NFL draft season kicks off with the NFL Combine, where 319 draft prospects are invited to showcase their talent in multiple athletic skills events, as teams try to determine if they have what it takes to make it at the next level.
This gives bettors plenty of opportunity to place NFL Combine prop bets on the players and events they think they have the best information on, and perhaps which NFL Combine records they think may fall.
Luckily, I went over the NFL Combine odds with Pro Football Network NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings, and we’ve got some great events to place wagers on.
NFL Combine Prop Bets and Odds
To determine which NFL Combine prop bets have the best chance of cashing in, we took a look at some of the event’s most popular skills challenges. Is this the year the 40-yard dash record is broken? Will anyone run a sub-4.3?
Of course, the Combine isn’t just about speed. We cannot forget about the power events. Will someone surpass 40 bench press reps? Will someone break Stephen Paea’s record of 49 reps? What are the NFL Combine odds of someone breaking Byron Jones’ broad jump record?
Below we go through these popular events and give the best analysis on each. Odds were provided by the Bovada sportsbook.
Does the 40-Yard Dash Record Get Broken?
No (-900); While this could be one of the most popular NFL Combine prop bets, I asked Ian if the reason for the answer is no is because this class lacked speed compared to previous years. He basically said it’s not about speed, it’s about how hard that record is to break.
“It’s just really hard to break. We had three guys come close last year with Kalon Barnes, Tariq Woolen, and Tyquan Thornton. I think they all showed a caliber of rare speed that might not be matched quite to that degree on tape in this class.”
Does the 20-Yard Shuttle Record Get Broken?
Also, no (-400); Again, the speed records are insanely difficult to break. We just don’t see world-class speed like that too often. Consider this: the record holders for this are Jason Allen, who was drafted 17 years ago, and Brandin Cooks, who was drafted nine years ago.
Does the 3-Cone Drill Record Get Broken?
If someone does (+280), Ian says to look out for one player in particular, which could make this one of the more favorable NFL Combine prop bets.
“…there is one player who comes to mind who could maybe challenge for the three-cone record — Michigan CB DJ Turner. In the summer, he was documented as having a 6.29 on Feldman’s Freaks, and that blistering short-area agility shows up on tape.”
Will the Fastest 40-Yard Dash Time Be Faster (-220) or Slower (+155) Than 4.29 Seconds?
I think there’s a good chance the answer here is that the fastest 40 time will be faster than 4.29 seconds, and this is among the better of the NFL Combine odds. There are a handful of players who have the straight-line speed necessary to be effective in this type of drill.
According to Ian, “A few players this year could break 4.29 in the 40-yard dash. Two who come to mind first are wide receivers Jalin Hyatt of Tennessee and Tyler Scott of Cincinnati. Hyatt’s dominating speed was well-documented during his Biletnikoff-winning 2022 campaign, and Scott — according to his team site — has clocked a 4.29 before.
“On the defensive side, cornerbacks Kelee Ringo of Georgia and Deonte Banks of Maryland could also break the 4.29 mark. Both are explosive long-striders who thrive when they can open up in space.”
Will the Broad Jump Record Be Broken?
No (-2000); The NFL Combine odds on this one should give it away. Seeing 12 feet flat in this is an extreme rarity. Seeing above that to take the record outright would be crazy, just as it was when Byron Jones did it. In fact, Cummings says to “steer clear” of this NFL Combine prop bet.
NFL Combine Best Bet
Benching 40 reps is also no small feat and pretty rare in and of itself. That said, Ian says there are two players who have a shot at it (-135).
“…I’ll point to two players who could potentially crack that mark: Nose tackles Mazi Smith of Michigan and Siaki Ika of Baylor. Both players have awe-inspiring strength on tape. And per Feldman’s Freaks, Smith can do 22 reps of 325. Take 100 pounds off, and there’s no telling how far he can go.”
Based on that, if you’re so inclined to make this one of the NFL Combine prop bets you place, you can get +600 for someone to break Paea’s record of 49 reps. This is the one I’m most looking forward to on the NFL Combine schedule.