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The NFL Scouting Combine will begin this weekend, which means scores of college kids will run as fast as they can and perform other drills in a setting that definitely doesn't resemble actual football conditions.
Nonetheless, it's a great opportunity to find betting value on inflated totals. Here are some notable odds for this year's combine along with a few specific bets to target:
Can Ruggs make history?
Three props are directly or indirectly related to receiver Henry Ruggs III, the blazing speedster from Alabama who's expected to best 4.3 seconds on his 40-yard dash. The first one is easy: Will Ruggs outrun TCU wideout Jalen Reagor, who's been clocked at 4.29 seconds?
Ruggs is the rightful heavy favorite. He ran a 4.25 as a junior at Alabama and knows his draft buzz is tied more closely to his speed than arguably any other prospect since Washington's John Ross III, who broke the combine record in 2017 with a 4.22-second 40 and subsequently went ninth overall to the Bengals.
Speaking of which ...
|Fastest time below 4.29 seconds?||-160||+120|
|Ross' record broken?||+425||-800|
These aren't explicitly about Ruggs, but come on - he's the fastest player in the country. If anyone's going to set these marks, it's Ruggs.
The first one feels like stealing. Ruggs beat that time by a full 0.04 seconds last year, and he claims that he got off to a poor start on that run. Sheesh. As for Ross' record? There's already been action on the "yes," which is down to +425 from +500 earlier this week.
Ruggs' college teammates think he can do it, and it's been speculated for almost a year that he might even finish in less than 4.2 seconds. While it seems like a crazy bet to make, +425 is actually fairly generous for the fastest player we've seen since Ross and Chris Johnson before him. Grabbing 5-1 odds would have been more enticing, but it's worth a small shot at this price.
Individual 40 times
Betting unders on 40 times is a lot like betting overs on win totals - you can see it happening, and it's infinitely more fun, but injuries or a bad start can derail everything. That's why there's usually more value on the overs for this prop, hence the heavy juice in that direction.
That said, a few of these unders jump off the page. Jonathan Taylor ran a 4.42 out of high school and is listed within 10 pounds of his weight at that time, so why is he getting almost a full extra tenth of a second? Chase Young has posted a 4.57 and is touted as a legit 4.5 guy, so you're getting plus-money value with 0.08 seconds to spare.
As for the overs? Joe Burrow knows he's going No. 1 overall regardless of what he runs, so there's no incentive to risk injury in this drill. LSU teammate Justin Jefferson's over price is intriguing, too, especially since he ran a brutal 4.88 out of high school and isn't a clear sub-4.5 candidate.
|Event (best score)||Over||Under|
|Vertical jump (43.5 in)||-125||-115|
|Broad jump (11 ft 5 in)||-120||-120|
|Bench press (38.5 reps)||-150||+110|
|20-yard shuttle (3.88 sec)||-300||+200|
|Three-cone drill (6.47 sec)||-400||+250|
|60-yard shuttle (10.81 sec)||-300||+200|
The only standout in this group is the bench press. In 2019, one player managed 39 reps, and the year before saw two guys exceed 40. Outside of those three performers, though, nobody has benched more than 37 reps in the last five years. Especially at plus-money, the under is a worthwhile bet to make this time around while the bench press is still alive.
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.