NFL Draft betting staples include who will be the first player selected or whether a prospect will go Over or Under a certain draft position. But as betting on the event has grown in popularity, sportsbooks have continued to expand the options on their NFL Draft odds boards.
These days, some props resemble horse racing. Still others are variations of the ever-popular same-game parlays. Also, instead of trying to figure out the first overall pick, how about handicapping which player will come off the board at No. 262?
Odds updated as of 2 p.m. ET on April 26.
And Down The Stretch They Come …
Horse racing has been on a slow decline, but oddsmakers have cribbed a betting option long associated with the sport of kings — one not usually offered in NFL wagering circles: exactas and trifectas.
In the case of the NFL Draft, exactas involve picking the first two players taken in the exact order. Trifectas expand the bet to the first three players.
For instance, at DraftKings, the combination of Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker and Michigan pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson going 1-2 is the favorite at -175. Hutchinson going No. 1, followed by Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the second choice among exacta props at +300. A Hutchinson-Walker combo pays +500. Long-shot exacta options include Hutchinson followed by Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett at 500-1.
In the trifecta market, Walker-Hutchinson-Thibodeaux is the +500 co-favorite with Walker, Hutchinson and North Carolina State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu. Among long-shot trifectas, Hutchinson, Walker and Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson pays 75-1.
Second, Third Still Pay
Some of most popular props on NFL Draft odds boards involve picking the first player selected from certain position groups — the first quarterback, first wide receiver, etc.
In addition to “who will go first” position markets, DraftKings offers props on who will be the second and third players selected for most position groups.
The battle to be the first quarterback off the board appears to come down to Liberty’s Malik Willis against Pickett. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder is the -200 favorite to be the third quarterback off the board, with Pickett is next at +350. Then come Mississippi’s Matt Corral at +450 and North Carolina’s Sam Howell at +550.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton is so clearly going to be the first safety drafted that DraftKings isn’t even offering that bet. Instead, Michigan’s Dax Hill is the -250 favorite to be the second safety selected. Hill is followed by Georgia’s Lewis Cine at +300.
Going For The Big Score
Same-game parlays are all the rage with recreational bettors, who like tying together multiple outcomes in the same game in hopes of hitting one large payout. That same principle has been applied to the NFL Draft.
For instance, FanDuel offers bettors this two-way parlay: three or more quarterbacks and six or more wide receivers will be taken in the first round. The payout on that is -135. Another option is that Willis will be selected in the top 10 and Ridder will be taken somewhere in the first round at +195.
Ambitious bettors can parlay Willis to be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and Pickett to be taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers at 23-1 odds.
Punting For Dollars
Special teams isn’t usually in the spotlight ahead of the NFL Draft. But San Diego State punter Matt Araiza has attracted enough of a following to land on the props menu.
The “Punt God” set the NCAA record for punting average last season at 51.2, with a long of 86 yards. Araiza’s consistent displays of distance and accuracy earned him the 2021 Ray Guy Award and a unanimous spot on the All-America team.
Araiza is the -400 favorite at DraftKings to be the first special teams player selected. He’s followed by Penn State punter Jordan Stout at +300 and LSU place-kicker Cade York at +900.
Caesars Sportsbook is offering a draft position prop on Araiza of 117.5 (Over -110/Under -120).
Bettors can have action all the way to the end of the draft by wagering on “Mr. Irrelevant” — the moniker that long ago was attached to the last player drafted each year.
Trying to determine the specific player who will be taken at No. 262 is all but impossible. However, some sportsbooks offer a prop on the position played by “Mr. Irrelevant.” At Caesars Sportsbook, cornerback, defensive lineman, quarterback and wide receiver/tight end are the co-favorites at +550. Special teams player (kicker/punter/long snapper) is the long shot at 20-1.
For the record, the last two “Mr. Irrelevant” selections were linebackers. In the past 10 drafts, wide receivers/tight ends have worn the Irrelevant crown four times, while quarterbacks have done so twice.