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NFL Draft Betting: Strategy on Total First-Round Defensive Players

NFL Draft Betting Specials Greg Newsome
 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The San Diego Chargers selected Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo with the 28th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Two other Wildcats were picked in that year’s draft, though neither – offensive tackle Trai Essex and running back Noah Herron – went in the first round, marking the 70th straight draft (of 70 all-time drafts) in which Northwestern didn’t have multiple first-round picks.

Sixteen years later, Northwestern’s drought has swelled to 85 years; they haven’t had one player selected within the first three rounds since Castillo, let alone multiple players in the first round of the same draft. With a potential top-10 pick in offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, their single-pick first-round drought will end at 16 years, the second-longest in program history, and with a potential first-rounder in cornerback Greg Newsome II, their multi-pick first-round drought could end at 85 years. 

And if Newsome is selected in the first round, it could be a notable pick for bettors holding tickets for total defensive players (or offensive players) drafted in the first round. As of Friday, April 23, the over/under total in NFL Draft Specials for defensive players drafted in the first round:

  • Over 13.5 (-115)
  • Under 13.5 (-105)

Likewise, the total for offensive players drafted in the first round: 

  • Over 18.5 (-105)
  • Under 18.5 (-115)

In BetMGM’s NFL Mock Draft based exclusively on draft odds, Patrick Surtain II was the first defensive player drafted (No. 10 to the Dallas Cowboys), which aligned with most predictive projections. If that happens, 14 of the final 23 picks, including Surtain, must be defenders in order to hit the over first-round defensive players.

On Thursday’s episode of High Motor by BetMGM, Chase Kiddy and I discussed the strategy for that NFL Draft bet and the lack of elite defensive prospects in this year’s draft class.

Listen below (or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else):

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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM 

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