Best bets for the 2023 NFL Draft

Author: Kate MagdziukPublished: 04/27/23
bijan+jamyr gibbs, joey porter jr. 2560x1440
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The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft officially opens tonight —Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET with the Carolina Panthers on the clock! Will it be Alabama QB Bryce Young, or are there surprises in store from the jump? Could the Texans seriously pass on a quarterback at No. 2? We'll have all of those answers and more, so soon!

Looking for advice on how to approach bets on the NFL Draft? Check that my three best tips for finding success (and betting responsibly!) on the 2023 NFL Draft.

Position of Steelers first drafted player: Cornerback (+150)

Win your bet if... The Steelers drafted a cornerback with their first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Bet $100 to win $150 in profit if the bet cashes! The odds currently favor the Steelers to draft an offensive lineman at -115.

Why it could cash... As a Steelers fan, I'm 100% totally allowed to say this — they are a very sentimental team and can get in their feelings sometimes. They're traditionalists. They become stubborn when they start to get sentimental (this is totally why Matt Canada is still employed, I'm just saying). That's why I think it's going to be absolutely impossible for them to pass up CB Joey Porter Jr. if he's on the board at 17 overall.

The Penn State prospect might not be an *elite* athlete, which will knock him down some teams' draft boards. However, what he lacks in burst, he makes up for in his understanding of the game and dominance in press coverage. Oh, and did I mention he's the son of Steelers legend LB Joey Porter???

There have been reports that Pittsburgh isn't "prioritizing" Porter Jr., but even if they don't, there are several top cornerbacks in this class that should be considered. Cornerback had already been a need before the loss of CB Cam Sutton to the Lions this offseason, and this is certainly a cornerback class that should have lots of talent on the board at a position the Steelers badly need when they finally take the clock.

Total number of RBs drafted in Round 1: Under 1.5 (+158)

Win your bet if... One (or zero) running backs are drafted in the first round. A $100 bet wins $158 in profit. The translation: The public is likely betting that TWO running

Why it could cash... HEAR ME OUT. It feels like just about everyone is all-in on running backs Bijan Robinson (Texas) and Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama) as locks to be drafted in the first round. However, simultaneously, the draft community continues to ask, "How high is too high for a running back? First round draft capital? In this economy?!"

We're now in an era where NFL franchises have made their peace with the idea that investing significant draft capital in running backs doesn't always yield the dividends that you'd hope. Hell, there wasn't a single running back drafted in the first round last year, and that was in a class headlined by Breece Hall as the runaway favorite for RB1.

Bijan will undoubtedly be drafted in the first round, but keep in mind — he is legitimately one of the best running back prospects we've seen in years. And even for a generational running back, there have been ongoing questions on how high a team would be willing to invest. We've seen two running backs go off the board in just one of the last four drafts, and seeing teams take a cautious approach with a talent like Bijan gives us a pretty good temperature check!

First tight end drafted: Dalton Kincaid (+150)

Win your bet if... Utah TE Dalton Kincaid is the first tight end selected, regardless of what round, or to what team he's drafted. A $100 bet wins $150 in profit, plus your $100 back

Why it could happen... Heading into the draft, odds would indicate the public feels pretty confident in Notre Dame prospect Michael Mayer as the first tight end off the board (-230). However, it still feels to me like we're not paying enough attention to the potential value Utah TE Dalton Kincaid has to offer — especially at plus-odds, meaning there are profits to be made!

Mayer and Kincaid have been widely considered the consensus top-two tight ends in this class, but what's interesting is that — despite Mayer being the heavy betting favorite — most NFL draft analysts actually have Kincaid ahead of Mayer on their big boards.

Now, NFL draft analysts are wrong all the time. But, let's be fair; it is difficult to predict the future, after all! Still, the fact that these prospects are so close in terms of their evaluation (though very different prospects), paired with the knowledge that the draft community might be higher on Kincaid than the public makes me feel like there's some value here to be had.

Read more about some of the NFL draft's top prospects, like Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and his teammate, Jaxon Smith-Njigba — my undisputed WR1 in the 2023 NFL Draft Class, before the action kicks off!

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