2015 NFL Draft Props

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The NFL will take center stage on Thursday April 30 in Chicago when the NFL Draft begins. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the No. 1 overall pick and are almost certain to select former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

Bookmakers are so certain of this that many offshore books have already stopped taking action on whom the No. 1 pick will be in the draft.

The odds makers feel why take any more money on what already looks to be a certainty.

However, while the intrigue over who will be chosen No. 1 is now gone, there is still much debate over who the rest of the picks will be. Because of that, there is an array of NFL Draft props available to the bettor.

Marcus Mariota the winner of the Heisman Trophy has been picked by many to be the No. 2 overall draft pick on Thursday by the Tennessee Titans. Nevertheless, many suitors exist in the league for Mariota and that means he very well could be traded by the Titans to a host of different teams. Amongst the teams showing a great deal of interest in the quarterback are the New York Jets, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns.

While running backs are no longer fashionable with a high pick, two backs are expected to be selected in the first round. Todd Gurley from Georgia and Melvin Gordon from Wisconsin both should factor in the first round. Gurley torn his ACL last November, but that has not kept teams from being interested in his services. Gordon broken the single game rushing yards record this past season, only to see his record broken the following week.

The following are a few examples of the different props that are available to NFL bettors during the NFL Draft this week. Offshore sportsbooks Bovada, betonline, topbet and sportsbook.com have these and more to choose from.

Who will be chosen No. 2 overall

Marcus Mariota -550

Kevin White 7 to 1

Leonard Williams 8 to 1

Dante Fowler 10 to 1

The Field 6 to 1

Which NFL team on Sunday at the conclusion of the NFL Draft will have the rights to Mariota?

Titans +125

Browns 5 to 2

Jets 7 to 2

Eagles 4 to 1

Chargers 10 to 1

Rams 30 to 1

Texans 60 to 1.

Draft Position for Amari Copper

Over 5.5 (+190), Under 5.5 (-220)

Draft Position for Kevin White

Over 7 (-120)

Under 7 (-120)

Draft Position for Todd Gurley

Over 14.5 (-150)

Under 14.5 (+125)

Draft Position for Melvin Gordon

Over 22 (-120)

Under 22 (+125)

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Odds for 20 NFL Teams to Make the 2015-16 Playoffs

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The NFL season will not start for another four plus months, but that does not stop bookmakers from releasing odds for futures betting.

One sportsbook in Las Vegas and others offshore have opened the wagering for the playoff prospects of 20 NFL teams during the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Indianapolis and Seattle are the two teams with the shortest odds to make the NFL postseason, with their Yes side at -350. Those two teams are followed by defending NFL Champions the New England Patriots at -320 to enter the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles are -130 to reach the postseason this NFL season after not making the playoffs this past season when the team lost three of its final four games and finished just 10-6.

New Orleans also did not reach the playoffs last season, but are at even money to reach the postseason this season.

Four teams from last year that made the playoffs – Carolina, Cincinnati, Detroit and Arizona are underdogs the return the postseason. Of the four, the one with the longest odds is Arizona at +155.

These odds reflect trades that took place during the signing of free agents. However, the NFL Draft is Thursday and that could help change this board, as teams look for the best group of draftees they can acquire.

The New England Patriots were listed as the favorites to win the Super Bowl next season after winning the Vince Lombardi trophy this season. This season Seattle is also expected to be strong in the NFC, battling with the Packers, Cowboys and Eagles for a spot in the postseason.

New England in this poll is No. 2 to reach the playoffs, with Indianapolis at the top.

2015-16 NFL Playoff Prop

Colts: Yes -350, No +275
Seahawks: Yes -350, No +275
Patriots: Yes -320, No +250
Packers: Yes -280, No +230
Broncos: Yes -230, No +185
Cowboys: Yes -140, No +110
Eagles: -130, No +100
Ravens: Yes -120, No -110
Steelers: Yes -115, No -115
Saints: Yes +100, No -130
Panthers: Yes +120, No -150
Bengals: Yes +120, No -150
Texans: Yes +120, No -150
Lions: Yes +130, No -170
Chiefs: Yes +135, No -165
Bills: Yes +140, No -170
Chargers: Yes +145, No -175
Cardinals: Yes +155, No -185
Dolphins: Yes +155, No -185
49ers Yes +175, No -210

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NFL’s New Conduct Policy Still Needs Work

Hardy
Hardy

Greg Hardy deserves every bit of his suspension but is the NFL still missing the point?

