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Over the last week, the BettingPros staff has been hard at work scouring through all the various NFL Draft prop bets. Take a look through the archive of all of our draft coverage to date.
Today’s article focuses on Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Simmons’ college career is full of honors and accolades. He won the Butkus Award this past year as the nation’s top linebacker. In Clemson’s 2018 championship year, Simmons led the team in tackles.
Simmons is clearly destined to be a top-ten pick in the upcoming draft. But just how high will he go? We examine the possibilities of the over and the under for his draft position and give our prediction on where Simmons will be selected. Odds are courtesy of FanDuel. And you can view all of our 2020 NFL Draft Prop Bets here.
Isaiah Simmons Draft Position (Over 6.5 -102, Under 6.5 -126)
The Case for the Over
Those that take the over for Simmons’ draft position believe he’ll get taken seventh or later. When looking at the teams at the top of the draft board, the only team that would make sense to draft him within the first six picks are the New York Giants at No. 4. The Bengals (No. 1), Dolphins (No. 5) and Chargers (No. 6) all appear destined to draft quarterbacks. In addition, Ohio State’s Chase Young and Jeff Okudah both appear destined to go before Simmons as well.
Granted, much can change if teams start to trade up or down to grab certain players. However, if there is some jostling for position at the top, it will likely be because a team moved up to select their quarterback of the future. As a result, the more trades there are, the less likely Isaiah Simmons goes in the top six picks.
If the Giants stand pat at No. 4, they will likely take a long look at the bevy of offensive linemen available in addition to Simmons. New York has been in dire need of a solid offensive tackle for quite some time. They need to do a better job of keeping second-year quarterback Daniel Jones upright while opening bigger holes for their former No. 2 overall running back in Saquon Barkley. Thus, guys like Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Tristan Wirfs are players you’ll hear associated with the Giants before draft day.
With so many variables involved, the over 6.5 for Simmons’ draft position seems like a solid bet.
The Case for the Under
Betting on the under 6.5 means you believe Simmons will be drafted with the sixth overall pick or earlier. If Simmons were to get taken that high, his combine numbers will likely have a lot to do with it.
Simmons was considered a top defensive prospect even before the combine. After his numbers jumped off the page, however, many scouts gave Simmons a legitimate case to be a top-five pick. His blistering 4.39-second 40-yard dash was the best among linebackers, while he also finished second-best of all linebackers in the broad jump.
For Simmons to go in the first six picks, the best scenario is for the Giants to stay at No. 4. It will be tempting for New York to trade this pick to a team looking to draft a quarterback. But what if they aren’t wowed by anyone’s offers? It will be just as tempting for New York to be able to select the clear-cut best linebacker in the draft.
As bad as New York’s offensive line play has been of late, their defense might actually be worse. The Giants ranked 30th in the NFL allowing 28.2 points per game.
In drafting Simmons, they would be getting a player who is versatile enough to roam sideline-to-sideline defending the run while also being smart enough to trust in pass coverage. He is an explosive athlete whose closing speed is second-to-none among linebackers in this draft.
The Giants signed former Packers linebacker Blake Martinez in the offseason, and Simmons would complement him well. Playing in a division that features two top-11 rushing offenses from a year ago (Cowboys and Eagles), the Giants could use all the top run-defenders they can get.