Welcome to the 2022 NFL draft edition. This 7-Nugget column usually appears on Saturday at 10am Eastern.
The top 5 picks of the NFL draft – This list is based on two predictors. First, the set of sharp mock drafts with a history of accuracy curated by The Power Rank. Second, the NFL draft betting markets on FanDuel.
- Jacksonville, DE Travon Walker – The Georgia edge rusher was the underdog to Aiden Hutchinson as recently as Sunday, April 24. At -450, he now seems almost sure to go #1.
- Detroit, DE Aiden Hutchinson – While the markets moved towards Kayvon Thibodeaux on Wednesday night, the markets and sharp mocks now both lean towards the Michigan edge rusher to the Lions.
- Houston, CB Derek Stingley Jr. – This is the pick at which chaos begins to reign. On Tuesday, the markets moved sharply towards Stingley to Houston, and a few sharp mocks published on Thursday agreed. However, OT Ikem Ekwonu could very well go here.
- New York Jets, CB Sauce Gardner – This is another very difficult prediction for a team with many needs. Gardner edges out Ekwonu in the sharp mock drafts.
- New York Giants, OT Charles Cross – While the sharp mocks are split among the top three offensive tackles, the markets have Cross as a big favorite (+175).
With the latest updated information, Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux doesn’t seem likely to crack the top five. This suggests value in over 4.5 in Thibodeaux’s draft position (+115 at BetMGM).
Malik Willis – The Liberty quarterback shines in terms of arm strength and athleticism, two obvious traits to anyone who watches his play or performance at the NFL combine. As of Thursday morning, Willis is the favorite as the first QB drafted (-200 at FanDuel).
However, Matt Waldman, creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, doesn’t have Willis as his top QB or even in the top 5. Through his film study, Waldman sees major problems with his decision making. The team that drafts the Liberty QB should view him as a project, not an immediate starter.
On an episode of The Football Analytics Show, Waldman also discussed the relationship between football and improvisation music as well as winning versus skill development. A must listen for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of football.
Mexico Open – Jon Rahm is a massive favorite for this week’s PGA Tour event south of the border. However, betting involves finding value; no one golfer is going to be a shoo-in and have both a 50% implied probability and a 50% model probability to win a specific tournament.
Before the first groups teed off, Data Golf gave Rahm a 16.3% chance to win. But, a payout of +430 (FanDuel) does not provide value. Instead, Aaron Wise at 3.8% is proportionally closer to +2400 and has the second-highest probability to win. He’s also top 25 in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, which is important given the course plays nearly 7,500 yards.
NBA Injuries – This list is double checked with ESPN NBA injuries.
- Phoenix guard Devin Booker reportedly will miss Game 6 against New Orleans but could be available for Game 7 if necessary.
- Toronto guard Fred VanVleet is reportedly doubtful for Game 6 with a hip injury.
- Golden State forward Andre Iguodala has a neck injury and will reportedly be reevaluated in one week.
- Philadelphia guard Matisse Thybulle will be unavailable to play Thursday night in Toronto as he is unvaccinated.
Meaning of a Sweep – The only first round NBA playoff series to end in a sweep was Boston’s over Brooklyn. As a result, the Celtics are the favorites to win the Eastern Conference even though they are not the top seed.
Logically it makes sense to win a series in as few games as possible to avoid injury and exhaustion, but is it required for a champion to have a sweep en route to the title? In the last 15 years, eight champions had at least one sweep during their playoff run.
It may not have happened in the first round, but more than 50% of the time there was at least one 4-0 result. When it comes to Boston, preserving energy is helpful, but they are facing a well-rested Milwaukee team in the second round. Miami has an easier draw with either Philadelphia or Toronto, with that series needing at least six games.
Benches-Clearing Brawl – A skirmish broke out during Wednesday’s baseball game between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.
Throughout the series, eight different batters were hit by pitches. Then, when Yoan Lopez threw one a little too close to Nolan Arenado, both dugouts cleared. In fact, players from the bullpen came ready to fight.
One even gave us an excellent display on how to scale a wall with ease.
Making a Super Bowl run – On the Pardon My Take podcast, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network was asked whether the Saints would draft a QB in the first round.
Jeremiah replied that the Saints feel good about their team because they have beat Tampa Bay with Tom Brady four straight times in the regular season. By obtaining a tackle and a receiver, the Saints feel like they can make a deep playoff run.
Really?! With the two headed monster of Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton in the QB room, the Saints are 44-1 to win the Super Bowl, tied with Philadelphia for 20th best in the NFL (FanDuel).
Data driven betting information
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