I’m really tired of the National Football League’s personal conduct policy. It’s already in its’ new phase and wouldn’t you know it? It has wasted no time in creating controversy. Earlier this week the NFL suspended newly signed Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy for the first ten games of the 2015 season. Hardy has appealed as he should have and I believe he will be successful in his appeal.

Don’t for one second think that I’m glad his suspension will be shortened; the problem isn’t in what Hardy did but with how the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell doled out the punishment.

Last season, Hardy played in one game and was then suspended for the rest of the season but was still being paid. Not exactly a “stern” punishment but that was what the NFL had in terms of its’ discipline policy. Hardy will argue that he’s already served his punishment because the games missed last season but is that really a punishment when you’re making millions of dollars for doing nothing?

The National Football League Players’ Association will argue on Hardy’s behalf that he’s being punished twice for the same crime. They will also claim that Hardy isn’t even guilty of the domestic abuse for which he’s being suspended for which is laughable.

Let’s remember that Hardy was cited in four different acts of domestic abuse against the same woman. Hardy was found guilty by a judge in what is called a bench trial. Under North Carolina law however, he exercised his option to have his case tried in front of a jury of his peers. When the state went to find and prepare his former girlfriend, she was nowhere to be found.

What ever could have happened to her???? She didn’t disappear into thin air my friends. She took a very handsome monetary payoff from Greg Hardy and away she went. For some reason, many people are claiming that this means Hardy’s original verdict from the judge doesn’t matter. Perhaps it doesn’t legally in the state of North Carolina but in the eyes of the NFL, you can’t hide from what has been proven.

RG

If I'm Roger Goodell, I'm pushing for marijuana legalization since my guys can't seem to stop using it.

So how would I go about fixing the problem with the NFL’s personal conduct policy? I’m glad you asked.

First of all, I would start immediately pushing for the nationwide legalization of marijuana but I would do so behind the scenes until it happens. It’s obvious to me that many of the players already in the league and getting ready to enter the league (Hello Randy Gregory) are users of marijuana. Why continue to fight it? If it truly is worth fighting then players who use marijuana should be suspended longer shouldn’t they?

They know it’s illegal and they know it’s against the league’s personal conduct policy but why do they continue to do it? Until the drug is legal in all 50 states then I would punish it much more harshly.

The same goes for these persistent cases of domestic abuse and violence against women. Again, they know it’s wrong and they know it violates the law and the league’s personal conduct policy but they continue to do it.

Here’s an idea… Do it once and you’re out for a full 16 games. Do it again and you’re banned for life. Too harsh? Why? Why shouldn’t players be able to comprehend what is right and what is wrong?

Aren’t we in the rest of society supposed to know this?

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The NFL Draft is a Week From Today, Thank God

Draft
Draft

The NFL Draft can't get here soon enough and I say that every year.

In a hotel room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1936, the few teams that comprised the National Football League in those days were gathered to hold what would become the first-ever draft of collegiate players.

A grand total of 81 players were selected that day but only 24 would go on to actually play in the NFL. As amazing as this will sound, most collegians were more interested in pursuing further academia and starting their lives in the occupations they were in school to prepare for.

Flash forward to 2015 and we have ourselves a three-day event that will be televised from the first selection to the very last. There will be great picks and there will be “reaches.” There will be teams with draft grades of “A” and some with “D.” These grades are of course are about as asinine as they get because these players haven’t even laced up a cleat yet but hey, who am I to get in the way of entertainment and hyperbole?

It shouldn’t surprise us that the National Football League would capitalize on the draft’s growing popularity. No professional sport in America, or the world for that matter does better at marketing itself. It used to be that the NFL was about five to six months long. Now, it’s not a stretch to suggest the League is in fact a 365-day a year operation and the draft has become just one part of that.

fan

There was a time when the Draft brought great hope for teams like the Lions.

There used to be a joke in places like Cleveland or Detroit for example that as soon as those teams lost a game their fans would already start thinking about the next season’s draft. Today, every fan base, whether their team is winning or not is always guilty of keeping an eye on the players who will be available.

It’s hard not to after all considering the amount college football on television these days. It’s also hard to avoid draft talk if you are on social media as well. There are so many “draft experts” on Twitter, Facebook, etc. that discussing the draft is impossible so all we can do is just grit our teeth and hope that April gets here.

