A perfect storm within the sports betting landscape has resulted in a monsoon of action for sportsbooks as bettors descend on the NFL Draft to quench their thirst. The cause is three-fold.
First, changing legislation has led to growth in the U.S. betting market. Second, sportsbooks have increased their offerings on events like the NFL Draft. Third, the coronavirus pandemic has all but eliminated live games from the sports calendar, leaving bettors to turn anywhere they can.
All of the above has come together to create what will be the most-heavily bet draft in history.
DraftKings said its New Jersey book has already surpassed last year’s draft betting volume with nearly a week to go before the event gets underway. Much more action is expected as we near the draft’s beginning on April 23.
PointsBet is relating the action on this year’s draft to a Monday Night Football game, which normally garners tens of millions of dollars in action for a high-profile contest.
John Sheeran, director of trading at FanDuel, said of betting on the draft, “We’ll do probably more than 10 (times) what we did last year.”
While the NFL Draft won’t receive the five- and six-figure bets that regularly accompany a big regular-season game, the volume of smaller bets is boosting sportsbooks heavily as bets are placed in waves in the wake of breaking reports or mock draft releases.
Props Give Chance to Gamble On Just About Everything
The rise in offerings from sportsbooks is a dream for the bettor who likes to find value in a nuanced gamble. That dream will only be magnified by the draft, in which just about everything from the first pick to the last pick can be speculated on.
Of course, you can bet on which player will be selected first overall. However, you won’t find any value here, as LSU’s Joe Burrow is a -100000 favorite to lead off the NFL Draft. Yet that’s the tip of the iceberg.
You can try your hand at guessing in which round Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts will be drafted. The quarterback is expected to closely follow the first-rounders, which is why a bet on the second round holds odds of +100, and a bet on the third round holds odds of +120.
The last pick of the draft, also known as Mr. Irrelevant, is another source of betting. The position of Mr. Irrelevant is the bet, with offense (-125) leading defense (-105) and special teams (+1100).
For bettors with a special interest in the receiver position, there’s value to be found on a prop for the exact order in which the top three receivers are taken. Most offerings include some combination of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, CeeDee Lamb, and Justin Jefferson.
The bets being offered go far and wide, including odds on whether or not commissioner Roger Goodell will be wearing a suit to open the virtual draft. However, that particular bet is only found on unregulated offshore books.
While NFL teams will have to wait for the season to know whether or not they won on draft night, sportsbooks around the country are already calling the event a huge success as the bets continue to flood in.