Swinging a deal with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft was a good indication that the quarterback-starved Carolina Panthers were going after what they expect to be the franchise player. The Panthers get the pick of the litter and are expected to grab either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. We touched on the first and second overall picks in an earlier article since those players get the most attention. We’ll take a look at a few other potential first-rounders to see if we can pinpoint their draft position and hit a winning NFL betting prop on the over/under at BetRivers sportsbook.
There was a time when running backs were a hot commodity. In a five year span starting in the late 1970s, four running backs were selected with the first overall pick. However, there hasn’t been a ball carrier first off the board since Ki-Jana Carter in 1995. No running backs were taken in the first round last year with Breece Hall the earliest going with the fourth-pick of the second round to the New York Jets. I mention this because the top RB in the 2023 draft class is one of if not the most talented player among the hopefuls, according to some outlets. Playing an undervalued position will hurt Texas’ Bijan Robinson on the draft board, though. Let’s have a look at the NFL odds on where Robinson and others will be drafted.
2023 NFL Draft
The first round of the draft is set to take place on Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds two and three are set for Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET with rounds four through seven on Saturday, April 29 starting at Noon ET. The entire draft will be televised on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.
2023 NFL Draft Props
The props listed below are simple. A player is listed with a draft position established by oddsmakers and the betting public throws down on whether the player is drafted above or below that number. These are players that aren’t expected to be drafted in the top 5, but should be taken at some point during the first day.
Bijan Robinson 2023 NFL Draft Position
Under 16.5 ( -175 )
Over 16.5 ( +135 )
As you can see by the juice oddsmakers anticipate Robinson being selected among the top 16, which would make him the highest drafted running back since Saquon Barkley was taken second overall by the Giants in 2018. And Robinson’s draft position actually improved after opening at 18.5. There’s good reason for this. Robinson is easily the top running back in the class and many have him touted as the best athlete. The problem is the way the game has evolved over the last several decades with rules designed to open up the passing game. And workhorse backs tend to have a short life span in the NFL. Also, it becomes a matter of where Robinson fits. The Atlanta Falcons have a run-heavy offense and could use a back with Robinson’s talent at No. 9, which is why the juice is heavy on the UNDER. Last year at Texas Robinson rushed for nearly 1,600 yards with 18 touchdowns and his size, speed and determination can’t be overlooked.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba 2023 NFL Draft Position
Over 12.5 ( -175 )
Under 12.5 ( +135 )
I didn’t come across a NFL betting prop for first running back selected likely because there’s only one choice. The wide receiver position is a bit more open, though Smith-Njigba is expected to be first off the board. He’s available at negative NFL odds in that prop bet. There’s no denying the talent but we just didn’t see enough of it. His breakout year came in 2021 with 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season was supposed to be his showcase but an injury limited him to just three games. Sometimes talent outweighs experience and teams will be taking a risk on JSN if they draft him early. It’ll cost you a little to take the OVER on this prop but I just don’t see any team in the top 12 using the capital on a relative unknown product. I do, however, think his talents will land him later in the first round.
Check out the latest NFL draft betting odds at BetRivers.