In this edition of his weekly column The Ticket, Adam Kramer offers 4 NFL Draft bets to make now; mourns his 2021 The Masters futures bets; gets ready for a big stretch of UFC (Whittaker vs Gastelum) and celebrity boxing (Jake Paul vs Ben Askren); and offers his weekly picks.
Read our full 2021 NFL Draft Guide for our 3-round mock draft, player scouting reports, and more.
March Madness? Comfortably in the rearview. The Masters? No more. A chaotic and thrilling stretch of sports has gone from a boil to a simmer.
And so, if you’re looking for something to gamble on, let me offer up the following.
Not Major League Baseball or the NBA or even hockey. These are fine selections, of course, but they are more routine at this point. Instead, how about we dive headfirst into NFL Draft wagering options?
In a few years, I expect the market for NFL Draft betting to explode beyond what it already is. And as it stands, the spring ritual still has plenty of fascinating options. (More on that in a bit.)
If you have never bet on the draft before, well, allow me to expand your horizons. For as fun and seemingly wild as the three-day event is, having a little skin in the game makes it that much more thrilling.
Our friends at PointsBet have a buffet of options lined up, which allows you to put your scouting and insider skills to the test.
You likely won’t get rich betting the No. 1 overall pick. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is a -10000 favorite to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. A $100 bet will net a cool buck. If you’re into that sort of thing, go for it.
Me? While I would gladly accept that dollar, I’ll go elsewhere.
Heck, give me Zach Wilson go No. 2 overall (-2000) to my beloved New York Jets. That $100 will bring me $5. And hopefully, finally, a competent quarterback for my team.
How many running backs will be taken in the first round? Who will be the first defensive player taken? Where will Justin Fields land — Over or Under for Pick No. 4.5? That’s just a small dose of what is out there.
Normally this time of year, Kentucky Derby prep kicks in. That will still be the case, although it will have a partner this time around.
In my finest collegiate Tim Tebow voice, I pledge this to you: You will never see any handicapper in the entire country put more time in betting the NFL Draft.
I have made it my mission. As such, you will likely see wagers and 2021 NFL Draft picks and bets content featured across these weekly columns over the coming weeks. If you are into that sort of thing, you’re in luck.
If not, I leave you with the following piece of advice:
Take the “Over 0.5 running backs to be selected in the first round."
And we’re off.
4 NFL Draft Bets To Make For 2021, Jake Paul vs Ben Askren, Whittaker vs Gastelum
At the Window: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
UFC and golf. A match made in heaven. Results varied spectacularly.
THE GOOD: UFC Returned and It Treated Us Well
We went a week without the UFC, and I would prefer if we don’t do that again. While I lost the main event, I went small on Kevin Holland. Before that, I believe I ripped off a run of eight consecutive wins. A mix of favorites and underdogs proved to be the proper concoction.
The best part? No major drama. Mostly obvious wins. Plus, having the card during the day was a nice change of pace. A+ all around.
THE BAD: The Justins Come Undone at The Masters
Saturday morning, I was feeling alive. I had two nice Masters futures on Justin Rose (100/1) and Justin Thomas (11/1). Both were in contention. Both seem to like the course. Both would have paid handsomely. Rose would’ve been a truly epic score, and he was in the driver’s seat for a while.
But that was not to be. Thomas fell apart after the rain delay on Saturday and Rose simply couldn’t make a putt. Tough to stomach, but what a great tournament it still was.
THE UGLY: Gonzaga (-4.5) vs. Baylor
Gross. That’s all there is to say about that. I thought Gonzaga would be able to speed past Baylor. I thought rebounding would be an issue for the Bears.
I thought the Zags would convincingly cap off a perfect year with a win and a cover, and I knew pretty much two minutes in that it was going to be a long night.
Baylor was faster, stronger and more composed. To tie it together, they also couldn’t miss from outside. I also lost my Zags future bet. What a rough future betting week it was.
What I’m Watching: UFC, Boxing & A Little Baseball
MLB: The chaotic sports calendar has prevented me from watching more baseball than I usually do, although that will change this week. Betting this early in the season can always be a mixed bag.
Are the Boston Red Sox actually good? Are the Washington Nationals this bad? The Los Angeles Dodgers look as good as advertised, that we know. The rest feels like a perfectly good mystery. Just how I like it.
UFC Fight Night, Whittaker vs Gastelum: I’ve got a hot hand. Best believe I’ll be tuning back in. We have ourselves a 12-fight card that includes a six-fight main event card and a couple of really quality matches. We’re moving back to the evening for those taking note. Let’s hope we stay hot.
Jake Paul vs Ben Askren (aka Boxing): While I am not one to jump on celebrity boxing, I am curious. Yes, I am telling you that a boxing match between a YouTube star and a former MMA fighter is compelling. Paul is 2-0 in his boxing career and more recently knocked out former basketball player Nate Robinson. Askren was more of a grappler than boxer in the UFC, although the man can still punch. It’s a late PPV that I plan to watch.
What I’m Betting: Some UFC, Some Boxing, & A Few 2021 NFL Draft Bets to Get Us Started
Robert Whittaker (-265) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (UFC)
I just love watching Whittaker fight. I had him in his last two wins, and I like him as a sizable favorite over Gastelum here. He’s simply a cut above.
Ben Askren (-103) vs. Jake Paul (Boxing)
Yes, I’m betting Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren. Of course, I am. Askren is actually a small underdog, which might be a surprise to some.
He might not be as big as Paul, but he’s been punched in the face a lot longer. I’ll take a stab on one side of Paul vs Askren, a truly unique event.
2021 NFL Draft Prop & Futures Bets
I will add to this list each week. Let’s keep it simple to start.
Running Backs Selected in the 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Over 0.5 (-250)
I gave it above, but allow me to explain why. I believe a team at the back end of the first round will jump at the chance to pick Travis Etienne or Najee Harris in the 2021 NFL Draft. All you need is one.
DeVonta Smith NFL Draft Position: Under 11.5 (-125)
Even if he doesn’t wind up as the first wideout taken, I think Smith comes off the board before pick No. 12. The Miami Dolphins at No. 6, Detroit Lions at No. 7, and the New York Giants at No. 11 are all possible landing spots. Smith’s talent will be recognized.
Kyle Pitts NFL Draft Position: Under 5.5 (-130)
My only concern is the Atlanta Falcons trade out of their No. 4 pick and the quarterbacks continue to flow. If they don’t, I think Atlanta would be an incredible fit. I’ll wait a little bit to put this one in, but I am getting plenty of Pitts buzz.
Wide Receivers Drafted in 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Under 4.5 (+130)
Three are guaranteed. In fact, you might have three WRs taken in the top 15. But after that, it becomes a bit muddy. And because this is such a deep class of wideouts, it wouldn’t shock me to see needy teams wait.
Thanks for reading Adam’s latest edition of The Ticket: ‘4 NFL Draft Bets For 2021, Whittaker vs Gastelum, Jake Paul vs Ben Askren.’ Like any of these sports betting picks? Wager where legal with one of our sportsbook partner offers. PointsBet, for instance, is giving new customers 2 Risk-Free Bets for up to $2,000.