If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!
1. NFL Draft starts tonight
We’re hours away from the NFL Draft and still no one has confirmed who’s going first overall. Leave it to the Browns to screw up the usual predictability of the first round. Perhaps this year’s crop of prospects really is a toss up, or perhaps insiders are purposefully tossing out tons of contradictory reports because this is the first year Vegas is actually offering props on the draft and they don’t want to make you money?
So in the face of weeks of over-reporting on a usually disappointing event, let’s find some value for the first round. O.J. Howard is a tight end everybody seems to love, with his draft spot set at 8.5. With all the talk of teams trading into the top eight, I could see him getting scooped up in time to hit the UNDER, and it’s a juicy +200.
For less risky bets, there’s the OVER on Alabama players (4.5), the UNDER on first-round QBs (3.5), and the first kicker being taken in the fourth to seventh round (-450).
2. Daryl Washington reinstated
In case you don’t remember this guy — and that’s very possible since he’s been out of the league for three years(!) — Washington is (or at least was) a ferocious inside linebacker for the Cardinals who racked up nine sacks in one season back in 2012. But after a 2014 suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy was lengthened by a domestic violence charge, Washington is just now being reinstated.
A disturbing pattern of behavior, as well as three years off from football, probably mean Washington doesn’t figure much into Arizona’s plans this year. But considering the team’s lack of depth at linebacker, and greater needs in the draft (corner, quarterback and receiver), Washington may represent an unexpected windfall if he’s in playing shape, both mentally and physically.
Arizona appears to be the only team poised to challenge a weakened Seahawks in the NFC West this year, so their offseason will be worth monitoring, including whatever decision they make here. If they keep Washington on the roster and you think he can be a difference maker, the Cards’ futures value just went up.
3. Kevin Fiala out for rest of playoffs
The relatively unknown Nashville forward introduced himself to the world by scoring an overtime winner in the first round to push the Chicago Blackhawks to the brink. But now Fiala will have to put his coming-out party on hold after a rough collision into the boards left the 20-year-old with a broken leg.
Despite the scary moment and lengthy delay, Nashville managed to recover and win Game 1, 4-3. It was an excellent display of the Predators’ forward depth and showed why this team will be fine without Fiala. Both Vern Fiddler and Colin Wilson made their 2017 playoff debuts in that game and both managed to score in the victory.
The Predators are rolling, and if you haven’t already jumped on their bandwagon, now is the time. This is the team that will come out of the Western Conference.
Photo Credit: Marianne O’Leary [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons