There might be no more confounding draft prospect than Trey Lance. Does the small school player actually have the biggest upside?

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Over the course of my lifetime, the NFL Draft has transformed from that weird thing I woke up early for in middle school to a full-fledged three day spectacle in prime time that boosts the local GDP of its chosen host city.

The other big change from middle school? Me placing bets (as far as the authorities knew). I'm sure for years you could've found some offshore online books that would take your money on draft position; but it wasn't until last year, in response to the global pandemic, that most reputable Vegas stops got onboard. Suddenly, a whole new world of gambling possibilities were opened up to the widest audience ever.

With that in mind, let's break some of the best bets for the 2021 NFL Draft.


CORNERBACKS DRAFTED IN ROUND 1 (Over/Under 4.5)

UNDER 4.5 -105

This is the surest bet of the whole draft, easily. The over being positioned at -115, making it the favorite, seems absolutely preposterous. First things first, Caleb Farley, who was considered the consensus top cornerback on the board, has steadily fallen after medical reports came in that he underwent several back surgeries over the last year, specifically the scary sounding "microdiscectomy." Now there's a question if he'll drop out of the first round altogether, much like Myles Jack, after the announcement of a similar surgery on his knee that dropped him to the top of day two.

Outside of Farley, there appears to be only three other cornerbacks consistently graded at a first round level: Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn, and Greg Newsome. The first two appear slated to go in the top half of the round, while Newsome will most likely go somewhere in the twenties, or right at twenty to the Bears, as Kyle Fuller's replacement. Even if some other team takes a flier on Farley, there still needs to be one more cornerback drafted to hit that over. The pair of Georgia CBs of Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell are positioned to go next, and I could really only see one team (the Saints) who desperately needs the help.

The math on this one just makes too much sense.

PATRICK SURTAIN II (Over/Under 10.5)

UNDER -160

Speaking of corners, they don't build them much better than this guy. Long, fast, and polished, Surtain was the crown jewel of the Crimson Tide's secondary. There are a couple places at the top that would make sense, but his absolute floor is pick ten. The Dallas Cowboys need a corner something fierce, and Surtain is an obvious fit in new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's Cover 3 scheme. Write this down in pen.

JA'MARR CHASE (Over/Under 5.5)

UNDER -145

While many would argue the smart move is protecting last year's number one overall pick Joe Burrow, who is on the road to recovery after tearing both his ACL and MCL, as well as, damaging his PCL and meniscus, the Bengals organization seems dead set on reuniting the LSU teammates. The hype on Chase is high, as reportedly, the Lions tried to jump Cincy by trading up to Atlanta's spot with their sights set on him. However, it never materialized, and it all comes down to the Bengals, given the first three picks are guaranteed to be QBs, and Kyle Pitts should look good in black. Zac Taylor has referenced and/or hinted at the importance of Chase's connection to Burrow, which I doubt is any kind of a smokescreen. They need to replace A.J. Green or vtick it to him, apparently.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS IN FIRST ROUND (Over/Under 18.5)

OVER 18.5 -110

This draft contains both a ton of top end talent at premier offensive positions and runs incredibly deep, especially at WR and OL. Add in, at least, the five QBs slated to go earlier, and that's a recipe for an overwhelming offensive-focused first round. If you're at mock drafts, the top ten contains two defensive players, at most, and I'd bet it's only one. You're nearly halfway home before the impending deluge of mid-to-late-round offensive linemen, like Alijah Vera-Tucker, Teven Jenkins, Christian Darrisaw, and Dillion Radunz. You better believe there's going to be a run on the next tier of WRs behind Chase, Smith, and Waddle. I think three of the four guys, like Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, Kadarious Toney, and Dynami Brown could all go in the twenties. Not to mention, a team will absolutely reach for Najee Harris. Add all that up and what do you have? A winner.

49ERS SELECT TREY LANCE +300

Depending on where you look this bet can pay from +250 to +400. The reports out of San Francisco paint this as a two horse race between Mac Jones and the North Dakota State Bison product. This is a value play, and, frankly, one for my own sanity, as a Niner fan. I refuse to believe that Jones will actually end up the final pick, and this is part of my positive visualization tactics to will my desired outcome into existence. Amen.

Steph Curry has came back from injury with one of his best seasons as a pro

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

As we're just over a week away from seeing the new play-in format the NBA has decided to go with this season, it means that teams are vying to be in the top 10 in their respective conferences to keep their postseason dreams alive.

We have seen LeBron James make public statements opposing the new format even though it was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last year. It's understandable that James would have negative feelings about the new format as his Lakers have struggled throughout the season as both him and superstar teammate, Anthony Davis, have dealt with injuries which have caused them to miss significant time.

