Lamar Jackson NFL Draft Projection and Other Draft Props to Target

By Noah Davis
Published on February 09, 2018
Lamar Jackson NFL Draft

The 2017 NFL season officially concluded recently with quite possibly the best Super Bowl anyone has ever seen. That might qualify for “prisoner of the moment” talk, but I think I can say it, seeing as I’m not a fan of the Eagles or Patriots.

New England fans would obviously tell you that was in no way close to the best NFL title game in league history. Eagles fans probably would, but it’s tough to deny they’d be coming off a bit biased.

But if you didn’t see it – or even if you did – just know that few Super Bowls have ever included that much offense (or general action). Super Bowl 51 produced the greatest comeback in NFL history (maybe in all of sports), but Super Bowl 52 may have been the greatest David vs. Goliath bare-knuckle fist fight ever seen on national television.

And if it wasn’t, I guess I don’t really care.

The real point is the 2017 NFL season ended on a very high note and now I’m having serious withdrawals. Like, back up into some bushes and pretend life outside of pro football doesn’t exist, kind of withdrawals.

Yeah, those are the withdrawals I’m talking about, Homer.

All kidding aside, I’m the type of person that can’t get enough of football – the NFL specifically – and now my main focus turns to the 2018 NFL Draft. That also ties in the league’s free agency period, cuts, trades and whatever other noise the league spews across my offseason of boredom.

One way or another, though, I’m seeking out my NFL fix, both as a fan and a sports bettor.

Fortunately, Vegas approved NFL Draft betting last year, so the top NFL betting sites are already taking early action this year. Last year the NFL Draft prop bets trickled in rather slowly, but sites like BetOnline and Bovada have had wagers involving the top quarterback or the #1 pick in the draft for months now.

Months, I say!

It’s really a nice development because it creates extra interest in the draft itself and gives bettors something to research, plan for and wager on through April.

More than anything, it’s a way to make some cold, hard cash. Most of these NFL Draft prop bets are going to be focused on round one and will be over early on in the process.

That’s the focus of Topbet.eu right now, at least, as they’re pitching five interesting 2018 NFL Draft specials at the moment. Let’s take a look at each one and how you should consider wagering on them:

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Topbet.eu at 2:46 pm CT on 2/8/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

Will Lamar Jackson Be Selected in Round 1?

This is the juicy prop bet that got you here, right? Yes, Lamar Jackson is a trendy topic in the draft community, while there are other reasons you might take interest in how his career as a pro will unfold.

For one, the dude can play. Just take a look at his college highlights at Louisville:

I told you he can play a bit.

There are a number of reasons you’re looking at Jackson’s draft projection. Maybe it’s because you’re a Louisville fan. You also may wonder if he’s good enough to go in the first round or you already know you want your team to take him.

That, or you want some of that mad coin.

Maybe it’s all of those things, but either way, Topbet.eu has you covered. Here are the odds for whether or not he hears his name called in round one:

  • Yes -250
  • No +190

The odds favor Lamar Jackson being taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft because he’s a special talent.

Some draft experts think he’d be better suited as a wide receiver or maybe even a running back, but that’s an insult to his underrated passing ability, as well as his dynamic ability under center in general.

I don’t know if he’s worth a look at the #1 overall spot or if he’s the next Michael Vick, but the odds are decent it’s somewhere in the middle of those lofty expectations.

Jackson can do serious damage with his legs and the deep ball and there is a great need for quarterback talent in the NFL. Case Keenum, Blake Bortles and Nick Foles are all things right now after guiding their respective teams to conference championship weekend, after all.

So, yeah, the NFL needs an injection of talent under center and Jackson not being selected in round one would be a bit of a farce. There isn’t much value to be had with that logic, but if you go hard after it, -250 isn’t the worst bet in the world.

Pick: Yes (-250)

Who Will Be Picked #1 Overall?

The other big bet out there – and specifically at Topbet.eu – is one I briefly touched on; there is a lot of intrigue as to who will go #1 overall.

Part of that is because the Cleveland Browns are inept as an organization and everyone wants to see if they’ll botch it what they’ll do. The other part is just to see if the guy taken there lives up to that first overall pick billing.

The top options really aren’t up for debate. The brightest draft minds and scouts have collectively agreed on who the best of the best are and Vegas has largely gone along with them.

Topbet.eu does add a couple of throw-in options I don’t love, but I do like their inclusion of some random players. It was also nice to see an alternate “field” option. Here’s how they set everyone up for the moment:

  • Sam Darnold (EVEN)
  • Saquon Barkley (+200)
  • Josh Rosen (+250)
  • Josh Allen (+800)
  • Bradley Chubb (+4500)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick (+4500)
  • Quenton Nelson (+5000)
  • Derwin James (+5000)
  • Joshua Jackson (+5000)
  • Field – Any Other Player (+1500)

For the longest time, I was pretty locked into Darnold for this bet, but there is some serious value to be had elsewhere. Barkley gives you an extra +200 immediately and as the best running back in this year’s draft, he’s very much in play for the #1 overall pick.

The same could be said for Rosen, who is about as polished as Sam Darnold and is the top-rated quarterback in a lot of scout’s eyes.

The best value of all might be Allen, who impressed at the Senior Bowl and is a high upside prospect that the Browns had previously been linked to.

Small cases can be made for the rest of this field, but even elite defenders like Fitzpatrick and Chubb aren’t realistic options up top.

