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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.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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