But then there’s another problem…

Because of the popularity of the draft, the NFL has been able to pretty much dictate when it’s going to be held. Last year it moved into May and this year at has moved altogether. For the first time during the common era of the draft, it will be held outside of New York City. The Windy City of Chicago will host this year’s draft and hey! Great news! It starts on April 30th!!!

Yes, the draft is still in April but does it matter? The NFL could host the draft at midnight eastern and it would still pull in big ratings. With the growing popularity of the combine in February and the new fad of showing pro days on television, the draft really has become a must-see event.

Consider that it’s now held on two different networks at the same time and you’ve got yourself a bona fide hit when it comes to the sports world. I admit, I enjoy the draft. I know what these young men have gone through to get where they are. It’s a special time for them and for fans who could see their teams’ fortunes change with just one selection.

I just wish it would get here already because I’m tired of hearing about it!

 

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Boone’s Comments About Harbaugh Being Too Demanding …

JH
JH

Alex Boone thinks Jim Harbaugh was too demanding and wonders why the coach kept pushing the team.

Apparently we now know why Jim Harbaugh was forced out of his Head Coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. It seems he was not only “clinically insane” but that he “pushed the players to hard.”

Those were the words of 49ers’ guard Alex Boone.

“I think he just pushed guys too far,” Boone told HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” for an episode that will air Tuesday. “He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy.’”

I can’t tell you how badly I feel for Boone. I mean, Boone is just a guy who makes millions of dollars playing football and all Harbaugh wanted was his and his teammates’ very best. I have no doubts that Harbaugh is demanding. I know he’s intense and he’s competitive and he doesn’t settle for anything less than your best effort but he “demanded too much?”

I’d like to know how Boone even made it into the pro ranks. I guess his college coaches at Ohio State must have given him hugs and lollipops to motivate him rather than demand anything from him.

He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” Boone told HBO. “But after a while, you just want to kick his ass. … He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kind of wore out his welcome.”

JH Bo

Jim Harbaugh has high expectations for his players just like Bo Schembechler did.

Can someone explain to me what mountain the 49ers got over? Last I checked the 49ers lost their only Super Bowl appearance under Harbaugh to Baltimore. That’s not what I call “getting over the mountain.”

I don’t mean to take it all out on Boone, but he’s the one who chose to speak about Harbaugh. He went on to say he thinks that Harbaugh will be an even better college coach than he was in San Francisco. The evidence already shows that Harbaugh can flat-out coach at the collegiate level with his stints at San Diego and Stanford.

What troubles me more than anything about Boone’s comments is that I fear that this attitude has become indicative of many NFL players. Because they make such enormous amounts of money, an attitude has emerged where players feel they no longer need to be motivated or pushed by the coach.

I think what has added to that is the fact that players no longer put in the practice time they once did either during the season or in training camp. With new collectively bargained rules, the days of “two-a-day” practices have been replaced by one practice session and then some classroom time where players and coaches go over video and playbooks.

I’m not saying that this is the worst thing in the world because if it keeps players healthier then this is a positive right? It is but I can’t help but wonder if more players share Alex Boone’s disdain for Harbaugh-type coaches in the NFL.

I for one like Harbaugh and love his passion for the game. He played for just such a coach in Bo Schembechler and it appears the style has worn off on him. Coaches aren’t in it to be loved, they’re in it to win. Or in other words, get to the “mountain.”

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Spring Game Attendance Signals That Football isn’t …

OSU
OSU

The Buckeyes saw nearly 100,000 people attend its' Spring Game. I'd say football is doing fine.

There were almost 100,000 people in Ohio Stadium yesterday and there wasn’t even an actual football game being played. There wasn’t even a Rolling Stones concert either. On the turf of the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio Saturday the Ohio State Buckeyes played the… Ohio State Buckeyes.

That’s an awful lot of people for a game that means little other than “who solidified himself as a starter at said position.” To be sure, the defending national champions have holes to fill and Spring Football is where coaches start to recognize just who is capable of being the “next man up.”

At two other Big Ten schools, Nebraska and Penn State, the Spring Game crowds were around 77,000 and 68,000 respectively. At Michigan, where prodigal son Jim Harbaugh has returned, the Wolverines had 60,000 in attendance.

Top schools in the Southeastern Conference like Auburn and Alabama saw Spring Game attendance marks around 60-65,000 as well. For them, that’s not really anything too surprising.