Keep reading... Show less

Cole Irvin is making waves on the west coast for the Oakland A's

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Baseball is a game of hot streaks and slumps, and as a fantasy baseball manager it's sometimes difficult to know when to part with someone on your roster to take a chance on someone new.

Here we'll examine three players you may want to consider moving on from if you have them rostered, and provide three potential replacements for them. Just like in real baseball, sometimes you have to make the tough moves in order to win. But if you don't know what the right moves are to make then you just end up looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates of your fantasy league.

Here's some advice for you so you don't become the Pirates of your league.


First Up

Cole Irvin Oakland A's SP (30% Rostered in Yahoo)

Irvin hasn't allowed more than two runs in the past four starts and will carry a 3.09 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 34/5 strikeout to walk ratio heading into his next one against Tampa Bay this weekend. To put how effective Irvin has been into perspective, he's averaging nearly a strikeout per inning while only .1 walk per inning.

Even if Irvin comes back down to earth a little, now is the time to pick him up while he's riding this hot streak. He is coming off a game against the hard-hitting Blue Jays where we saw him set his career-high in strikeouts with nine over eight innings. Take into consideration he has three quality starts (out of six) and his most recent loss was to the Rays who he sees again on Saturday. In that last appearance against Tampa he went six innings, striking out eight, allowed only two runs and earned a quality start in a loss.

If you're looking for a long term option at starting pitcher, Irvin presents a great opportunity to snag a hidden gem off waivers but don't expect him to last much longer if he puts in another strong performance against the Rays on Saturday.


Keep reading... Show less

Oshae Brissett

AP Photo

Who needs an Avengers incorporated ESPN broadcast when the real nerd-sports crossover is right here?

Welcome to the final round of the basketball fantasy season. You're either in the championship or you've decided that you wanted to set your lineups early and actually enjoy watching basketball.

In any case, you need to fill your rosters and we have the players you need to look out for on those waiver wires.

Booms

Oshae Brissett Guard/Forward Indiana Pacers

You'd be excused for not knowing who Oshae Brissett was before this week. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and started his professional career in the NBA G League. Now, he is making a name for himself in Indianapolis.

Last week, the former Syracuse forward averaged 16 points, made three three-pointers, 10.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and four blocks. With multiple Pacers players fighting injuries, Brissett should have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent contributor in the final stretch of the NBA season.

Ricky Rubio Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves

Much like the Timberwolves, it has been an objectively bad statistical year for the Rubio. Also much like the Timberwolves, even he can have a span of success. Rubio didn't provide a ton in any category this past week, but he did average a solid 10.5 points, 1.8 made threes, four rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers.

Rubio may have had a good week, but even his good week isn't much in terms of massive contributions. He may be high on last week's rankings, but he isn't worth the pick-up unless you're really desperate for steals and assists.

Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons

Stewart goes back-to-back on the list despite his scoring numbers dropping. In three games last week, Stewart scored 11 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds, one steal and 3.3 blocks.

While minutes volatility is still a fear with any Pistons player, Stewart has shown that he can contribute in four or more categories for another week. Pick him up for the rest of the season if you can.

Saddiq Bey Small Forward Detroit Pistons

Bey may still be figuring out how to be successful in the league, but at least he can score like a seasoned vet. In three games last week, he averaged 17 points, four made threes, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

He's still a liability in terms of accuracy (39.5 percent from the field last week), but if you need scoring and rebounding, there aren't a ton of other options on the waiver.

Busts

Dillon Brooks Guard/Forward Memphis Grizzlies

The former Duck has developed into a consistent scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he doesn't provide much else. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, but only managed to average 1.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.

He may not provide much in fantasy, but Memphis is fighting hard to stay in the playoff picture. Brooks will have plenty of chances to keep up his scoring numbers so if that's something you require, he is a great option to give you a boost.

Duncan Robinson Guard/Forward Miami Heat

Shooters in fantasy basketball are DCEU movies: Sure, you'll get a Snyder cut of "Justice League" or "Wonder Woman," but you have to wade through the other travesties to really appreciate them. Duncan Robinson's last week was "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"-esque.

In four games, Robinson averaged three made three-pointers but only 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. People aren't picking up Robinson for his other stats, but if he's not scoring or shooting at an elite level, he's a tough pickup at best.

Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks

Gallinari's up and down year hit another valley last week when he averaged 10.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

With Kevin Huerter and Bodgan Bogdanovic to compete with for minutes, anything consistent from the Italian baller can't be counted on moving forward.

Delon Wright Guard/Forward Sacramento Kings

Wright was making the most of his minutes in Detroit but since he was traded to Sacramento, his lack of opportunity has been frustrating for anyone who manages him. In four games last week, he averaged 10 points, one made three, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals.

If you are holding out hope that Wright will step up in the finals weeks of the season, I have a monorail I think you'd be interested in.