Various intriguing storylines are developing around the 2021 NFL Draft, leading to sportsbooks increasing their market offerings on player proposition betting markets. Oddsmakers are offering everything ranging from when players will be drafted, to how many players from each position will be drafted, to who will be drafted first matchups. It is beneficial to target NFL Draft wagers that offer plus-odds instead of laying prohibitive odds that can undo months of successful bankroll management in other sports.
In Sports Illustrated's latest mock draft, Jenny Vrentas predicts the first three draft picks of the 2021 NFL Draft will be quarterbacks. According to the betting odds being offered by sportsbooks, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence is expected to go first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars (-10000), followed by BYU's Zach Wilson to the New York Jets (-3000).
While the discussion as to whether Ohio State's Justin Fields (-125) or Alabama's Mac Jones (+110) is the player headed to San Francisco at No. 3 overall, one name that is fading and subsequently seeing his odds bottom out is North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance (+400). The talented but raw signal-caller was once near the top of the betting boards for the No. 3 pick but has since fallen well behind both Jones and Fields in the overall odds. In Lance's overall draft position market, we still find moderate juice that he will come off the board within the first six picks of the first round.
The oddsmakers at William Hill have set an over/under betting position projection of 6.5, with the under being juiced at odds of -130. To simplify this market, if bettors believe that Lance will be drafted among the first six picks of Round 1, you will need to risk $130 to win $100.
I believe a different market bettors should target at BetMGM sportsbook: “Which team will draft Trey Lance”? There are five teams who, oddsmakers strongly believe, are in the discussion to acquire his services: Denver Broncos (+300), San Francisco 49ers (+450), Atlanta Falcons (+550), New England Patriots (+550) and the Washington Football Team (+550).
Let’s take a deeper look at the betting odds on this market.
Denver Broncos [+300]
Pick No. 9
It seems like nearly every year, John Elway is searching for a new quarterback of the Broncos. Despite drafting Drew Locke in the second round of last year’s draft, Denver is rumored to really like perhaps the biggest wildcard of the 2021 quarterback class. Trey Lance has a rocket for an arm. Still, scouts only have one game of actual film to review from this past season after the North Dakota State Bisons did not continue their fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Francisco 49ers [+450]
Pick No. 3
Following a trade-up with the Miami Dolphins several weeks ago, the consensus was that San Francisco was strongly considering Alabama's Mac Jones (-200). However, the betting odds have now flipped, with Ohio State's Justin Fields (-125) being the favorite to be tabbed by the 49ers. However, Lance is being compared with Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson thanks to his impressive speed and electric arm strength. The odds are attractive, but I just do not believe that John Lynch made this kind of move up for a raw player with only has one full season of collegiate tape.
New England Patriots [+550]
Pick No. 15
As we all know, Bill Belichick is on the prowl looking for the heir to Tom Brady in New England. Despite having veteran Cam Newton on the roster, Lance is an intriguing landing spot that the Patriots would likely have to trade up for. In 2019, the talented signal-caller had an astounding 28:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio while displaying dynamic ability with his legs leading the club in rushing with 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019.
Atlanta Falcons [+550]
Pick No. 4
Suppose the Falcons decide to stay put at No. 4. In that case, there are strong indications from several respected areas that the Florida tight end Kyle Pitts will be the pick. However, with each passing day, there are rumors that New England is targeting a move up if one of the quarterbacks they desire is still there after the first three selections. It appears that Atlanta will look to supply Matt Ryan with more weapons as opposed to drafting his replacement in the first round of the 2021 Draft.
Detroit Lions [+1000]
Pick No. 7
After swapping Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff earlier this offseason, the Lions pose a possible landing spot to groom behind the veteran. Detroit, who holds the No. 7 overall selection, would be hoping to find the next North Dakota State quarterback to reach NFL starting status since Carson Wentz was drafted in 2015 by the Philadelphia Eagles. The ceiling on Lance is as high as any quarterback prospect in this year’s class. Still, the odds tell us that Lance will not be the choice when the Lions make their first-round selection on April 29.
Vegas Whispers Betting Outlook
Wagering on this market comes down to whether you believe an NFL team at the top of the draft will want to take the ultimate gamble involving the most important position on a football team - with a player who has only one season of collegiate experience. The 49ers and Falcons, who I believe will invest in other players, can safely be crossed off the list. Based upon that premise, that leaves us with the betting favorite of the Denver Broncos (+300), Detroit Lions (+1000), and the New England Patriots (+550) at BetMGM sportsbook. The Patriots have the longest wait of any of the teams picking at No. 15, but the oddsmakers curiously have them among the top teams at odds of +550. However, I just do not foresee any team relinquishing the steep draft capital a move up to the top eight would demand. In short, Lance could very well fall to Denver at No. 9 and become the fourth quarterback off the board in the top 10 picks of the first round.
SI PRO Recommendation: Trey Lance - Denver Broncos (+300)
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