I usually say the “any” bet is worth a flier, but there could be way more incentive here than usual. For one, Baker Mayfield has gained serious steam as a #1 overall pick, while this bet also gives you a ton of outs.

I’m not sure Mayfield is the top guy here, but at +1500, he’s worth a shot and betting on him does also include any other option not listed here.

Considering value, talent, and logic, Josh Allen is my favorite play here.

He has the upside and talent of a top pick, the Browns have previously been linked to him and they also badly need a franchise passer.

Allen has had some issues with accuracy and is a bit raw, but if Cleveland thinks he’s the next Carson Wentz, it’d make sense for them to pull the trigger.

Pick: Josh Allen (+800)

Josh Rosen Over/Under

I spoke highly of the talented Rosen and while I don’t think he’ the #1 overall pick, I do think he’s a threat to go very early in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Need is key here, as most of the teams picking amongst the first five picks in this year’s draft will be looking to add a franchise passer. Depending on how those teams rank the quarterbacks this year, it would make a lot of sense for someone like Rosen to be plucked off the draft board pretty early.

Topbet.eu clearly agrees it’s at least going to be a close call in the top five. Here are his odds for where he might get selected:

  • Over 4.5 (+115)
  • Under 4.5 (-145)

The general feeling in the mock draft community is Rosen is either the 2nd or 3rd best passing prospect. Josh Allen probably has more upside, but if you want a guy to ball right now, Rosen and Darnold are your top picks.

Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson both appear to be wild cards. They have their question marks, but they are just different types of prospects that could garner interest as the draft draws closer.

For now, the draft order goes like this as far as the top five are concerned:

  • Browns
  • Giants
  • Colts
  • Browns
  • Broncos
  • Cleveland won’t draft two quarterbacks and Indy already has Andrew Luck.

    The New York Giants also have Eli Manning, but they’re a very real threat to take a passer here with Eli Manning nearing retirement. Altogether, three teams can and probably should draft a quarterback inside the top five picks.

    Vegas clearly sees that as reason to buy Rosen going inside the top five here and I tend to agree.

    I note the hype of Mayfield and Jackson, but Rosen is a stretch to fall outside of the top five at this point. It’s even possible someone might trade up with Cleveland or someone else to snag him, themselves.

    Either way, you’re not losing much value. I’d trust his talent and the need for the position and bet the Under.

    Pick: Under 4.5 (-145)

    Baker Mayfield Over/Under

    It is still early in the draft process, but before long, most of the top NFL Draft betting sites should push out all kinds of player props like this.

    The other big one Topbet.eu is specifically pushing right now deals with where Oklahoma star passer Baker Mayfield could wind up.

    Mayfield really boosted his draft stock with a nice showing during Senior Bowl practices and there has been a lot of chatter around him going inside the top 10. There are even whispers of him being a dark horse for the #1 pick.

  • Over 11.5 (+110)
  • Under 11.5 (-140)

As you can see here, the oddsmakers are buying into Mayfield’s talent, charisma and rising draft stock. They should be doing so, too, because he’s an elite passer with above-average athleticism and loads of confidence.

Mayfield is going to be a star at the next level and the need for gamers like him under center is too great for him to slide beyond pick 11.

Obviously looking at the top five, there are three teams that could take the dive for a franchise passer. Looking further to round out the top 12, you can add the Jets and possibly even the Bengals to the mix.

There are five quarterbacks that could realistically be drafted in round one this year and Mayfield remains a very real threat to be one of the top options to go quite early. I’d comfortably bet on the Under here.

Pick: Under 11.5 (-140)

Chubb vs. Fitzpatrick: Who Gets Drafted First?

Another popular NFL Draft prop will be player vs. player draft projections. Here you get to gauge which prospect between Bradley Chubb and Minkah Fitzpatrick will be taken first this year:

  • Chubb (-160)
  • Fitzpatrick (+130)

Vegas likes Chubb a bit more, simply because he’s an elite pass rusher and guys who can consistently get to the quarterback are not easy to come by. Neither are elite cover men that can play more than one position and dominate in the secondary, of course.

There is a very real argument for either of these guys and as you can see, the gap isn’t wide.

I do think the rise of some other pass rushers (namely Marcus Davenport) could complicate things. However, Chubb is still seen far and wide as both the top pass rusher and the best overall defensive prospect in this year’s draft class.

I see the value with Fitzpatrick, but Chubb is going to be an awfully tough guy for teams inside the top 5 to pass on. The Colts are probably the main reason why I can’t bypass him here, though.

They could shock by taking Barkley (if he slides to them), but they have needed elite pass rushing help for a while now. I think they get it with Chubb and he narrowly edges out Minkah here.

Pick: Chubb (-160)

 If you came here just to see where Lamar Jackson would be drafted this year, consider yourself fortunate to run into some extra content. That, and you also may have stumbled across some killer NFL Draft prop bets you didn’t even know existed.

That’s part of the beauty here, too. Topbet.eu currently has the best collection of 2018 NFL Draft specials, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s certainly fun to jump on bets like this early, but there are going to be more to come and at numerous websites.

Now is the time to start preparing for NFL Draft wagers, but just be ready for a slew of props coming in the near future.

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2018 NFL Draft Prop Bets That You Should Consider Targeting
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2018 NFL Draft Prop Bets That You Should Consider Targeting
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The 2017 NFL season officially concluded recently with quite possibly the best Super Bowl anyone has ever seen. Now looking forward, Lamar Jackson’s 2018 NFL Draft projection leads the way for some of the years draft props on the top NFL betting websites.
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