What’s hard to make sense of is that football is supposedly a dying sport. From concussion lawsuits, players behaving badly off the field and an overall condemnation of the game from more and more parents, you’d think the game was in rapid decline.

Tell that to the tens of thousands that attended Spring Games this season already.

The game of football isn’t struggling nearly as much as many think it is but there are worse times ahead. Participation in many states across the country is declining as more and more parents fear for the future of their children. Far be it from me to tell parents how to raise their children but I want parents to be educated and I don’t want them to done so with a biased approach.

Both soccer and hockey are facing concussion problems yet we hear little about those statistics and the reason for that is simple. Any time you are the top dog everyone wants to knock you off of your perch. That’s where football finds itself today.

The National Football League has problems. It has a former player off to jail for life with a murder conviction and it has players being arrested from everything from marijuana possession to domestic violence. Yet, it finds itself as the premier professional sport in North America. No sport is watched more by more people and of different genders and ethnicity than any other right now.

With the growth of fantasy football as well, the NFL is doing fantastic business so how can it or college football possibly fail?

If you follow football closely, then you may have noticed a new trend defensively that is making the game a little bit safer. What many call “Hawk tackling” because of the Seattle Seahawks’ use of it, the method of tackling aims to take the head out of the process. The style actually takes its’ roots from rugby where as you know, there isn’t any equipment used by the players.

There are still big hits and great tackles, but the form is much safer in terms of potential head injury. Will it make such a difference that the game is ultimately without problems? Of course not, but at the very least all levels of football are addressing the concerns of safety whether traditionalists like it or not.

Football isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as we can tell from the attendance at Spring Games, but it still has plenty of issues to address.

 

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Hernandez, Winston are Perfect Examples of Today’s …

Hernandez
Hernandez

Hernandez will face a far different life than one he grew accustomed to while in prison.

You play for the premier football team in all of the National Football League. You’ve played in Super Bowls and you’ve just signed a new contract for $40 million dollars.

Unfortunately, the next time you see the lights of the stadium where you saw so much success will be from your jail cell. So close to the stadium are you that you will be able to hear the roar of the crowd when your former quarterback throws a touchdown pass to someone that isn’t you.

You… Are Aaron Hernandez. You have just been sentenced to life in prison for murdering your “friend” execution-style just a short distance from your own home.

We really shouldn’t have been surprised by the smug look on Hernandez’s face when the jury verdict was read on Wednesday. This man is clearly a narcissist who must have had his pride hurt so badly by Odin Lloyd that he felt compelled to kill him.  But this is far from the last we’ll see of Hernandez because he will face trial later this year in Boston for the murders of two men at a traffic stop.

How does a man like Hernandez become a murderer? Is it an ethnic thing? Is it a stubborn pride thing? What possesses a guy to think that taking a life is worth more than his life as a professional athlete?

The easy answer is entitlement. When players as talented as Hernandez are first discovered when they are rising in the high school ranks, life is made easy for them. They are enabled by coaches, teachers and even their parents. This isn’t true in every case of course but look not just at Hernandez. Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston fall into this category as well.

Constant entitlement and enabling result in guys who believe they can do no wrong. Just several hours after killing Lloyd, Hernandez was in the Patriots’ facility already working out. To me, that’s a person full of himself and a person who truly believes he is above the law and everyone else.

Karma has come to Aaron Hernandez and there’s nothing good about it.

Winston

Will this latest lawsuit cost the former Heisman winner the top pick in the draft?

More Bad News for Winston

I mentioned Winston above and now he gets his own spot here as he’s back in the news and none of it is good. The woman who originally claimed that Winston sexually assaulted her at Florida State has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the potential number one draft pick.

What will be fascinating about this in the early stages is what does Winston do about his attorney David Cornwell? To this point, Cornwell has pretty much been able to keep Winston clean and away from any serious criminal charges. The problem is that Cornwell recently made comments that do not help Winston’s cause.

Cornwell recently said that his client is more than ready for the NFL in terms of the on-field stuff that comes with it but as for the off-field part, Cornwell wasn’t so sure. “He’s not ready to be an NFL player off the field,” said Cornwell. If I’m the attorney representing the young woman, how in the world do I not attack that immediately?

Civil cases are much different than criminal cases in that much less is needed for a jury to find Winston responsible. I’m not going to say that this is an open and shut case but Winston should be concerned. So too should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who it appears are all set to make Winston the top pick in the draft.

Will they stay with Winston or decide he’s too much trouble off the field?

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