On Thursday night one of my favorite events of the year goes down: the NFL draft. Fun fact about me – I love drafts of pretty much any kind. Well, except for the apparent impending draft related to World War III… that one I’m not so jazzed about. But the rest of them, they’re great.

And the NFL Draft is at the top of the heap.

Another fact about me that you already know is that I fucking LOVE gambling. So this is a rare opportunity to stick my piggish little face in two very tasty troughs at the same time. It’s one of my favorite double dips of the year for a few reasons, chiefly because though the draft itself is good enough, gambling always makes everything more exciting.

Do you care about how many Alabama players get drafted in the first round? Now you do.

Interested in Christian McCaffrey’s draft stock? You will be, after you have money riding on it.

This marks the thirteenth year where I’ve had a significant interest in the draft. I fell in love in the back of a classroom of a marketing class (during which I probably should’ve been paying more attention) praying that the Packers would take some safety who’s name I can’t remember (editors note: Earnest Shazor) and laughing at whatever team ended up with that scrub Aaron Rodgers. Admittedly, I’ve paid less interest this year than I have in previous years, but I’m still relatively dialed in to the point where I feel pretty confident throwing some cash at this.

What does that mean? You’d better believe I’m throwing some cash at it. And better yet, I’m passing my plans for those throws right along to you. Let’s jump into it.

The first bet comes from Bovada.lv. They are offering up the ability to bet on the number of QBs that will be drafted in the first round. The line is at 2.5, with the over being a pretty huge favorite. That’s okay, because this one is pretty much free money. Mitch Trubisky is a lock to go in the first round and any two of DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, DeShone Kizer, and Davis Webb seem very likely to sneak in the first 32 picks. Why? Two factors weigh heavily here:

First, several teams picking near the end of the first round have an aging franchise quarterback and will be looking for their replacement. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and the New York Giants all fit that bill. And that doesn’t include Houston at 25 who is basically one player away from being a power in the AFC.

Second, most of the teams drafting at the top of the second round will need a QB after passing on them in round one. That might push the final QB to the range of picks after the Houston Texans at 25 but before the end of the round.

A 300 dollar bet here wins 100, so 150 to win 50 seems like a pretty strong bet. The worst case scenario here is that all of those teams decide to wait a year to draft their guy and the teams at the top of the second stay put and we see a run of QBs from picks 32 to 40 or so. I’m betting against that. Feel free to bet that NFL teams are showing prudence when it comes to finding a player at the game’s most important position. We’ll see who wins that bet on Friay.

The second comes from Bovada as well and relates to the aforementioned McCaffrey’s draft position. A bet of 105 dollars wins you 100 if you bet that he’ll be taken at or before pick nine. As the draft approaches, players tend to “shoot up boards” or “slide down the board”, which basically means that the pundit thinks that they’re going to drafted earlier or later than they thought a few weeks previously. Really, the whole thing is a giant guessing game and the reports mean nothing more than the reporters are catching up with reality as they hear information, but that has some value here.

Usually, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The reporters are hearing legitimate information from teams and are trying to cash in accordingly. Other times, itt’s just fake news from the team to get others to act in a certain way. But when a player starts to climb like McCaffrey, it usually means a lot of people are hearing the same thing from a few different teams. My guess is that the Panthers grab him at pick eight, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come off even earlier. This bet also leaves an option open at pick nine (unlike most other sites), in case the Bengals finally realize that Jeremy Hill is terrible and that giving Andy Dalton a legitimate back might help to give them an actual offense.

Sportsbook.ag has bet number three. They’re allowing you to guess how many players from LSU will get drafted in the first round – will it be more or less than 2.5? The interesting part about this bet is that two players from Louisiana State, Leonard Fournette and Jamal Adams, are going to go very quickly. That means you’ll have 20 to 25 more picks to wait and see whether or not the third man gets drafted before the night ends. It makes the entire night very exciting because you’re essentially betting if Tre’Davious White will go in the first or not.  Every pick you’re looking to see that name pop onto the screen and, if you do, you’ll have a great draft night moment. I’m betting yes and taking 100 bucks back with me when he does.

Remember when I talked about free money earlier? That was just the appetizer.

The European betting site Paddy Power is still taking bets on who will be the number one pick on Thursday night. Though they’re offering a slim payout of 1:16 on Miles Garrett and betting on the site can be a bit of a pain since it’s not based out of the USA, he’s all but confirmed to be the Browns’ top selection when things kick off tomorrow. A bet of 100 dollars might only win you a few, but remember that I needed a bet on here that’s a virtual lock that I can crow about later when I miss on the rest of these. (Editors note: Betonline.ag has this at -900, I’ll be making it there instead).

The draft though, isn’t just about the teams or the excitement or the punditry or the gambling. No, in essence, it’s really about the players. Ultimately this is their night. It’s something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. Regardless of their career trajectory, they’ll always have draft night. That’s cool. That’s something everyone can get behind.

So it makes perfect sense that the guy that I’m getting behind tomorrow (phrasing) is a local, one with ties to my city and my school: Wisconsin Badger offensive line Ryan Ramczyk. Paddy power is offering 8:15 on him coming off the board tomorrow night, and I’m taking that and running with it.  There’s no way he makes it out of the first round. He’s too good and he plays too premium of a position. In fact, I’m making it my Stone Cold Lead Pipe Lock of the Century of the Week.

While we’re at it, let’s add another Wisconsin Badger into the mix. Betonline.ag is offering a bet on whether or not TJ Watt will go in the first round. At -155, it seems like a very strong bet to me. I don’t see him making it past the Green Bay Packers. If he’s there when they pick, I think they grab him without a lot of deliberation. If that happens, I’ll win twice. I’m betting it does.

Regardless of who you’re rooting for, hopefully your team ends up with a player that you want. Unless that player is TJ Watt. Then I hope you’re bitterly disappointed.

But, hey, even if it does, at least now you can make some money.