NFL draft betting: There are 3 interesting teams, including Patriots, favored to draft a QB first

Frank Schwab
·5 min read

In a couple weeks, a few teams are going to change the entire outlook of their franchise for the next few years by drafting a quarterback in the first round. We just don't know exactly which teams will make that leap. 

BetMGM has posted odds on the position of the first player drafted by almost every NFL team. Not every team is posted, mostly because it makes no sense to post odds on the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets or San Francisco 49ers. Those teams are picking quarterbacks, even if the exact pick to the 49ers at No. 3 is up in the air

We also know five quarterbacks are going in the first round, and a sixth might sneak in to the delight of those who have bet over 5.5 quarterbacks in the first round at BetMGM. 

That means we need to identify at least two teams that will change their trajectory by picking a quarterback in the first round. BetMGM has three teams favored to pick a quarterback first. 

Which teams are favored to take a QB with their first pick? 

In BetMGM's odds on the position of each team's first pick, quarterback is the favorite for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Get out the eye emojis. 

Each team has a fun scenario when it comes to a first-round quarterback. 

Falcons, QB first is +140: The Falcons have the fourth pick, but they also have a quarterback. However, Matt Ryan is 35 years old and Atlanta is rebuilding. Atlanta is in a great spot at No. 4. They can either trade down with a team desperate to get whoever the 49ers don't draft, or stay put and get the kind of QB prospect you generally don't see at No. 4. I don't love the idea of betting on the Falcons to take a QB because the possibility of a trade seems so strong. We have already seen how much teams will pay to land a quarterback. But the Falcons taking Ryan's replacement can't be ruled out. That would be a wild draft day story. 

Broncos, QB first is -130: Other than the top three teams in the draft, BetMGM has the Broncos as the most likely team to get a QB as their first pick. It makes sense. Since Peyton Manning retired, the conversation for just about every waking minute in Denver has centered around his replacement. Drew Lock hasn't convinced anyone he's the answer. New GM George Paton hasn't overpaid to get a new quarterback, but the urge will be strong if Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones falls. Perhaps one gets to No. 9, where the Broncos pick, and Paton doesn't have to give up anything. It would be a little surprising if the Broncos don't land a quarterback in the first round, and BetMGM's odds reflect that. 

Patriots, QB first is +180: New England is the most interesting possibility of the three. BetMGM has QB favored as the first position New England takes, with linebacker second at +275 odds. The Patriots have a need. Cam Newton will be back but it would be wise to look for a quarterback of the future. There might need to be some creativity, because the Patriots have the 15th pick and one of the top five quarterbacks is unlikely to be there. However, the bet still cashes if the Patriots trade down and take a quarterback with their first pick of the draft. It doesn't have to even be in the first round. The Patriots also have enough draft capital to move up. They're a team to watch, as always. 

Will Bill Belichick take a quarterback with his first pick? (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Will Bill Belichick take a quarterback with his first pick? (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Who else could take a QB first? 

We'll bring in Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm to share his thoughts on some of the NFL draft props offered at BetMGM

Edholm: "The Falcons are interesting here. It's obvious the oddmakers believe it's quarterback, Kyle Pitts or bust, when we look at BetMGM's odds ...

(BetMGM screen shot)
(BetMGM screen shot)

"I know Atlanta has logged some air miles attending every notable QB pro day and it certainly is possible they go that route. But they also made it clear a few weeks ago, through back channels, that they would very much be open to trade down. Matt Ryan's contract is such that cutting or trading him would hit their cap pretty hard. I think they want to upgrade that defense, and there might be the needy team [Denver, Washington] that wants to come up to that spot. I'd be awfully tempted to bet every defensive position — going a tad heavier on the defensive line and secondary — and hope that the right trade-down offer comes in."

There are also a couple of interesting options among teams that aren't favored to take a quarterback with their first pick, but could grab one and cash a ticket at some nice odds. 

The Carolina Panthers are +450 to take a QB first, and they haven't ruled out that possibility with the eighth pick. The Detroit Lions are also +450, and they might not be able to pass up a quarterback at No. 7. Washington at +350 to take a quarterback with its first pick is also a possibility. The New Orleans Saints' odds to take a quarterback with their first pick is +900, and the odds on the Pittsburgh Steelers doing that are +1800. The Saints and Steelers could both be candidates to take the sixth quarterback off the board late in the first round, which would also cash the ticket for over 5.5 QBs in the first round. 

There's a lot of interest in which quarterbacks will go in the first round, and where. It's a fascinating question when you go team by team as well, and that makes for some fun betting possibilities. 

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