With the 2022 NFL Draft right around the corner, here are the three best 2022 NFL Draft value bets. We partnered with the experts at Oddschecker.com to provide all the insight you need as you head to the sportsbook in preparation for Thursday night.
Fifth Overall Pick: Evan Neal +300 (Bet $100 to win $300)
From a pure talent perspective, there’s still a good chance that Evan Neal could go first overall. Neal is the No. 1 prospect on The 33rd Team’s Big Board. Sure, the Jacksonville Jaguars just resigned offensive tackle Cam Thomas to a longterm deal, but Jaguars coach (and former The 33rd Team contributor) Doug Pederson has said, “you can never have enough offensive linemen.”
All that said, conventional wisdom is that the Jaguars are picking between the top defensive ends and the teams after them (Detroit, Houston, New York Jets) all have recently invested in the offensive line. The Giants have as well, but no one the caliber of Neal and the offensive line was still a gigantic liability last season.
“Everyone in the world knows that the Giants need offensive line,” said Matt O’ Leary of Oddschecker, “and with the Panthers sitting at pick six and also potentially needing offensive line it would be truly strange to watch the Giants wait until No. 7 to address that need.”
1st Wide Receiver Drafted: Jameson Williams +200 (Bet $100 to win $200)
Former Pro-Bowl WR Laveranues Coles broke down the wide receiver class for The 33rd Team. For Coles, Williams is “a clear-cut game changer. On my board he’s No. 1 if I was picking. I don’t get to make decisions but just based on what I’ve looked at on film, I know you have injury looming but, in my opinion, I don’t think he should drop. He’s the best, probably the [best] one out of the group.”
“This one is a little outside of the box,” said O’Leary, “but in order to find some value for these 2022 NFL Draft bets, sometimes you have to do just that. In the National Championship game, Jameson Williams tore his ACL. He was considered by most to be WR1 at that point and had Top 10 written all over him.”
While Jameson isn’t the top WR on The 33rd Team’s big board, his injury has had a lot to do with the splitting of hairs between him and other top pass catchers in this class. Dr. Jess Flynn recently broke down these—among other 2022 Draft injuries—for The 33rd Team’s Wednesday Huddle.
“Teams looking at these guys probably shouldn’t expect them back in 5-6 months,” said Dr. Flynn. A better timetable for this duo would be “…an 8 month recovery… Athletes don’t do as well in their first season (back from ACL surgery) and of course with these guys transitioning to the NFL, it could be a little bit bumpier the first season. But both should be expected to play next season”
If a team believes Jameson will be ready to play right away (even with limited expectations), it shouldn’t be any surprise that that team might have Jameson ranked highest in a very tightly packed group of receivers.
Team to Draft Kenny Pickett: Panthers +175 (Bet $100 to win $175)
“When you’re getting the obvious choice at plus-money that’s a home run,” said O’Leary. “Matt Rhule swung and missed with Sam Darnold and now his team is in a tough spot. They have a chance to rectify that issue with the sixth overall pick. Sure, they could also go offensive line, but if I read the tea leaves, I think they’re hinting at a QB. That makes this one of the top 2022 NFL Draft value bets.”
The Panthers had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season and have talented players at numerous positions on the offensive side of the ball. They are proof positive that it’s difficult to get anything done in the NFL game without a QB you can trust. Darnold isn’t that guy, and lots of NFL insiders have connected those same dots between Pickett and the Panthers.
Pickett is the top QB on The 33rd Team’s Big Board and 24th overall prospect.