NFL Draft Betting Odds: Safety Props and Odds
The 2020 NFL Draft class is relatively thin at the safety position and there are a limited number of bets that consequently can be placed. At DraftKings Sportsbook, the prop offered is over/under 1.5 players with a +110-price offered for the over and -134 price for the under. Unfortunately, FanDuel has decided to not even offer a safety market so there is only one site available to make this bet. Using the DK market would lead us to believe that that both Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit have a legitimate shot to be drafted in the first round with Jeremy Chinn and Antoine Winfield Jr. clearly considered long(er) shots.
NFL Draft Odds to Be the First Safety Selected
Xavier McKinney (-215 DK/-300 FD)
Grant Delpit (+275 DK/+270 FD)
Jeremy Chinn (+700/+750 FD)
Antoine Winfield Jr. (+1200 DK/+900 FD)
Regardless of mock, McKinney seems to be the consensus top pick at the safety position and is not being priced properly as the heavy favorite. According to Grinding The Mocks, which has tallied over 1,600 mocks drafts with McKinney included, has him going at an expected pick number of 23.2. Even on the upper limit of the expected draft position (EDP), he is still expected to be selected prior to pick 24, whereas Delpit is next with an EDP of 33.3. Essentially, McKinney is closer to a -500 favorite in reality and is not being priced as such.
If you are betting McKinney you will want to bet it at DraftKings Sportsbook considering they are offering materially better odds.
Unfortunately, there is not a ton of value here beyond McKinney because he is such a strong favorite. Chinn is questionably being priced as the third favorite when most mocks show Winfield Jr. being selected prior to Chinn. Winfield’s average draft spot is almost exactly 4.0 picks behind that of Delpit in the plethora of mocks analyzed, but his odds are a lot more favorable than that of Delpit as well. If looking for a true longshot, Winfield Jr. makes sense, especially at his DK odds.
Number of Safeties Drafted in the First Round
DraftKings has set the over/under of safeties selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft at 1.5 with juice to the over. When looking at historical data, the safety position is year-to-year the most volatile position of any in the draft. Over the course of the past 10 drafts, either multiple safeties have been drafted in the first round or zero have been drafted on each and every occasion:
2010 – 2
2011 – 0
2012 – 0
2013 – 3
2014 – 4
2015 – 0
2016 – 2
2017 – 3
2018 – 3
2019 – 0
Average during sample: 1.7
The bet itself basically comes down to whether Grant Delpit is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft because the EDP of Chinn and Winfield Jr. is much further down. When one safety has been taken in the first round over the past decade, at least another safety has come off the board with him, although that is unlikely to be a stable trend to rely on. However, if Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) were to slide out of the first round, the safety over bet makes sense to bet in accordance with the QB under, as Tagovailoa being selected in the second round would lead to a strong likelihood Delpit takes his place. The same goes for a team moving up for Jordan Love. Either someone moves up or decides to draft Love at the end of the round or it becomes likelier that Delpit is selected within the first 32 selections.
Xavier McKinney Over/Under Pick 25
DraftKings Sportsbook has set the over/under for Xavier McKinney at pick 24.5 whereas the over/under for him on FanDuel is set to pick 25.5. Whereas DraftKings views the over/under as a complete toss-up, with exactly -110 odds on both the over and the under, FanDuel is juicing the under to -126 because they are offering the higher number. To reiterate, his EDP in industry mocks is pick 23.2 so this should be extremely close. If betting the under, having the additional pick to work with on FD is comforting, but will cost $16 of winnings per $100 bet. The same goes for betting the over on DK as there is simply a higher margin for error and a virtually nominal price difference.
In general, betting the safeties is mostly just an exercise on guessing where McKinney/Delpit will be selected. If neither of those two players are of interest, passing on the safety betting market for a more exhilarating position is a reasonable approach.
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