So what the heck are the Carolina Panthers going to do with the top overall pick after trading a mint to the Chicago Bears to acquire it? The NFL betting market looks to be of the belief that a quarterback will be selected going by the odds movement at the online sportsbook. But which will it be – Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud? Could they shock the world and go with Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson instead? Personally I don’t care what they do just so long as the front office inserts a competent player under center to get the ball to the solid pieces already on the roster as well as the ones brought in via free agency this offseason. All the line value has been sucked out of those possibilities occurring, so let’s take a deep dive in what’s left and see if we can’t add to the bottom line in 2023 NFL Draft betting. The following are the positions I’ve already locked in heading into Thursday night.
2023 NFL Draft Betting Lines
Paris Johnson Jr. Draft Position Under 9.5 -110
If not for the Rams, Colts, and Broncos, the Chicago Bears would’ve given up the most sacks in the league. The 58 allowed was five fewer than Denver ultimately went on to concede. That’s a crying shame as talented a field general Chicago currently has in its possession with Justin Fields. As last season moved along, the injuries started piling up for No. 1 and that’s something the franchise can’t afford if he’s to be their surefire No. 1 the next handful of years. As such, it’s imperative GM Ryan Poles and the front office do whatever it takes to dramatically shore up the offense’s front wall.
Being a hog himself, I have ultimate faith in Poles selecting the offense’s strong tackle for the foreseeable future, and it’s looking like Chicago has targeted Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. with the ninth pick. Possessing the ability to play multiple positions and excel, the first-team Big Ten member looks to be a shoe-in to be one of if not the first offensive linemen selected in NFL Draft betting, and it only makes sense for him to land on a team like the Bears who sorely need to insert a stud up front. It doesn’t hurt matters that Chicago is a preferred destination of the behemoth tackle! While typing this, the juice on the under of his draft position prop soared from -110 to -130 and then all the way back down to -110.
His odds to be selected No. 3 overall by the O-Line needy Tennessee Titans have plummeted recently as well going from +10000 to +450 since last Thursday. While this could be nothing more than a smoke screen, it could be something. Either way, I think the Buckeyes’ offensive linemen is a shoe-in to be selected within the first 10 selections.
Total Running Backs Selected in 1st Round Under 1.5 -131
The running back has been a dying breed for a number of years now. Just ask any fantasy footballer how annoying it’s been to spend a high draft pick on a running back in recent seasons only to see him compete with others for carries. Of the sixteen 1,000+ yard rushers a season ago, only seven were allotted 250+ carries. NFL teams have taken a sum of all parts approach recently meaning running the ball is more a communal effort than at any time in the history of the league. While there are some really nice running backs in this year’s draft, I’d be shocked if more than two were selected with the first 31 picks. Texas RB Bijan Robinson looks to be a game-changer, so he would be the only one I’d feel comfortable about going in the opening round.
Mock drafts I’ve taken a gander at have him going as high as No. 8 to Atlanta and as low as No. 27 to Buffalo. With such a wide discrepancy – though it isn’t gospel – it’s hard to envision players like Jahmyr Gibbs, Zach Charbonnet, Tyjae Spears, or Tank Bigsby going off the board Thursday night.
Total Tight Ends Selected in 1st Round Over 2.5 +212
For as long as I can remember, the tight end has been nothing but a crapshoot when it comes to playing season-long fantasy football. Recently, you likely failed to qualify for the playoffs unless you had any of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, or George Kittle on your roster. There has however been a recent ascension in productivity within the position with guys like T.J. Hockenson, Pat Freiermuth, Dallas Goedert, Cole Kmet, and Juwan Johnson making dramatic impacts within their respective offenses.
I think the backend of the first round is ripe for a major run at the tight end position with it bringing in some remarkable specimens in the forms of Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Iowa’s Sam LaPorta, and Georgia’s Darnell Washington. It wouldn’t shock me if one of those guys was selected in the teens – that’s how good they are! Linemaker’s setting the number to beat at 2.5 looks perfect on paper, but the chance that three actually go off the board in the first 31 picks with a better than 2-1 ROI is too much for me to let slip through the cracks.
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