According to the NFL Draft pundits and the betting markets, the first two selections appear to be a formality at this point and that will certainly help bettors with their wagers on the remaining 30 picks in the first round.
The most popular betting markets are listed below with odds provided by PointsBet.
To view more 2021 NFL Draft Odds on the first round, be sure to visit PointsBet as new betting markets continue to populate.
Listed below are the current markets that are receiving the most attention from bettors.
2021 NFL Draft Best Bets
Kyle Pitts Under 5.5 (-159)
The most exciting tight end prospect since Vernon Davis is Florida’s Kyle Pitts. Davis was the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft, and the highest drafted tight end since 1972, but Pitts has a good chance to surpass him in that regard.
NFL Draft analysts and talking heads alike have been in awe of his tape. While he didn’t put up the numbers you might expect for a tight end with this much hype (100 receptions for 1,492 yards with 18 touchdowns in his three seasons in Gainesville), he was clearly the lynchpin of Florida’s offense.
It was Pitts that made this offense extremely dangerous in Dan Mullen’s third season at the helm. Atlanta and Cincinnati are the most likely landing spots for Pitts.
Both teams have shown that they will draft skill position talent early to help their quarterbacks, and Pitts would give either the Falcons or the Bengals a generational talent when tight end is more important than ever before in the modern NFL.
Jaylen Waddle First WR (+700)
This would be a substantial upset as Ja’Marr Chase is a -1000 favorite to be the first receiver off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. The mock draft consensus tends to be off when it comes to receivers as we saw in last year’s draft. CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy were consistently trumpeted as the two best receivers in the class, but it was Henry Ruggs III that was the first receiver selected.
Most draft experts give Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith very similar grades. Chase should not be this much of a favorite given he sat out the 2020 season though. While he had a season for the ages with LSU in 2019, that offense was loaded with talent as three of his skill position teammates were taken in the first round of last year’s draft (Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire).
Waddle put up monster numbers when he was healthy. He battled injuries during his time at Alabama, but there is no denying his talent. Betting on Waddle to be the first receiver selected is well worth a shot at +700.
Bateman Over Toney (-150)
Rashod Bateman has not been receiving the same attention as Chase, Waddle, and Smith, but he is clearly the next best receiver in this year’s draft class. Bateman had a superb 2019 season, and he put up big numbers in five games during the 2020 campaign although Minnesota’s offense wasn’t nearly as potent as it was the year prior with Tyler Johnson alongside of him.
Bateman has the size and strength more NFL teams are looking for these days, as it’s clear that speed isn’t enough. Receivers need to be able to separate and get off the line, and Bateman can do that easily.
That isn’t the case with Kadarius Toney. While Toney has more top end speed, he has issues getting off the line and doesn’t play to his size. Toney battled injuries during his time in Gainesville, and he had a rather underwhelming first three seasons at Florida prior to his breakout 2020 campaign. It wasn’t Toney that made Florida’s offense go though, as he largely benefited from the presence of Kyle Pitts and the development of Kyle Trask.
Mond Over Mills (+155)
Although Davis Mills has the prototypical size and pedigree you want in a quarterback, his film did not look good. Some of the most trusted names in the industry have expressed hesitation when it comes to Mills’ pro prospects. He only posted mediocre numbers during his time at Stanford, and he made some really questionable decisions with the ball.
Jimbo Fisher turning quarterbacks into first-round picks has become a meme after what he did with Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel, and Jameis Winston during his time at Florida State.
None of those quarterbacks ended up working out in the NFL, but Fisher’s touch could lead to a team taking a chance with Kellen Mond on Day 2. Fisher has had three years to develop Mond, and he posted better numbers than Mills against tougher competition.
Asante Samuel Jr. Under 37.5 (-112)
Florida State is no longer the juggernaut it once was five years ago. However, the Seminoles still produce a lot of talented players (especially on defense). Asante Samuel Jr. has a chance of becoming the next FSU defender to be taken in the first round, as he is one of the top cover cornerbacks in this class.
Samuel’s pedigree will bode well for him. No matter what front office types tell the media, there is a bias among old football heads when it comes to players who have family members that played (and starred in the NFL). His film makes him look like a chip off the block, and the elder Samuel was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time First-team All-Pro.
Washington Football Team - 8 (Rounds: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7)
NFL Draft History No. 1 Picks
Looking at the recent NFL Draft History, quarterbacks have been selected first in five of the last six drafts and nine of the last 12 going back to 2009.
NFL No. 1 Draft History (2009-2020)
2020 - Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
2019 - Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
2018 - Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
2017 - Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
2016 - Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
2015 - Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Eric Fisher, T, Kansas City Chiefs
2012 - Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
2011 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
2010 - Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
2009 - Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
A quarterback has been taken with the No. 1 overall pick in five of the last six drafts. Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns was the lone exception within that time span.
The No. 1 overall pick has been a quarterback or a lineman in each of the last 24 drafts, making it highly unlikely that a running back, receiver, linebacker, or defensive back will be the first player whose name we hear on April 29 in Cleveland, Ohio.