We are just days away from the 2020 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 23-25 in a virtual format. Helping fill the sports wagering void, sportsbooks around the country have posted hundreds of prop betting options that focus on various aspects of the draft. This feature looks at a Bovada prop based on the draft position for linebacker Kenneth Murray. The total is set 21.5 with over (-140) as the favorite and under (+100) as the underdog.
Linebacker NFL Draft History
Similar to quarterbacks running the offense, linebackers are captains on defense and they are highly coveted draft prospects. From three positions, middle (21) outside (9) and inside (4), there were 34 linebackers taken in the first round over the last 10 drafts. That includes four linebackers during the last two drafts and five in 2017. Eleven linebackers were selected within the first 22 picks of the last three drafts.
Dating back to 2010, linebackers were selected in the first round by 25 different teams. The Bengals, Chargers, Giants and Washington are among the seven teams that haven’t selected a linebacker in the first round over the last 10 drafts. Those four teams have a top 21 pick this year, but it’s doubtful any of them (aside from maybe the Giants) will select a linebacker. The Colts, Texans and Seahawks are the other three teams and they all pick 27th or later, which helps the over side on this prop.
Kenneth Murray Player Background
Murray enters the draft after playing 42 games over three seasons at Oklahoma. Competing in the high-octane Big 12 Conference, Murray is battle tested and projects as a three-down starter in the NFL. When asked what a team gets if they select him, Murray said, “They're getting a straight dog. A killer. That's really as simple as I can put it.” While using “killer” may not be the best choice of words, it does show the physicality and mentality Murray brings to the game.
Murray shared the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year award with DT Ross Blacklock (TCU) during his first season in 2017. Dishing out a lot of hits, Murray posted 155 tackles (71 solo) during his sophomore season. Assists dropped and he finished with 102 tackles (69 solo) during his junior year. With good size and speed, Murray flies all over the field with a non-stop motor. It’s odd that Murray didn’t have any interceptions over three years as a Sooner.
Possible Landing Spots
You don’t need to pull out your co-pay to see SI fantasy expert Dr. Roto has Murray being selected at No. 24 by New Orleans. Over tickets will cash in that scenario. Malik Brown at Falcon Report suggests Atlanta could take Murray at No. 16 or trade down and hope he falls to them. Philadelphia is a possible trading partner with the 21st pick because they may get a better choice of wide receivers with the 16th pick. Under is the winning side in that scenario.
Baltimore is another team that may trade up. The pipeline from Oklahoma to Maryland has been flowing strong during the last two drafts. Murray would join former teammates Mark Andrews, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Orlando Brown Jr. and Ben Powers. While they all play offense, each of them saw first hand that Murray is a strong and vocal leader on defence. Baltimore has three third-round picks and New England may trade pick No. 23 for draft capital.
Draft Spot Prediction
DraftKings set the total on linebackers being selected in the first round at 4.5 and under is my prediction. I have Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) and K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU) ranked slightly ahead of Murray. Patrick Queen (LSU) and Zach Baun (Wisconsin) are not far behind the top three. After going back and forth a few times, I am siding with the advice from my favorite Doctor. While it will be a close race, I like OVER as the best bet on this 2020 NFL draft prop.
Play: OVER 21.5 (-140)
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