide information accordingly. Daniel Jerimiah has been the Mike Mayock replacement as NFL Network’s top draft analyst and its for good reason as seen below.
I would argue he went 4/4 with these predictions with Trevon Diggs being the only debate. The one I would like to highlight is Austin Jackson. Jerimiah also had this to say about Jackson in reply to FootballGuys, Sigmund Bloom:
Jackson ended up going at pick 18 but this leads me to our next point…timing timing timing.
2. Timing is Everything if you want Great Value
In everyday betting, timing is important if you are looking to bet on a line you like before it moves in the wrong direction. With regards to the NFL Draft, timing might be the most important factor to achieve success…and I think it can be easier than most think. For example, Mekhi Becton was flagged for a failed drug test which came to light on April 17th (can be read about here). With the news being released it can only mean that his draft stock would go down from his projection of 8.5 but, this meant someone had to jump. If you were keeping up with the draft, you would have known there were 4 main offensive tackles and the one player you could have benefited from betting wise, was Andrew Thomas. His projection on April 17th was 11.5 priced at -110. On draft day, Andrew Thomas closed at -225…talk about value.
This also meant the same thing for Austin Jackson. Jackson was widely known as the OT to be going 5th off the board and with his projection at 28.5 at -130 on April 17th, and the uncertainty of how much this would drive Becton down, 28.5 was too big a number. Jackson later closed at -150 on Draft day before being picked at pick 18.
Some other examples of this are the picks that went 1st and 2nd. Joe Burrow closed at -10000 (yes you read that right) to go 1st overall but he opened at -1200. Look at the difference, yes both prices are ludicrous to even consider but it shows you how much value can be found early in the draft process. Same could be said for Chase Young. He closed on some books at -2800 while he opened as low as -400 on some books. Throughout the draft process it was clear he was the best prospect in the draft and his prices subtly changed but you still had a chance to get Young at -650 for most of March.
With all this being said, the expression which brings me into our next point is “If a politician’s lips are moving, he or she is lying”.
3. There are a Select few People who Actually Know wtf is going on
Smoke and mirrors everywhere you look was the theme of the last few weeks leading into the draft. Beat writers from Miami probably top the list with making the world believe Justin Herbert was ‘their guy’. There are a lot of people out there who consider themselves experts around this time of the year (myself included from time to time). The ability to block out the noise and remember who the credible sources are a key part to the draft process. People, especially in the sports world, love to stir the pot. My point I am trying to make is try not to cling on to that one guy’s cousin’s neighbor who once worked at the Giants Stadium tell you they are taking the guy from Alabama. There are ways to gather information for the draft in an efficient way but there are also many ways to get caught up in the mess that is the NFL Draft.
All in all this is what I want you to lock in for next year’s betting on the NFL Draft. Stick to what you know with who you know and use mock drafts as a source of credibility to the words and projections you are hearing.