2020 NFL draft betting updates
The NFL conducted it's 'mock run' and dress rehearsal Monday in preparation for the April 23-25 NFL Draft. The league called an audible and announced April 6 that the draft would proceed in a fully virtual format since the live event in Las Vegas was canceled due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Following a slow start in the mock NFL Draft rehearsal with some technology glitches that including bandwidth issues, the rehearsal finished more smoothly with some 'completed passes'.
Starting with Thursday's first round, we'll find out if team executives have adjusted to the necessary game plan and technology playbook while calling the shots from home. Draft picks can be submitted through Microsoft Teams, over the phone, through a text message or by email. Teams have 10 minutes to make picks in the first round. As far as we know, there are no timeouts allowed.
The leading online sportsbooks are adjusting on the fly as more bets pour in this week as draft day nears. That includes at BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag, which gets an top rating from Off Shore Gaming Association.
As draft day nears, there has been some major adjustment in odds and draft position for some players moving both up and down the draft board in the first round. That includes the first round quarterbacks, which I covered last week and noted the preference of Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa. Well, bettors are taking a stronger position and don't expect Tua to get the money or be the No. 2 quarterback taken overall.
While the odds on Joe Burrow suggest he's nearly guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick with 5Dimes Sportsbook running his odds up to -8500 (bet $8,500 to win $100) to be the No. 1 pick, Tua is dropping. Last week some of the quarterback odds were:
Tua Tagovailoa - 4.5 (Over -250) Current 5.5 (Over -160)
Justin Herbert - 5.5 (Over -125) Current 5.5 (Over -165)
Jordan Love - 19.5 (Over -135) Current 19.5 (Over -190)
Also, William Hill posted some head-to-head NFL Draft props last week that included Tagovailoa (-150) being drafted before Herbert (+130). Bettors are backing Herbert, as now the odds are -110 each way.
Ten days ago, William Hill Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich told me Tua was "drawing the most interest and bets." Tagovailoa is apparently not the quarterback you can bet on now. Tua's draft stock continues to drop dramatically the week before the NFL Draft. Tagovailoa is now a -130 favorite at William Hill to be the third QB drafted after opening at 7-1. Bettors at William Hill also have pounded the over on his draft position of 3½, pushing the price to -400.
Bogdanovich added, "Before his injury, people thought he would be a superstar. Now, is he damaged goods? It just depends on what the bettors believe and who they're listening to."
Also, Georgia running back D'Andre Swift has taken more than 94% of the money at William Hill sportsbook, and is up to a -170 favorite to be drafted before Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. The head-to-head prop opened Swift -120 a week ago.
The head-to-head prop at William Hill with the biggest market move is on defense between two safeties. LSU's Grant Delpit opened as -700 chalk to be drafted before Minnesota's Antoine Winfield Jr., who was +500. The underdog has gained considerable ground, though, as Winfield Jr. is now just +130 while Delpit is -150.
The wide receiver position is the deepest in this year's NFL Draft, with 5-7 wide outs expected to be taken in the first round. The top three continue to see odds adjustment on which will be taken first with Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma State's CeeDee Lamb neck and neck followed by 4.27 forty speedster Henry Ruggs from Alabama. Jeudy was favored through last week, but now Lamb is the favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted at SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline.
The Las Vegas Raiders will have a shot at one of them with the No. 12 pick, or could grab one of the next tier of strong receivers at No. 19 with their other first round selection. The betting options are numerous, and sportsbooks like SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline offer additional odds boosts throughout each week with a current odds boost on the Las Vegas Raiders to make the playoffs (+225) this season.
There are hundreds of props offered at SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline, and if you like to follow the Power Conferences and how many players from each league will have drafted in the first round and overall, you can follow along and bet on that too.
Players from ACC drafted in Round 1: 2.5 (Over -500, Under +300)
Players from Big Ten drafted in Round 1: 5.5 (Over -175, Under +135)
Players from Big 12 drafted in Round 1: 3.5 (Over -120, Under -120)
Players from Pac 12 drafted in Round 1: 2.5 (Over +130, Under -170)
Players from SEC drafted in Round 1: 15.5 (Over +165, Under -240)
Close to half the players drafted in the first round are expected to be from the SEC. Breaking it down further, here are the teams over/under for players to be drafted in the first round.
Alabama: 5.5 (Over +130, Under -170)
Auburn: 1.5 (Over +250, Under -400)
Georgia:1.5 (Over -155, Under +115)
LSU: 5.5 (Over +250, Under -400)
As Pro Football Focus notes with their questions heading into the NFL Draft, teams have been largely working remotely, which changes how they operate in any number of ways beyond simply having to improvise what are usually face-to-face meetings with prospects. Their usual interaction with the media and the outside world has also changed, and it will be interesting to see if that has had any effect on how well the media has managed to keep its finger on the pulse of what teams are thinking.
Bettors have shown they don't buy into all the hype of mock drafts. Despite the thousands of mock drafts including the dozens by big media mainstays like Mel Kiper at ESPN, the market remains fluid as draft day approaches. The adjustments in price are from sharper bettors making their position known and taking better prices earlier.
Early fireworks? The #Redskins have begun to receive calls from teams interested in trading up to the No. 2 overall selection, sources say. They aren’t intent on moving out of the pick many believe will be #OSU DE Chase Young, but they are listening. Teams are laying groundwork.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2020
Following NFL team beat reporters is a solid source of news and rumors, as they address team needs and front-office rumblings. The Twitter universe if filled with opinions, but following those in the know including NFL reporters like Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network or Adam Schefter of ESPN will at least give you more accurate information and up-to-date insights. And when it comes to betting on the NFL Draft, insight along with accurate or inside information can help you make more winning bets. And hopefully be ahead of some market moves so you can cash in at even better prices.
You can bet on it.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay