Between Bets: No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Pick
“Between Bets” is an article series revealing our staff’s best wagers across the NFL, NASCAR and PGA Tour. This week’s bet features our favorite wager for the first-overall pick with the updated NFL Draft order following the Carolina Panthers trade with the Chicago Bears.
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
No. 1 Overall Pick (Updated NFL Draft Order)
C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State Buckeyes) | -225
Sometimes the best option in sports betting is to lay the juice, especially when you expect the odds to shink further. That’s what we’re doing here by betting Ohio State University’s C.J. Stroud to be the No. 1 overall pick with the updated NFL Draft order.
When Carolina made the trade, the odds dramatically flipped, making Stroud the favorite to go No. 1 and taking Bryce Young to plus money. This was partly because of a report from The Ahteltic’s Joe Person, claiming that NFL insiders know who the pick will be if Carolina stays put.
It makes sense, given the situation in Carolina. They haven’t had an above-average quarterback since Cam Newton was in his prime, relying on the likes of Kyle Allen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Newton again and P.J. Walker to lead the offense. Stroud has the safest floor of any of this year’s prospects. Young’s size is as big of a question mark as Anthony Richardson’s accuracy.
Stroud, however, is a solid 6 foot-3 inches, 215 pounds. In his two years under center for Ohio State, he threw completions at an impressive 69.3 percent rate. Granted, he was throwing to some generational talent in Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr. Yet, 85 passing TDs over two seasons in the Big Ten is impressive, regardless of who they were too. The big questions about Stroud’s mobility were also somewhat answered in the Peach Bowl, as he scrambled 12 times for 34 yards and made dazzling throws on the run.
All and all, Panthers owner David Tepper signaled with this move that he wants a pro-ready QB who will be the face of the franchise for the next decade. That points to none other than Stroud, and I’ll lay the juice now before it gets any more obvious.
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