The 2021 NFL draft is upon us, and one of the Pittsburgh Steelers biggest team needs is at the running back position. The debate has not been about if the Steelers should add a running back, but who and when the selection should be made.
While many believe that Steelers should invest their highest trust capital at running back, others believe it is not a position worthy of a first-round pick. Interestingly enough, those who set the odds on various subjects dealing with the NFL also believe running back may not be the best position to take in the first round.
When it comes to the odds makers, setting lines is what they do. Without a proper line in which betting can be done on both sides, sports betting sites run the risk of losing money if the numbers don’t go their way. Ultimately, they want bets placed on both sides so the losers are paying out the winners and they are merely collecting the costs associated with placing the bets.
Knowing this, when a sports betting site sets the line at a specific place, it is often more trustworthy than the opinions of NFL insiders. Whether it’s betting on games, over/under totals, or bets on when players will be drafted, these various betting sites pay the price if they don’t get it right.
It appears that oddsmakers are not set on any teams jumping for a running back in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. According to Sportsbetting.ag, the over/under on the number of running backs selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft is 0.5. With the line set this low, it means the oddsmakers believe roughly half of those taking the bet believe there will not be a running back taken in the first round.
UPDATE: The action on the over/under of 0.5 has produced 11/4 odds if betting the under and 2/9 odds if betting the under. This means the payout for taking the under is much higher as the majority of the action is on the over as of 9AM on Thursday.
This is not the only site that has the top running backs projected to not be selected until Round 2. According to SportsBettingDime.com, the following numbers are the odds on which overall pick each of the top three projected running backs in the 2021 NFL draft will be selected provided at 3PM on Wednesday:
Najee Harris: 50.5
Travis Etienne: 53.5
Javonte Williams: 54.5
So not only are all three running back‘s projected to go in the second half of the second round, all three are very close to making it to where the Steelers are selecting at pick 55.
Knowing these odds, do fans who were sold on the first-round running back still feel the same? If the Steelers pull the trigger at pick number 24 on a running back, will they be the only one selected when it rolls back around to pick 55 and the Steelers are on the clock again?
Although we as fans have the betting odds and have a feel for how we think things will go, ultimately it will be up to the Steelers to decide if they need to pull the trigger in the first round for a running back or if it is a position they can address later in the draft.