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Free agency has stolen the spotlight so far in the NFL offseason, but the draft is (hopefully) just over a month away. That means another month of recovery for Tua Tagovailoa, who's draft stock has been steadily rising since his gruesome injury four months ago.
The former Alabama quarterback's recovery has been all positive since then, vaulting him back into top-five consideration after a brief concern he might fall outside the top 10.
Here are the latest odds for his draft position, along with a few potential value props to target:
So far, all signs point to Tagovailoa going at No. 5 to the Dolphins, who have been linked to the quarterback since before the 2019 season.
If he's still on the board, it's hard to imagine Miami letting him slip past No. 5. During their draft preparation a week ago, the Dolphins' first call was to Tagovailoa, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported, and he'd be a perfect fit to rehab behind current starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
In our mock draft earlier this month, Tagovailoa went fifth to Miami. That didn't account for trades, which could be the biggest hurdle ahead for laying money on him going fifth overall. The Dolphins' interest in the 22-year-old is the worst-kept secret of draft season, but could the Lions at No. 3 or Giants at No. 4 force Miami to trade up, knowing they'll get one of the top-tier prospects at No. 5 anyway?
Instead, if you're willing to lay a shorter price, cut out the drama and bet on Miami directly:
|Los Angeles Chargers||+300|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+1500|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+5000|
The safe choice here is to bet the Dolphins outright. They're the clear favorites to draft Tagovailoa, even if the team isn't in complete control of the draft board.
If you're feeling a bit riskier, though, betting the fifth pick at 2-1 odds is perfectly fine value. That's the spot where Miami will likely pick, and there are enough talented defensive and O-line prospects to satisfy the teams ahead of the 'Fins.
The only other choice worth considering among these props is "other" at 8-1, which encompasses Tagovailoa's possible meteoric rise to No. 1 and a potential drop if his medicals reveal red flags. Neither is likely, but at long odds, it's worth a shot.
If you've got a general sense for where Tagovailoa might go but don't feel confident about the exact pick or team, there are a couple of worthwhile prop bets to hit.
The first is the over/under on his draft spot, which is currently set at a generous 2.5:
Even if you don't like laying short odds, this offers pretty solid value on the over. The Redskins have flirted with quarterback options this offseason, but reports conflict regarding whether that includes tangible interest in drafting a signal-caller at No. 2 a year after using a first-round pick on Dwayne Haskins Jr.
If Washington is eyeing a new QB, it's hard to see the organization taking a flier on a quarterback with injury risks after dealing with injuries at the position in recent years. There's just too much risk for the 'Skins to gamble on Tagovailoa's health, especially with the coronavirus outbreak hindering teams' ability to meet with prospects and conduct physicals.
Assuming former LSU star Joe Burrow is the first pick, that leaves Tagovailoa, Oregon's Justin Herbert, and Utah State's Jordan Love battling it out to be the next passer selected. You can bet on that, too:
|Which QB will be taken...||2nd?||3rd?|
Tagovailoa will likely be the second quarterback taken, but don't count out Herbert as the No. 2 QB in this year's class. The Chargers have widely been tabbed as Herbert's next team since the season ended, and some mock drafts are projecting a trade up to No. 4, allowing the club to secure its franchise QB.
Instead of betting Herbert to go second among quarterbacks (+285), sprinkle some money on Tagovailoa being selected third (+650), which would likely be the byproduct of a trade-up scenario with Herbert going to Los Angeles. Love is garnering some late buzz, but it's not enough to merit betting him as a top-five pick, which is what it'd likely take to go ahead of Tagovailoa.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.