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2018 NFL Combine - Prop Bet Preview

Bets to make, bets to avoid and what to know going into the 2018 NFL Combine

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Saquon Barkley

Barkley has been billed as a physical freak for years now, but like Myles Garrett before him, Barkley’s high school athletic testing didn’t necessarily reflect that, as he was timed at 4.66 in the 40 and 4.50 in the short shuttle at Nike’s The Opening. Since then however, Barkley has tacked on about 20 pounds, and has posted other-worldly weight room videos, and clips of alleged low-to-mid 4.3 40 times. His physical development and an already explosive lower body (36.2” vertical per The Opening, albeit via different means of measuring than the NFL uses) does suggest that improvement in his testing results is imminent. Again, we saw a similar case, with dramatic upswing, from Garrett last year. Barkley will dazzle, but let’s look at some of the prop bets attached to his combine performances this year (via BetDSISportsbook):

40-yard dash time

Over 4.37 (-180)

Under 4.37 (+150)

As I mentioned, Barkley has supposedly run in the 4.3s, but I skeptical of those hype videos. This time is hard to touch at 225-230 pounds. I’m taking the over here, but not by much.

Vertical jump

Over 41.3 (-130)

Under 41.3 (+100)

I wouldn’t touch this bet. 41” is incredible for anyone, and my gut says “under,” but I recall that Garrett touched 41” at 272 pounds just last year. If we stick to running backs, Christine Michael reached 43” at 220 pounds in 2013, so it is doable.

Derrius Guice

Guice has some momentum from analysts as the best “pure” runner in the draft class, but when it comes to the combine I’m not expecting big things. In high school Guice ran a 4.61 40, a 4.66 short shuttle, and posted a 30.6” vert at 215 pounds. LSU had him listed at 218 this year, and I’ve seen weights for him anywhere between 212 and 220. Regardless, unlike Barkley, Guice’s body composition hasn’t radically changed, and I suspect like Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook last year, we won’t see a dramatic shift in testing results. In fact, I predict Guice will follow his former LSU teammate Fournette’s lead, and skip the shuttle drills in Indy. What about the Guice prop bets? We have one:

40-yard dash time

Over 4.38 (-140)

Under 4.38 (+110)

I’m taking the over. I actually think Guice will do pretty well here - mid-to-high 4.4s - but I don’t think he’s faster than Barkley.

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson 40-yard dash time

Over 4.35 (-150)

Under 4.35 (+120)

Supposedly Jackson ran a 4.34 last spring, but I’m still taking the over here. Reggie McNeal’s 4.35 is the record for a QB, and Robert Griffin III ran a 4.41 a few years ago. I’ll predict Jackson finishes north of RGIII, somewhere in the vicinity of 4.45.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Vertical jump

Over 37.3 (-115)

Under 37.3 (-115

40-yard dash time

Over 4.42 (-120)

Under 4.42 (-110)

This is a trap. Steer clear. Fitzpatrick ran 4.54 and jumped 37.4” in high school at 194 pounds. Bama posted him at 202 this year. He’s too close to being the same guy for me to expect vastly different results. If you twisted my arm, I’d take the over on both.

Calvin Ridley

40-yard dash time

Over 4.42 (-115)

Under 4.42 (-115)

I don’t like this bet either because 4.42 is a very good time, and Ridley has put on 20+ pounds since running 4.65 in high school. Bama says Ridley is a sub-4.4 guy now, and while I don’t take the school’s word for it, this feels like a push at best.

Vita Vea

Vertical jump

Over 32.5 (-115)

Under 32.5 (-115)

40-yard dash time

Over 4.90 (-115)

Under 4.90 (-115)

Vea weighs 345 pounds, but according to Bruce Feldman, the Washington lineman has a 33” vertical. That’s too close too call. For what it’s worth, former Husky Danny Shelton reached 30.5” at just under 340 pounds. As for 40 time, give me the over. If Vea cracks 5.00 at his size I’ll fall out of my chair.

Derwin James

Vertical jump

Over 38.5 (-115)

Under 38.5 (-115)

James hit 36.9” in high school at 202 pounds and per Feldman, hit 41” at 222 pounds last summer. And that was after missing 2016 with a knee injury. I’ll buy the over here.

Donte Jackson

40-yard dash time

Over 4.28 (-140)

Under 4.28 (+110)

Jackson is an all-conference sprinter, but I can’t bet on anyone running under 4.28. He ran a 4.69 at 170 in high school and is listed at 175 pounds now. I’m going with the over here.

Tony Brown

40-yard dash time

Over 4.39 (-130)

Under 4.39 (+100)

Brown ran 4.35 at 196 pounds at The Opening, and is essentially the same size now. I’ll take the under here, and I think Brown is going to be one of the big combine winners, from an athletic testing standpoint.

Marcus Davenport

Vertical jump

Over 34.2 (+120)

Under 34.2 (-150)

Davenport has transformed from 197-pound beanpole to 255-pound pass rush specialist over the last four years. We’ll hear all about how raw he is as a prospect, but athleticism appears to be his strength. I’m sold that he has improved significantly from the 30.7” vert he posted in high school, and I’ll take the over.

NFL Combine Record Props (Predictions in italics)

Will John Ross’s 4.22 40-yard dash record be broken?

Yes (+165)

No (-200)

Will Stephen Paea’s 49-rep bench press record be broken?

Yes (+325)

No (-400)

Will Chris Conley’s 45” vertical jump record be broken?

Yes (+200)

No (-250)

Will Bryon Jones’ 12’3” broad jump record be broken?

Yes (+120)

No (-150)

Will Shelton Gibson’s 10.71 60-yard shuttle record be broken?

Yes (+110)

No (-140)

Who even runs this? Don’t bet on this

And Still More Props (courtesy of Bovada [Predictions in italics])

Fastest 40 Yard Dash by any player

Over/Under 4.29 seconds

Tempting to bet the under but fewer than 10 players have ever officially beaten this time at the combine

Fastest 40 Yard Dash will be?

Offensive Player -130 (10/13)

Defensive Player EVEN (1/1)

Highest Vertical jump by any player

Over/Under 42.5

As with the 40, fewer than 10 players have ever officially topped this mark

Most Bench Presses by any player

Over/Under 39

Position of Player to record fastest 40 Yard Dash

Wide Receiver 2/3

Defensive Back 7/4

Running Back 9/2

Guessing one of the corners - LSU’s Jackson, Alabama’s Brown or Ohio State’s Denzel Ward - runs the best time this year

Who will have a faster 40 Yard Dash Time?

Saquon Barkley -200 (1/2)

Lamar Jackson +150 (3/2)

Rich Eisen 40 Yard Dash Time

Over/Under 6.05 Seconds

Rich ran a 6.02 last year