Predictions On The Mega-Hyped NFL Draft Pick That's Only Weeks Away

Jay Pryce

Sunday, April 10, 2016 4:38 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 10, 2016 4:38 PM GMT

The mega-hyped NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and we are always searching for ways bettors can profit. Check out this year's NFL picks, strategy & draft analysis here.

The mega-hyped NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and we at SBR are always searching for ways bettors can potentially profit from the event. Last year, it was clear weeks before that one of two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, would be selected with the No. 1 overall pick. It prompted our betting analysis uncovering valuable trends for the upcoming season among organizations picking up a QB with the first selection overall. It's unlikely to happen again this year. Nonetheless, we have a new angle potentially worth following for the 2016 draft: fading poor scoring teams that overload on offensive picks.

 

Offensive Imbalance
In a nutshell, we're looking out for teams that finished in the bottom half of scoring the previous season that draft three or more offensive players to defensive players. We're operating under the assumption that such a draft signals either big trouble or big changes in the works—whether its a rebuilding job, new coach, new system, etc. Obviously, not all teams approach the draft similarly, nor does any plan or strategy function flawlessly over the multi-day event: positions go unfilled, players fall off the board, picks are traded, and so on. So, approaching the draft with a lot of presumptions is fair.

In the modern NFL, where scoring is increasingly on the rise, a poor offense typically takes longer to fix than a bad defense. This may be because it is often captained by a mediocre or inexperienced quarterback; not only the most important position in terms of the NFL odds boards, but also the most statistically consistent and predictable on a year-to-year basis. One can anticipate then an overload of players potentially signaling a red-flag scenario that a team is desperate for a fix. Some of these players may never take a snap in the NFL, or are traded away—heck, some end up playing different positions; we're also ignoring notable undrafted players. Regardless, the notion here is that there is some philosophical slant in the organization to go heavy on offense, which is odd in two ways: first, the majority of teams come out of the event with at most one or two extra players on one side of the ball; secondly, most unbalanced drafts favor the defensive.

In the following table you will find every team over the last 15 years ranking in the bottom half of scoring the previous season that picked up three or more offensive players to defensive players, including supplemental draftees. We've noted the number of offensive to defensive players taken, the teams prior scoring rank and where they finished the draft season, their ATS record, oddsmakers win totals prior to the first game, and their number of wins on the year.

 

Season

Team

O, D Drafted

Points Rank Prior Season

Points Rank Upcoming Season

ATS

Win Total Futures

Wins

Futures Result

2015

Buccaneers

6,1

29

20

7-9

6

6

P

2015

Rams

7,2

21

29

7-9

7.5

7

U

2015

Titans

7,2

30

28

6-10

5.5

3

U

2014

Buccaneers

6,0

30

29

7-9

7

2

U

2014

Jaguars

6,3

32

32

7-9

5

3

U

2014

Redskins

5,2

23

26

5-11

7.5

4

U

2012

Colts

8,2

29

20

10-7

5.5

11

O

2012

Dolphins

6,3

20

27

7-8-1

7

7

P

2012

Steelers

6,3

21

22

6-9-1

10

8

U

2012

Redskins

6,3

26

6

11-6

6.5

10

O

2010

Broncos

6,3

20

19

5-11

7

4

U

2010

Redskins

5,1

26

25

8-6-2

7.5

6

U

2009

Jaguars

7,2

24

24

5-11

8

7

U

2008

Dolphins

6,3

26

23

8-9

5.5

11

O

2007

Dolphins

6,3

29

26

5-9-2

7

1

U

2006

Texans

5,2

27

28

7-9

5.5

6

O

2005

Titans

8,3

16

20

6-10

6.5

4

U

2005

Rams

7,3

18

11

5-11

8

6

U

2005

Ravens

5,2

20

25

7-9

10

6

U

2005

49ers

8,3

30

30

8-8

4.5

4

U

2005

Buccaneers

8,4

23

22

6-9-2

7

11

O

2004

Bills

5,1

31

7

11-5

7.5

9

O

2003

Texans

8,3

32

28

9-7

5

5

P

2003

Jaguars

6,3

21

25

7-9

7

5

U

2002

Falcons

6,2

23

5

11-7

7

9

O

2002

Cowboys

6,3

30

31

8-8

6

5

U

2001

Bears

5,1

28

11

11-5-1

7

13

O

2001

Bengals

5,2

30

31

8-8

5

6

O

 


 

Results
As you can see, it takes time to fix a poor offense and make an educated NFL pick, even with a bevy of draft help. Only five teams jumped to the top half of the league in scoring during this time. Many of these organizations, in fact, performed below oddsmakers' expectations for the season and on a game-to-game basis: only seven of the 28 franchises accrued a winning ATS record, and just nine picked up more wins on the year than predicted.

What's equally compelling is that many of the teams performing above expectations did so in the earlier part of the 2000s when scoring was less than today. Here's a look at the total number of points scored per season during this time:

 

Season

PPG

2015

45.4

2014

45.3

2013

46.9

2012

45.8

2011

44.5

2010

44.3

2009

43.2

2008

44

2007

43.4

2006

41.6

2005

41.1

2004

43.2

2003

41.8

2002

43.6

2001

40.6

2000

41.4

One can surmise that as scoring continues to increase, more emphasis is placed on offenses—the passing game primarily—to produce. This may intensify whatever problems, or highlight any significant slow-moving changes in the works for our offensive-draft heavy teams, potentially increasing the gap between the betting market and performance. We'll watch the draft closely and see if any teams fall under our scenario. If so, we'll hit the futures market.

 

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