The arrival of the NFL Draft typically creates two reactions..excitement and a sigh of relief.
Many are amped to watch it; others are happy they can finally stop hearing about it.
But for whatever camp you fall in, there is one draft constant: betting opportunities.
Have the dozens of daily mock drafts and weeks-long barrage of breathless coverage given you confidence in what will happen?
If so, there’s almost certainly a draft bet out there for you to grab before the proceedings begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 29.
Start of draft to be a QB show
There isn’t much drama when it comes to this year’s first two picks.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will by all indications choose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (-10000 on DraftKings), while the Jets expect to draft BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (-5000) with the second pick.
Things get interesting at the next slot, held by the San Francisco 49ers.
At one point, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones seemed like the sure third pick. But after a sub-par pro day and with always-unpredictable pre-draft momentum working against him, Jones is now just barely the favorite.
Instead, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has crept closer and at certain points even become the betting favorite to be nabbed by the 49ers, who just two years ago competed in Super Bowl LIV.
That said, enticing North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance has also emerged as a legitimate contender to unseat both higher-profile quarterbacks in their quest to be picked in the draft’s top three. Lance is in some minds the 49ers’ best shot at a return to elite quarterback play.
It is undoubtable that Lance (+400) presents the best value as San Francisco’s predicted pick, especially considering the team’s apparent interest, but Fields (+125) and Jones (-125) present safer bets as better-known quantities.
Another intriguing bet opportunity can be found in the Atlanta Falcons’ draft specials.
The Falcons, looking toward the future and past the end of Matt Ryan’s career, are expected by many to choose one of the two premier quarterbacks left for them at the fourth pick.
But DraftKings is less sure, giving the Falcons +125 odds to choose a quarterback, followed by a tight end (think Florida’s Kyle Pitts) at +150.
After passers, draft a free-for-all
While this year’s draft will always be remembered for the quarterbacks at the top of it, there is a bevy of talent at all positions, and an endless amount of scenarios that could play out.
Bettors, for example, can choose which player they think will be drafted first from each position. Let’s take a look at the odds for which running back will be first off the board:
- Najee Harris: -150
- Travis Etienne: +150
- Javonte Williams: +400
- Michael Carter, Kenneth Gainwell, and Trey Sermon: +4000
Wagers can also be placed on the first non-quarterback to be drafted. That will likely be Pitts (-121), LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (+300), or Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell (+300).
The first defensive player to be chosen is expected to be Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II (-125), followed by Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons (+300) and Michigan lineman Kwity Paye (+400).
At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to Mr. Irrelevant.
Will the draft’s final pick be an offensive (-110) or defensive (+100) player? Or could it be a kicker/punter/long-snapper (+1100)?
If nothing else, it gives bettors a way to keep things interesting to the end.
What will the Colts do?
Next season is filled with unknowns for the Indianapolis Colts.
They will bring to camp a new quarterback in Carson Wentz and a team around him that made the playoffs last season but is not without holes. The Colts hope to plug some of those through next week’s draft.
Will the Colts choose a left tackle replacement to protect Wentz? Or an edge rusher to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks?
Regardless, the Colts are expected to bolster their play in the trenches with the 21st pick.
It remains to be seen whether that will be on the offensive or defensive side (odds via DraftKings):
- Offensive lineman: +120
- Defensive lineman: +300
- Cornerback: +500
- Wide receiver: +600
- Linebacker: +800
Bettors can also broaden their wager and pick whether the player will be anywhere on offense (-137) or defense (+111).