NFL Draft Odds: Over/Under First Round Picks by Conference
By: Travis Pulver
The SEC is widely considered the best conference in college football. Some would argue that point and say that if it weren’t for Alabama, the SEC would be just another conference. That point could be easily refuted simply by referring to last season’s top ten (four from the SEC with LSU at No. 1).
But that will not stop the haters from hating.
What most of us do not realize is that the reputation is not derived from national titles or based solely on Alabama’s dominance over the last decade. The titles and the perceived level of competition do play a role, of course. However, there is another factor— draft picks.
To be more precise, the number of players drafted each year, overall and in the first round. The SEC has been the clubhouse leader in each of the last 13 drafts. Last year, the conference set a new record with 64 total draft picks, nine of which came in the first round.
The rest of the first round went as follows: ACC — 7, Big Ten — 7, Big 12 — 3, Pac-12 — 3, Independent — 1, Group of 5 — 1, and FCS — 1.
Will the SEC lead the way again?
NFL Draft Odds: It’s the SEC’s World And Everybody Else is Just Living in It
It should come as no surprise that the SEC leads the way in the draft. Every high school superstar wants to make it to the NFL. History has shown that playing in the SEC will help make the dream happen.
So, SEC schools recruit many of the nation’s best high school players. The coaching staffs work their magic, and on Draft Day, SEC fans are made proud once again.
It’s a vicious cycle. But it also makes one of the wagers that DraftKings is offering an easy call:
- More first-round picks, the SEC vs. the Field
- All other conferences -110
- The SEC -110
Alabama will have at least four and possibly six, while LSU is going to have at least three and maybe seven. Between just those two, there could be 13. The record is 12 (set by the ACC in 2006 and the SEC in 2013 and 2017).
The SEC’s over/under is 15.5. The next highest is the Big Ten at 5.5. This one shouldn’t be too hard to pick. But what about on a conference by conference basis for the Power Five?
ACC First Round NFL Draft Odds
Last year was a good one for the ACC, at least in the first round, with seven guys hearing their name get called on the opening night of the draft. But this year, the expectations are a lot lower with the over/under set at just 3.5. Will the over get covered?
Clemson has one that is a lock (Isaiah Clemons) but could have as many as three. That means the other 13 schools just need to contribute one—and, sure enough, that is all there will likely be (Mekhi Becton from Louisville).
Two of Clemson’s picks are expected to go late in the round, which means they could easily fall into the second.
Big Ten First Round NFL Draft Odds
The Big Ten had a nice haul in the first-round last season (7) and could have another good one this year. Expectations are modest with the over/under set at 5.5. Will the conference cover the over, or is this one destined for the under?
Ohio State is a lock for at least two with Chase Young and Jeff Okudah believed to be top-five picks. Iowa is expected to add another pair inside the top fifteen (Tristan Wirfs and A.J. Eenesa). Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos has been graded as a first-round prospect as has Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.
However, it is important to remember that every guy with a first-round grade doesn’t go in the first round—especially running backs.
Big 12 First Round Over/Under NFL Draft Odds
While the Big 12 is often a lot of fun to watch, the talent doesn’t always translate to the NFL. But with the NFL favoring high-flying offense more and more with each passing season, more teams may be willing to roll the dice on a Big 12 star.
However, this year is not expected to be the year. The over/under is set at 3.5 (three went in the first round last year).
Oklahoma is expected to provide at least one in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, and potentially two more (Kenneth Murray and Neville Gallimore). If TCU’s Ross Blacklock makes it in as many experts think, then the over is covered. But he could be an early second-round selection.
Pac-12 First Round Over/Under Draft Odds
The Pac-12 was a good conference last season, but they were a little short on greatness—which is what NFL teams are going to be looking for in the first round. DraftKings has the over/under set at just 2.5, and that could honestly be hard to cover.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is considered a lock to go in the first to one of the many quarterback-needy teams. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. has an outside shot of going into the first round. Some experts have USC tackle Austin Jackson going in the first as well.
But Herbert is the only one most experts agree on.
SEC NFL Draft Over/Under Odds
Expectations are high for the SEC in this draft with the over/under set at 15.5. So, to cover the over, the conference will need to set a new record—and most believe the SEC will do just that. As previously discussed, Alabama and LSU can be counted on for seven with the possibility of as many as 13.
That means we just need three from the rest of the conference.
Auburn is expected to have at least one first-rounder in defensive lineman Derrick Brown. South Carolina chimes in with one as well with another defensive lineman, Javon Kinlaw. Georgia could potentially have two (Andrew Thomas and D’Andre Swift).
Florida’s CJ Henderson has first-round potential—so, the SEC could potentially cover the over with ease.
How should you bet? That is hard to say. While the logic behind most of what the experts are saying is not hard to follow, NFL teams don’t always use logic when making decisions. With no pre-draft visits or pro days this year, there isn’t nearly as much material from teams for fans to analyze.
It is safe to say there is no easy call this year.