In one week’s time, the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft begins. We can already anticipate Bryce Young, the QB from Alabama, being taken No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers, but what about the rest of the QBs? Where will the top offensive linemen, cornerbacks, and defensive linemen get picked?
As I outlined last week, the No. 1 way to bet on the NFL Draft is to bet on the correct information. By listening to legitimate insiders, understanding GMs’ draft histories, and staying up to date with beat writers, you give yourself an edge when betting on the NFL Draft. Do not bet on the draft with your biases of players in mind, bet on the draft using information.
Without further ado, let’s look at the best 2023 NFL Draft Bets to make so you can cash in next Thursday.
Best 2023 NFL Draft Bets to Make
Before we dive in, I wanted to preface this by saying this draft is very unique. From what I have heard, there are only 15-20 players that NFL teams consider to be first-round pick worthy; hence the NFL only invited 17 players and their families to watch the first round in person this year. You can thank the Houston Texans for a lot of the uncertainty – they certainly need a quarterback, but they are also in a position where not drafting one and tanking again in 2023 is not the worst idea.
1st Wide Reciever Selected: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State) -230
After missing a majority of last season, Smith-Njigba comes into the draft relying heavily on his 2021 tape and production. Fortunately for him, it is amazing, and he tested very well at the combine and at his pro day. The former Buckeye is the best wide receiver in this draft class, so it is no shock to see him be the favorite to be the first receiver drafted. Also, according to Michael Lombardi, NFL teams only have one receiver with a first-round grade, and that is Smith-Njigba. Two years ago, this would not even have been a debate, and flash-forward to next week, the best receiver in the class will be the first one off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Total Running Backs Selected in 1st Round: Under 1.5 (-450)
Yes, there is a lot of juice associated with this pick, but considering this line should be closer to -10000, I will gladly lay the -450. The debate has been whether or not Bijan Robinson is worth a first-round pick or not. There is no other player in the same stratosphere as Robinson, and he is a borderline first-round pick. Jahmyr Gibbs from Alamaba is probably RB2 in this class, but his small frame does not scream “first-round investment.” Robinson is getting a ton of steam to go in the first round, but that’s fine, no other running back will.
Total Wide Receivers Selected in 1st Round: Under 3.5 (-120)
If you listen to draft pundits and media members who have no clue, you’d think the 2023 NFL Draft consists of Jerry Rice, Justin Jefferson, Art Monk, Randy Moss, and more. However, when you listen to people who have ties to the league, you will uncover that teams only have a first-round grade on one WR. Does that mean Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be the only wide receiver drafted in Round One? No. But that should ease some of the hype that there will be a run on wide receiver in Round One. Smith-Njigba is a first-round pick, Zay Flowers may be, and Jordan Addison may be. Quentin Johnson was not invited to the green room, and Jaylin Hyatt’s stock has dropped since the start of the process. Teams also know they can find stud wide receivers on Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft. I do not think receivers fly off the board in round one of the 2023 NFL Draft.
5th Overall Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft: Jalen Carter (+375)
The Seahawks own the 5th overall pick, and I do not expect them to trade up or trade down, I expect them to sit right there and draft the No. 1 defender and No. 2 overall player in this class, Jalen Carter. Carter has had character concerns and an arrest warrant issue to deal with during the pre-draft process, but from what I have heard and read, I don’t think teams view him as a red flag. Seattle has been trying to revamp their run defense, and what better way is there to do that than by adding an absolute unit of a defensive tackle? Considering Seattle got great play at offensive tackle and cornerback from rookies last season, Seattle using the No. 5 pick to take the best player on the board makes too much sense. You can also add Jalen Carter’s Draft Position Under 6.5 +100 for more exposure here.
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