Early 2022 NFL Draft prop bets to consider: Go with Gardner

Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) resets between plays during practice at the Higher Ground training facility in West Harrison, Ind., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 1 month ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Unfortunately, we’ve got another five months before the NFL is back. But on the bright side, the 2022 NFL Draft is right around the corner. And with it comes a robust draft props market. The wagering opportunities will be endless, and more and more options will become available as we get closer to the draft. This year, the draft will take place in Las Vegas from April 28th-30th, and we’ll have a bunch of content coming here at Pickswise.

For now, we’re taking an early look at the preliminary draft prop markets, and breaking down a few best bets. Here are three plays that I think have some value:

Sauce Gardner under 7.5 (-130 at DraftKings)

Taking the under 7.5 on Sauce Gardner means he has to go in the top 7 picks, which at this point seems very likely. Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein are two of the most plugged-in draft analysts out there, and both of them have Gardner going 4th overall to the Jets in their latest mock drafts. New York makes perfect sense as a destination. The Jets’ pass defense was an absolute sieve last season, and they were starting a bunch of late-round picks and practice squad guys.

Taking Gardner, who is now the consensus top corner in the draft, would give them an anchor in their secondary for many years to come. Even if the Jets don’t take him, the Giants have 2 of the next 3 picks (#5 and #7), and they could certainly be interested in adding a corner as well. I really don’t see the Cincinnati product falling to number 8 or beyond.

Aidan Hutchinson over 1.5 (+225 at DraftKings)

I’m not nearly as convinced as everybody else that Hutchinson is going to be the 1st pick. There haven’t been too many concrete reports about what Jacksonville is planning to do, and everyone is just assuming they no longer are looking for an offensive tackle after franchise-tagging Cam Robinson. But I still wouldn’t be that surprised if offensive tackles Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal ended up being the pick.

Let’s assume they do have their sights set on a pass-rusher though. That doesn’t mean it has to be Hutchinson. Travon Walker has steadily built up momentum over the past month, and a lot of well connected people are starting to say the Jags like him. His odds have gone from 20/1 to around 3/1 in the past few weeks, showing that some well-respected money is coming in on him.

In Zierlein’s most recent mock he has Jacksonville taking Walker first overall, and it’s starting to look like somewhat of a toss-up. Hutchinson has done little to separate himself, and there is certainly no clear top choice like in many years past.

Kenny Pickett to be first QB taken (+130 at DraftKings)

This is regarded as a generally weak quarterback class, and Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis seem to have emerged at the top of it. Willis is now a modest favorite to be the first passer taken, with Pickett close behind and everybody else at +1200 or higher. I trust Jeremiah more than just about any analyst when it comes to draft info, and in his latest mock he didn’t even have Willis going in the first round.

Conversely, he had this to say about Pittsburgh’s signal-caller. “Pickett could ultimately land in the top 10, but if he falls, I can’t see him slipping past the Saints.” New Orleans currently has the 16th pick in the draft, and I don’t see any team ahead of them springing for Willis. Some have speculated the Texans could go for Willis early, but the consensus seems to be that Houston is looking for help in the trenches and on defense primarily.

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