Round 1 Recap: 2020 NFL Draft Sets Viewing And Betting Records

NFL Draft Generates More Betting Buzz In Round 1

The 2020 NFL Draft played to form in the top 10 picks before a few ‘upsets’ and plus price winners came in. Player market moves and betting odds showed chalk bettors cashing in early with little suspense in the top-4 picks. Then QB’s Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) and Justin Herbert (Chargers) were picked No. 5 and No. 6 which were popular bets at sportsbooks like William Hill. and those that followed VSiN’s Betcast in my coverage for Forbes and in TheLines NFL Draft Betting Guide.

Quarterbacks you can bet on as I outlined in Forbes drew the most interest and betting action, and Tagovailoa’s draft position closed at 3.5 at William Hill, and more than 65% of the tickets and money wagered cashed in on the ‘over’. Miami (-150) was the favorite to pick quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich of William Hill told me was”drawing the most interest and bets.”

NFL viewership soared to a record high 15.6 million across the network and digital channels. Wagering on the 2020 NFL Draft was at an all-time high with a record number of props offered.

Bogdanovich sent me an email saying, “the handle of course was way larger than previous years.” Nevada gaming approved wagering on the NFL Draft starting in 2017, and William Hill was “a small loser in Nevada and a small winner in New Jersey,” in Round 1 according to Bogdanovich, who said William Hill “won all wide receiver props and lost all conference over under bets.”

Circa Sports in Las Vegas took their first-ever NFL Draft bets as a new operator this past year. Sportsbook manager Chris Bennett sent me a note and said the handle was “respectable, and we ended up a small winner.”

Bennett noted the NFL Draft can be difficult to book and that “some of the line moves from opener to closer were enormous.” That’s too be expected when booking props on players and more unknowns. The challenge and risk is greater with “more sharp bettors making bets” and on top of any discrepancies in props and odds.

Circa Sports got sacked by the new hometown team when the Las Vegas Raiders drafted wide receiver Henry Ruggs No. 12 overall. “That hurt us,” Bennett said, as the Raiders first pick prop went against the sportsbook.

Circa Sports, William Hill, Caesars and MGM are the four operators in Las Vegas and Nevada offering  wagering through a mobile app for the NFL Draft during the casino’s shutdown due to COVID-19. MGM and Circa are taking bets on the NFL Draft for the first time this year.

The Round 1 draft picks chart includes some of the over/under props offered at William Hill.

Round 1 Pick Team Player, POSITION College Draft O/U Prop
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow, QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young, DE Ohio State 2.5 (U )
3 Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State 4.5 (U-120)
4 New York Giants Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia 10.5 (Over -120)
5 Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama 4.5 (Over -250)
6 Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert, QB Oregon 5.5 (Over -125)
7 Carolina Panthers Derrick Brown, DT Auburn 8.5 (Under -120)
8 Arizona Cardinals Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson 6.5 (Under -125)
9 Jacksonville Jaguars CJ Henderson, CB Florida 14.5 (Under -110)
10 Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama 8.5 (Under -150)
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville 9.5 (-110)
12 Las Vegas Raiders Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama 14.5 (Under -120)
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa 8.5 (Under -150)
14 San Francisco 49ers Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina 13.5 (-110)
15 Denver Broncos Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama 12.5 (Under -175)
16 Atlanta Falcons A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson
17 Dallas Cowboys CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma State 12.5 (Under -140)
18 Miami Dolphins Austin Jackson, OT USC
19 Las Vegas Raiders Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
20 Jacksonville Jaguars K’Lavon Chaisson, LB LSU 16.5 (Over -135)
21 Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
22 Minnesota Vikings Justin Jefferson, WR LSU 19.5 (-110)
23 Los Angeles Chargers Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma 21.5 (Over -130)
24 New Orleans Saints Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan
25 San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State
26 Green Bay Packers Jordan Love, QB Utah State 19.5 (Over -135)
27 Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks, LB Texas Tech
28 Baltimore Ravens Patrick Queen, LB LSU 24.5 (Under -120)
29 Tennessee Titans Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia
30 Miami Dolphins Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn
31 Minnesota Vikings Jeff Gladney, CB TCU 47.5 (-110)
32 Kansas City Chiefs Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LSU

Over/Under odds adjusted and moved more in the days leading up to the NFL Draft. Not all players drafted had props offered.

When wide receiver Henry Ruggs went to the Las Vegas Raiders at pick No. 12, they scored a touchdown and so did bettors at +375 at Circa Sports as first wide receiver drafted. Ruggs’ prop also came in under his 14.5 over/under pick position and he was +600 to go to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Overall, there were six wideouts picked in the first round, with 58% of the total dollars wagered coming in on over 5.5 at William Hill.

Offensive line was another popular position on Thursday, with Georgia’s Andrew Thomas (3/1) the first one drafted No. 4 by the New York Giants. Seven offensive linemen went in the first round, as more than 70% of the total number of tickets and greater than 90% of the total dollars wagered were on over 6.5 offensive lineman.

Read additional betting info, Round 1 recap and props updates in my article at Offshore Gaming.

(Banner Photo Credit: NFL)

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst providing insight and information you can bet on for nearly two decades from Las Vegas. His work, writing and content is provided to various sites and leading sources. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay