NFL Draft Betting: Seeking Value in the First Kicker Drafted Prop

Betting the NFL Draft is fun. FanDuel Sportsbook has a ton of props and ways to get involved in the event.

While there are tons of juicy props from an excitement standpoint, not all of them are as engine-revving as an over/under on Tua Tagovailoa's draft slot or a CeeDee Lamb versus Jerry Jeudy matchup.

But first kicker drafted is also in that god-tier of prop bets. First, who doesn't want to bet on kickers? And second, it centers on Rodrigo Blankenship, who ranks 11th in field goal percentage since 2000 and has released a Georgia Bulldogs-based rap.

It's no wonder he's listed as the odds-on favorite to be the first kicker off the board.

Kicker First Drafted Odds
via FanDuel Sportsbook
Rodrigo Blankenship -175
Dominik Eberle +250
Tyler Bass +350
Sam Sloman +1500
JJ Molson +1500
Jonathan Song +2000
Cooper Rothe +3500
Matt Ammendola +5000
Logan Justus +5000

And, look, over the past three seasons, Blankenship hasn't missed an extra point and leads the nation in both field goal attempts and makes. But he's only 12th in that span in field goal percentage.

Might there be another?

Digging Through the Data

I know it may seem funny to grind through data on kickers, but the biggest issue with kicker stats is that there aren't always adjustments for distance in raw data. That's problematic.

I don't have weather data to implement here, but in the NCAA, field goal percentage is pretty much exactly tied to distance over the past three years, via play-by-play information from

Kickers made over 90% of kicks from 25 yards but just 72.1% from 35 yards. So -- using something similar to effective field goal percentage in basketball -- when we adjust the players with FanDuel Sportsbook odds, who rises to the top?

Data from 2017-2019 First Drafted Odds
via FanDuel Sportsbook
Rodrigo Blankenship -175 96.5%
Jonathan Song +2000 93.2%
Cooper Rothe +3500 92.2%
Tyler Bass +350 91.9%
Logan Justus +5000 89.2%
Sam Sloman +1500 87.6%
Dominik Eberle +250 85.2%
Matt Ammendola +5000 72.9%
JJ Molson +1500 70.3%

It's still Rodrigo, but there are some strong kicker options in that set. Still, Blankenship is by no means a false frontrunner.

What about only longer attempts, though? Here is each kicker's data from 45-yards or longer since 2017. (Again, all data is compiled from the legendary Also, these percentages adjust for depth, so, if you outperform expectation a lot, you're going to look really hot this way.)

Kicker First Drafted Odds
via FanDuel Sportsbook
From 45+
Tyler Bass +350 15 112.1%
Rodrigo Blankenship -175 19 90.5%
Dominik Eberle +250 23 73.8%
Cooper Rothe +3500 14 51.2%
Sam Sloman +1500 15 47.7%
Matt Ammendola +5000 15 44.4%
Logan Justus +5000 9 42.1%
Jonathan Song +2000 3 15.6%
JJ Molson +1500 19 17.5%

Blankenship stands out here, too, but the big-legged Tyler Bass from Georgia Southern not only outdid Blankenship but also just overall expectation. In addition, he is one of the three most realistic candidates to go off the board first. Hmm.

According to this data, Bass hit 12 of 15 attempts from 45 yards or longer, and his misses came from 46, 53, and 56 yards. It's hard to knock him for that. Based on his kick distances on these long kicks, NCAA averages dictate that he should have made just over 7 of of his 15 attempts (47.9% to be more precise). Instead, Bass was 80.0% straight up. Throwing in adjustments for hitting low-probability kicks, and he looks pristine.

The next logical place to look is high-pressure kicks. There aren't an abundance of them in college football, so I had to set the parameters to be a little broad, but when we look at kicks taken place when a game was within 10 points and in the second half or overtime, here are the depth-adjusted leaders.

Within 10 Points in
2nd Half or Overtime
First Drafted Odds
via FanDuel Sportsbook
Tyler Bass+35012108.9%
Sam Sloman+150015106.6%
Matt Ammendola+500017103.2%
Rodrigo Blankenship-175999.5%
Cooper Rothe+35001399.3%
Logan Justus+50001297.8%
JJ Molson+15001497.6%
Dominik Eberle+2501880.0%
Jonathan Song+20001279.6%

There's that man again. Bass outperformed Blankenship here, and I know they're small samples, but we know that Bass has a big leg and apparently pairs that with ice in his veins.


Despite all of this, Blankenship is the odds-on favorite for a reason, and no matter how you look at it, he rates out well enough to be the first kicker off the board. It's more than justifiable. I'm not trying to undersell the likelihood that Blankenship goes first overall among kickers.

But when we're looking for value (after all, Blankenship is -175), we have a really stellar option in Bass at +350.

Once high-profile props go off the board and you're scrounging for a few more places to look, a small-unit wager on Tyler Bass to be the first kicker drafted is pretty spicy.