Five Bold NFL Draft Predictions That Could Pay Off At Sportsbooks

Written By Brett Gibbons on April 15, 2021

Betting on the NFL Draft can be an extremely rewarding experience and is an emerging trend as more states legalize sports betting. With the NFL Draft on the doorstep, here are five under-the-radar prop bets at DraftKings Sportsbook that could present a huge payday, as all of them are at major plus-odds.

Each payout is determined based on a small $10 bet. Odds are subject to change after this article is posted.

Javonte Williams: First RB drafted (+400)

Javonte Williams’ draft path the past two months has been nearly identical to that of Clyde Edwards-Helaire of last year. For most of the 2020-21 season and offseason, Williams was the RB3 and on the far outside looking in. He’s usually slated behind Alabama’s Najee Harris and Clemson’s Travis Etienne, much like CEH was placed behind Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift. Instead, Edwards-Helaire was selected 32nd.

While Williams might not be a first-round selection– this year’s got as good a chance as any to not have any backs come off the board in the first 32 picks– he’s got the new prototype of a backfield-bolster. He already has shown to flourish in a split backfield; Williams shared the UNC backfield with Michael Carter, receiving just one more carry than Carter yet scoring more than twice as many touchdowns (19 to Carter’s 9).

Javonte Williams is just an NFL running back, period. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him come off the board before Harris or Etienne since momentum is everything.

Potential payout: $50 ($40 in winnings)

First non-QB Drafted: Ja’Marr Chase (+220)

Since the Bengals locked up the fifth overall draft pick, they’ve been sharpied to pick Oregon All American Penei Sewell. After Joe Burrow’s season was cut short by a torn ACL– no thanks to Cincinnati’s offensive line — protecting their franchise guy is priority number one. That is, until Burrow began advocating for the Bengals to pick former teammate Ja’Marr Chase.

Chase was hailed as the best receiver in the nation in his sophomore year, even winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2019 (his 1780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns both led the nation). He then opted out of the 2020 season to focus on the NFL Draft and retained his status as the draft’s top receiver.

With most signs pointing to the 2021 Draft being the first ever where four quarterbacks come off the board with the first four picks and the Falcons actively shopping the fourth overall pick to the highest bidder, it looks like the first team to not pick a QB will be Cincinnati.

Potential payout: $32 ($22 in winnings)

Team to draft Justin Fields: New England Patriots (+500)

Justin Fields is in a precarious place for those trying to place him in the draft. The first option is he’s picked third overall by the 49ers despite most reports and rumors pointing toward Mac Jones being the guy there. The Patriots have been ultra-aggressive in the free agent market this year and are reportedly going to be aggressive in getting their QB of the future.

There’s a couple of trade-up spots in the order, namely fourth with Atlanta and seventh with Detroit; with the Falcons likely not willing to slide 11 picks back to 15 (where the Pats pick), Detroit is looking like the right suitor to move up. The only quarterback-hungry teams ahead of that seven spot are Atlanta and Denver, both of which have been strongly tied to North Dakota State phenom Trey Lance.

Should Fields fall past four, he’ll drop to at least seven (with the Bengals and Dolphins being good at QB) and be a prime target for the Patriots to move up and draft. Further, he’s the best QB in the draft to follow the model of Cam Newton, who is currently signed to the Patriots’ roster (sorry, everyone).

Potential payout: $60 ($50 in winnings)

Miami Dolphins first drafted player position: Tight End (+275)

Tight end isn’t the highest-priority need for the Dolphins this year, with current tight end Mike Geiski being an emerging playmaker. In fact, wide receiver seems to be their biggest desire in a draft with receivers a-plenty. So, why are the Dolphins going to draft Florida’s Kyle Pitts if he’s available at six? Because having a good player doesn’t stop you from drafting a great player.

The draft having an incredibly deep receiving corps is all the more reason to pick the head-and-shoulders best player at his position with the sixth overall pick. The Dolphins pick again at 18 and 36. Other receivers like Rashod Bateman, Kadarius Toney, Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore, and even Jaelon Darden will be available with later picks, maximizing Miami’s draft capital.

The tea leaves read that the Bengals are going with Ja’Marr Chase (or Penei Sewell should Chase be picked earlier) and the Falcons are considering trading back. While Pitts has been named with Atlanta at four, a trade-up team that’s looking for a quarterback could offer them a king’s ransom. Further, the Falcons could also go with Trey Lance at four. This bet is based around what other teams are doing because, if Pitts is around at six, the Dolphins will be sprinting to the podium with the draft card.

Potential payout: $37.50 ($27.50 in winnings)

First defensive lineman taken: Christian Barmore (+800)

Yes, seriously. League rumors are surrounding Barmore, a raw talent with a massive ceiling, being taken far earlier than anyone else is expecting (based on mock drafts popularly placing Barmore 32nd to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). He’s 6’ 5”, 310 pounds, ridiculously explosive and his highlight tape is downright ridiculous; concerns do surround the fact that he wasn’t a full-time starter at Alabama and his pad level coming off the line. Barmore is the kind of prospect NFL executives love to take chances on.

Having established him as a coveted prospect, how does Barmore go from a borderline first-round pick to potentially the first defensive lineman taken in the draft? That answer lands in where current edge rushers are being projected and the seeming lack of a consensus top pass rusher. Some sources have Kwity Paye as the top guy (and the current betting favorite at -200 for this prop), but others will say Jaelen Phillips and more will say it’s Azeez Ojulari.

There’s a perfect fit for Barmore earlier than any of the edge rushers: 17 to the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s the ideal “Gruden guy” and this Raiders regime has pulled the trigger on “their guy” and stuck to “their game plan” more so than any other team in the league (Damon Arnette, anyone?). At such long odds, it’s worth throwing some money down on Barmore here.

Potential payout: $90 ($80 in winnings)

For more, check out the full NFL Draft betting guide at

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