The 2020 NFL draft will be a little different. Because the vast majority of the United States is currently operating under stay-at-home orders, the NFL says the draft will be conducted virtually. The draft itself was supposed to happen in Las Vegas in advance of the Raiders beginning their inaugural season in town later this year, but those plans were scrapped last month.
Team personnel will be headquartered at various parts of the country, and all selections will be made over the internet. Commissioner Roger Goodell may be making draft announcements from his own home. It sure sounds like this year’s NFL draft will be a lot like the fantasy drafts millions of Americans participate in every year.
The draft will also still be televised. ESPN and the NFL Network will both broadcast the draft, as usual. Without thousands of people being able to gather, networks will have to get creative when it comes to their content. Both stations will surely still interview players as they would under normal circumstances, but those interviews will have to be conducted via video conferences or phone calls.
Needless to say, this should make for quite the unique viewing experience. There is no telling what kinds of shenanigans we could see taking place at the homes of the draftees and other draft experts that will be broadcasting from their quarantined locations.
In fact, BetOnline is now giving you the ability to bet on said shenanigans. The site has posted a number of real props that tackle the fun side of the draft. Let’s dive in and break them all down.
Will Any Draftee Experience Technical Difficulties?
- Yes -500
- No +300
In most years, the NFL draft broadcasts go off without a hitch. The networks have perfected the art of making what would other be a fairly tedious process into a must-see, prime time event. There’s a reason the draft now starts on Thursday night instead of Saturday afternoon. Millions of people tune in every year.
This year, though, it’s fair to assume that we’ll see our fair share of hiccups. Unlike most years, there are a lot more variables in play. ESPN and the NFL Network are going to have to rely fairly heavily on the internet connections of the draftees themselves. Needless to say, that’s the kind of thing that lends itself to some potential technical difficulties. “Technical difficulties” is also a broad term. Anything from dropped connections to misheard questions to audio failures all fall under that same umbrella.
It’s hard to argue with the odds here. The juice is heavily in favor of a draftee experiencing technical difficulties at some point over the course of the 3-day event. The networks won’t interview all 225 players that hear their names called, but plenty of the draftees will get some TV airtime.
It’s a near certainty that something will go awry along the way. There isn’t much value in the -500 odds on “yes,” but it’s a bet that you’re almost sure to win if you place it.
The Pick: Yes -500
Highest Number of People in the Same Room
- Over 9.5 (-160)
- Under 9.5 (+120)
Some people have taken the idea of social distancing more seriously than others. One of the unfortunate side effects of this is that plenty of players that see their dreams realized during the draft won’t be able to celebrate directly with all of their friends and family. One would imagine the vast majority of players that hear their names called over the course of the 3 days may not have more than one person with which to celebrate the occasion.
Younger people are being advised against coming into close contact with more elderly members of their family for the time being, which limits the maximum amount of people we’ll see gathered together on screen during the draft. Some families are bigger than others, of course. If Philip Rivers and his 8 kids were to get drafted today, for example, I’d be confident in betting the over on 9.5.
However, I think the smart play is to bet the under. While it’s a risk knowing that some draftees may make an exception to social distancing measures on the most important night of their lives to this point, I would assume most draftees will follow the rules we’re all operating under these days. I like that you can get plus-money odds on the under, so that’s where I’ll lean.
The Pick: Under 9.5 (+120)
Will Any Draftee be Shown Drinking Beer?
- Yes +250
- No -400
The NFL does not have an age limit for players. The only requirement is that players have to be out of high school for at least 3 years before they are eligible to play in the league. So, there is a chance that some of the 225 players set to be drafted won’t be of drinking age quite yet. The majority, though, will be at least 21 at the time they’re drafted.
While I don’t doubt that some players may do a little casual drinking as a way of passing the time until they hear their names called, it’s also worth noting that many of these players will be making a first impression on their prospective teams and fan bases. Seeing a draftee sipping on a Bud Light during an interview would make for a questionable first impression in the eyes of some people.
I don’t expect any players to be shown drinking beer during the telecast.
The Pick: No -400
Will Any Draftee Pop Champagne?
- Yes +500
- No -900
While I doubt we see any beer-chugging during the draft, that doesn’t mean other forms of alcohol won’t be in play. As mentioned, getting drafted will be the most important thing to have happened in the lives of the vast majority of these players at this point. Obviously, that’s a cause for celebration.
The fact that most of the players will be at home when they get drafted means we could see some wild hijinks, champagne popping included. I would have to guess that at least one player will have a bottle of champagne on ice in anticipation of the big moment.
Plus, you’re getting fairly outrageous +500 odds on the “yes” side of this bet. That’s incredible value, especially considering popping champagne in celebration doesn’t typically come with the potentially negative stigma that beer drinking does. I’d be all over betting on some champagne celebrations taking place during the NFL draft.
The Pick: Yes +500
Total Dogs and Cats Shown During the First Round
- Over 3.5 dogs (+100)
- Under 3.5 dogs(-140)
- Over 0.5 cats (-110)
- Under 0.5 cats (-130)
Players may not be able to enjoy the draft experience with their parents or grandparents, but that doesn’t mean they have to socially distance from the furrier members of their families. While I’d expect we’ll see more dogs than cats, it’s fair to assume plenty of draftees will have their pets nearby for the big moment.
It’s worth noting that these pet bets have a limit on just the first round, which consists of 32 picks. That makes the choice a little tighter, but I’d still lean toward the over on both. It also doesn’t hurt that that’s where the value lies with both options. We only need to see four dogs and one cat among the 32 picks for these bets to pay off handsomely.
The Picks: Over 3.5 dogs (+100), Over 0.5 cats (-110)
Who Will No. 1 Overall Pick Hug First?
- Mom +125
- Dad +250
- Girlfriend +300
- Friend +700
- Sibling +700
It is now widely expected that the Cincinnati Bengals will make former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow the top overall pick in the draft. Something dramatic would have to happen for anything to change. I can’t imagine the Bengals trading the pick when they have such an obvious need at the position, so expect Burrow to be the first name called by Roger Goodell.
As of now, we obviously have no idea who will be in the room with Burrow when he gets drafted. He has been pictured frequently alongside both of his parents, while he has been dating the same girlfriend dating back to his days at Ohio State. It’s safe to assume she’ll be with him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes an exception for his parents on this night. He also has a pair of older brothers.
Mom is the chalky choice at +125, and with good reason. Football players and faithful mothers go hand-in-hand. I think girlfriend at +300 offers pretty good value, though. They’ve been dating long enough to where there’s a decent chance they live together by now, so she is the only person I’m confident will definitely be alongside Burrow when he gets drafted.
Mom makes for the safer choice at +125, but girlfriend at +300 offers very appealing upside.