NFL Draft Betting Picks Ahead of Round 1: Catch These (Teams Drafting) Hands

Andrew Caley is ready to crush the NFL Draft with his best bets and live long shots. Find out why his NFL betting picks believe both the Jets and Cowboys are in the market for a position you might not expect.

Apr 25, 2024 • 10:26 ET • 4 min read

The NFL Draft is one of the most unique betting experiences of the year. There are smokescreens and misinformation everywhere, and something as little as a Reddit post can have a major effect on the odds and NFL draft betting picks. 

The beauty is that outside of Caleb Williams going No. 1 to the Chicago Bears, no one really knows anything at this point.

I do my best to cut through that smoke and make plays that are the most logical for the 2024 NFL Draft betting odds. Here are my 2024 NFL Draft best bets that you can make right now where you can bet on the NFL draft

NFL Draft Best Bets

Over 6.5 Defensive Lineman/Edge drafted in Round 1 (+200 at FanDuel)

Outside of quarterback, what are the two premium positions in the NFL Draft? You’re right. It’s offensive linemen and pass rushers. Basically, guys who protect the quarterback and guys who pressure them.

This draft is being projected to be the most offensive-heavy first round in NFL history. The Over/Under for offensive players selected in the first round is set at 21.5. The record is currently 19. 

So, defenders can get a little overlooked here. While there is no Aidan Hutchinson or Chase Young in this class, there are some standout pass rushers both on the edge and in the interior. That has me looking at the Over 6.5 defensive lineman/edge rushers selected.

Looking at my NFL Mock Draft board, there are four first-round locks. They are edge rushers Dallas Turner, Laitu Latu, Jared Verse, and defensive tackle Byron Murphy II. Just below those guys is Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson. He’s not a first-round lock, but he’s close. That brings us to five, so we need two more.

As the draft gets closer, Missouri edge rusher Darius Robinson looks more and more likely to go in the first round. FanDuel has him at -370 to be a first-round pick.

The next most likely candidate is Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton. He opened the process as arguably the favorite to be the first interior lineman taken. But size and injury concerns dropped him down a bit. Since then, however, he’s tested great. His film is better, and he is currently -290 to go in the first round.

That’s seven right there, plus you have to account for teams liking guys a little further down the board. At +200, this looks like a great value bet at a premium position.

Position of Jets First Player Drafted — WR (+380 at FanDuel)

Most mocks leading up to the draft have the New York Jets taking standout Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, or one of the high-end tackles. That’s where I had Bowers going in my latest mock. So, it’s not surprising that offensive line is the favorite here at +105, with tight end right behind at +160.

However, the Jets signed Tyron Smith to be their starting left tackle. They also traded for Morgan Mosses from Baltimore to start on the right side. They signed a starting guard, too. And you’re going to tell me that in the tiniest Aaron Rodgers win-now window available they’re going to take another tackle?

While Bowers looks like an elite tight-end prospect, the idea of pairing Garrett Wilson with one of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, or Rome Odunze seems a little more enticing. Yes, the Jets also signed Mike Williams, but he is a walking questionable tag.

Joe Douglas knows if this team doesn’t make a strong push for at the very least the AFC title game, he will be the embodiment of that GIF of the Jets player being locked out of the facility. 

So, I think the odds are pretty good that the Jets use whatever ammunition they have to make a run at one of the Top 3 receivers. Trading up to No. 8 with Atlanta to land Nabers or Odunze is the most likely scenario. 

Simply put, the Jets are all-in this season, and this is an all-in move.

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NFL Draft Quick Hitters

  • Under 4.5 QBs Drafted in Round 1 (+205 at FanDuel): The narrative is the same every year and QBs are over-mocked, and this number has gone Under in six of the last seven years. I like Michael Penix Jr. Bo Nix, not so much. But at this price, I’m betting they both land in the second round.

  • Here are a few position prop O/U plays I have: JC Latham Under 13.5 (+102), Cooper DeJean Under 22.5 (-114), Kool-Aid McKinstry Under 28.5 (-130), Xavier Legette Under 33.5 (-108).

  • And here are some guys near even money or better be a late first-round pick: Ladd McConkey +100, Kingsley Suamataia +100, Xavier Legette +140, Ennis Rakestraw Jr. +430.

  • Earlier draft bets I made: Marvin Harrison Jr. No. 5 pick (+300), Drake Maye No. 2 pick (+250), Terrion Arnold First CB selected (+170).

NFL Draft Long Shots

Marshawn Lloyd First RB Drafted (+900 at FanDuel)

There is no Bijan Robinson in this running back draft class. Hell, there is no Jahmyr Gibbs either. But there are some interesting prospects for teams who need to improve their running back room through the draft. Without a guy like Robinson or Gibbs, I believe it creates a great spot to find some betting value. 

The favorite running back to get selected first overall is Jonathan Brooks out of Texas at -115. He is followed by Florida State’s Trey Benson at +320, and Blake Corum from Michigan at +500. But it sounds like there are injury concerns with all three.

Enter USC’s Marshawn Lloyd. He led the nation in yards per carry at 7.1 per attempt for backs with at least 100 carries, and he has tested great in the pre-draft process. Lloyd has NFL-level burst, combined with great cuts and great field vision.

The cherry on top? Daniel Jeremiah has him as his top-rated back in his latest rankings. 

Position of Cowboys First Player Drafted — WR (+1,100 at FanDuel)

This is a bet I gave out on Before You Bet last week, and I’m sticking with it.

I know, I know. The Dallas Cowboys desperately need to rebuild their offensive line, particularly now that Tyron Smith is a Jet. Offensive line is the big favorite here at -250, but it’s not like wide receiver isn’t a need as well. They have CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, and that’s about it. 

More importantly, it’s not like Jerry Jones hasn’t become enamored with a flashy talent before. Particularly, if one starts dropping and he thinks he’s getting good value. Now, I’ll give Jones credit, he’s made some sound first-round picks over the years. But he also happily snapped up Lamb and Micah Parsons.

It’s rumored LSU wideout Brian Thomas Jr. is starting to fall. Would he get past the ‘Boys? I also wouldn’t be shocked in the least if Jones fell in love with either Texas WR AD Mitchell or Xavier Worthy.

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