College Football Betting: Who Will Be The No. 1 Pick In The 2020 NFL Draft?

It was supposed to be ‘Tank for Tua’ but with the emergence of LSU’s Joe Burrow and the injury to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, the landscape in the 2020 NFL Draft has changed. Burrow is now the heavy favorite to be the top pick in the draft with just two other players on the board. Is he, in fact, the best bet in this spot?

JOE BURROW, LSU TIGERS
ODDS: -200

The big key to remember here is that the team picking first is an important part of the calculus when determining who will be the first pick. Maybe that team is in position to trade down for a bunch of added picks, maybe that team needs a different positional boost or maybe that team has a new head coach who is looking for a game-changing player. In the case of the 2020 draft, the team most likely to pick first is the Cincinnati Bengals, who still haven’t won a game heading into Week 12 of the regular season. If there is any team who could potentially overtake the Bengals for the top pick, it is the Washington Redskins, who are 1-9. However, Washington knows that in 2020, Alex Smith might be ready to return to the starting quarterback spot and they picked Dwayne Haskins in the first round of the 2019 draft.

What the Bengals have to answer here is what do they do with Andy Dalton? Realistically, someone like Georgia’s left tackle Andrew Thomas could give their offensive line a big boost and they would go back to having a decent offense. With Dalton, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green, this unit could be decent. At the same time, if they move on from Dalton and 2019 fourth-round pick Ryan Finley, Burrow could be their man.

CHASE YOUNG, OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
ODDS: +150

The Ohio State pass rusher is likely to be a top-three pick, but if Cincinnati is the holder of that pick, it won’t happen for Young. Cincinnati needs either help at quarterback or along the offensive line rather than a pass rusher. If Washington becomes the team with the top pick due to Cincinnati winning two games down the stretch, then Young could go No. 1, because the Redskins aren’t in a position to pick a quarterback at the top of the draft board. It’s not a matter of whether Young is a better player than Joe Burrow; it’s a question of which team needs a quarterback more. That’s Cincinnati, not Washington.

ANDREW THOMAS, GEORGIA BULLDOGS
ODDS: +350

The Bengals could think they need a great offensive lineman, which is what Thomas is and has been at the University of Georgia. That would not be a terrible choice for Cincinnati to make if it is convinced Burrow is not the guy for the future. However, Burrow transferred to LSU from Ohio State. He is a popular player in the state of Ohio who will sell a lot of tickets for the Bengals if he is drafted. The one thing which could make Cincinnati pick Thomas first is that the Bengals’ first-round offensive lineman in the 2019 draft, Jonah Williams of Alabama, injured himself and never played in this 2019 season. With him back and the addition of Thomas, their offensive line could turn things around quickly.

One other point to keep in mind here is that we still haven’t hit the combine or the pro days. Remember that Burrow was viewed as a Day 3 pick before the start of the season. While a lot has changed, we’ll have to see how he actually measures out as that may drop him a little bit. Thomas might actually be the safer pick here even though he’s further down the list of priorities, according to the oddsmakers.

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