With the 2012 NFL draft starting on Friday morning (AEST), Sportsbet and IASbet are offering special markets on how many quarterbacks, running backs and cornerbacks will be drafted in the first round. At the time of writing (Tuesday afternoon) the odds for both bookmakers (they are owned by the same company) were as follows:
Over 3.5 – 5.00
Under 3.5 – 1.14
Over 1.5 – 2.10
Under 1.5 – 1.67
Over 3.5 – 2.00
Under 3.5 – 1.73
To fill you in, there are 32 teams in the NFL and there are usually 32 picks in each round. Due to trading between franchises, some teams will have more or less than one pick per round. There are occasionally less than 32 picks in a particular round due to team forfeitures. These forfeitures are handed out as punishment for a previous indiscretion by the team (e.g. the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal forced them to forfeit their second-round draft selections in 2012 and 2013). In all there are seven rounds in the NFL draft. In 2012 no forfeitures apply in the first round so there will be the full complement of 32 picks in that round.
Getting back to the Sportsbet / IASbet NFL draft markets, to gauge how many players of each position will go in the first round, the best place to research is the plethora of mock drafts published by American news sites and pundits.
In 2012 we are pretty much guaranteed that at least two quarterbacks will go in the first round. In fact, they will almost certainly go with the first and second picks of the round. These players are (with their university teams in brackets):
Andrew Luck (Stanford) – projected 1st pick of the 1st round to the Colts
Robert Griffin III (Baylor) – projected 2nd pick of the 1st round to the Redskins
The quarterback that 99% of pundits predict will go next is:
Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) – many project him to go as the 8th pick of the 1st round to the Dolphins.
While many feel that Tannehill would be going too early in the draft, teams have to decide between picking the next best player available and picking the next best player available in the position they are deficient in. You’ll find numerous people arguing both for and against the Dolphins selecting Tannehill as the 8th pick, but you can be reasonably confident he will go in the first round.
While mock drafts vary drastically because they are all speculative, a typical mock draft predicts the following:
Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) – projected 12th pick of the 2nd round to the Chiefs
So the overwhelming consensus in America is that three quarterbacks will go in the first round, which makes the 1.14 odds for under 3.5 look good. Just remember, however, that mock drafts are just conjecture, and no one knows for sure what’s going through the heads of team owners and managers.
For running backs, Trent Richardson is virtually guaranteed to go in the first round, with most picking him to go 4th overall. That leaves the question of a second running back pick. Based on my survey of mock drafts, five pundits say 1, while one pundit predicts 2, with Doug Martin picked 32nd in the first round. The danger for this bet is clearly Doug Martin, who is projected to go either late first round or early in the second by most pundits. Based on the above predictions the 1.67 odds for under 1.5 looks good.
For cornerbacks, the American media seems to be torn between three and four going in the first round. My survey of mock drafts returned the following predictions:
4: Morris Claiborne (5th), Stephon Gilmore (15th), Dre Kirkpatrick (23rd) and Janoris Jenkins (30th)
4: Stephon Gilmore (3rd), Janoris Jenkins (5th), Morris Claiborne (7th) and Dre Kirkpatrick (21st)
3: Morris Claiborne (5th), Stephon Gilmore (20th), Dre Kirkpatrick (21st)
3: Morris Claiborne (5th), Stephon Gilmore (7th), Dre Kirkpatrick (21st)
4: Morris Claiborne (5th), Stephon Gilmore (20th), Dre Kirkpatrick (21st) and and Janoris Jenkins (30th)
3: Morris Claiborne (5th), Stephon Gilmore (10th), Dre Kirkpatrick (17th)
Based on these predictions there isn’t a betting selection worth picking.
Below are the mock drafts surveyed by this article:
The NFL draft is a popular televised event in the United States. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is considered to be the best NFL prospect since Peyton Manning in 1998 so there’s a lot of excitement this year. The first round of the draft will be aired live on Friday, April 27, starting at 10:00 AM AEST. The second and third rounds will be aired live on Saturday, April 28, starting at 9:00 AM. The remaining rounds will be aired live on Sunday, April 29, starting at 2:00 AM AEST.