How to Bet on the NFL Draft – All You Need To Know

The National Football League is scheduled to hold its annual draft of eligible players April 25-27, and sportsbooks have grabbed the opportunity to offer sports-betting fans a great chance to make some money.

The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 overall pick and are debating whether to trade their starting quarterback, Justin Fields, and then take USC star Caleb Williams, or keep Fields and trade out of the No. 1 position.

Read on to learn about betting on the NFL Draft, with options for different markets, some history, tips and much more.

Caleb Williams, left, and Justin Fields
Image: Twitter/Barroom Network

Betting on the NFL Draft

Before we arrive at pro football betting tips and strategy, we must make sure we are at ease with online betting.

The NFL has a wide variety of markets available on virtually all mobile betting apps. Just like when betting on the NFL and the NFL Draft, take a close look at all the sign-up bonuses before choosing a sportsbook to make your bets.

Most sportsbook apps are similar. Sports bettors must finish identity verification and then deposit funds to be eligible to place a bet on the NFL Draft.

To begin betting on the NFL and developing NFL Draft betting strategies, Techopedia offers an NFL betting page.

Among the better choices for betting on the NFL is Betonline.

How to Bet on the NFL Draft

An important part of our guide on how to bet on the NFL Draft is knowledge of the steps you need to start placing wagers. The options among sportsbooks vary, but the formats are similar.

  1. Find an online sportsbook

    To bet on the NFL Draft, it’s easiest to sign up with a top online sportsbook. Most, if not all, of these sites have great deals for new customers. The sign-up bonuses can be worth hundreds of dollars in free bets. Look around to find the best offers first.
    Find an online sportsbook
  2. Sign up and make a deposit

    After you choose an online sportsbook to pursue your NFL Draft bets, you’ll need to create an account and add the required details. The process takes fewer than 10 minutes, usually, and customers must be aware of how to claim sportsbook bonuses when depositing money.
    Sign up and make a deposit
  3. Find the NFL markets

    Go to the “football” and “NFL” tabs to find the NFL Draft markets offered by a given sportsbook.
    Find the NFL markets
  4. Choose your favorite bet, or bets, and pull the trigger!

    Click the NFL players and/or draft positions and teams options you think are the best values. Select the dollar amount to be wagered. Double check the choices you’ve made and place the bet.

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12

NFL Draft History

The 2024 NFL Draft is the 89th in league history and will be held in Detroit, Mich.

The NFL Draft began in 1936, replacing the league’s free-agent rule that allowed players to sign with any team they chose.

Future NFL commissioner Bert Bell, then the Eagles owner, brought forth a plan for the teams to select college players in inverse order of the teams’ finish during the prior football season.

The draft went from nine rounds to 10 and then 20 by 1939.

The NFL faced competition from the American Football League, and the leagues held joint drafts from 1967-69 before merging.

Then at 17 rounds, the draft moved to 12 rounds in 1977 and arrived at its current number, seven, in 1994.

Today, the NFL has teamed with ESPN to provide a three-day feast for football fans everywhere, with Thursday night presenting the first round, Friday bringing Rounds 2 and 3, and Saturday finishing it with Rounds 4-7.

Making Your Bet on the NFL Draft

The most-watched, most bet market occurs when betting the NFL Draft on the first night – Round 1 on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

The order of players chosen at the top of the draft is the subject of discussion for months leading up to the NFL Draft.

The 2024 NFL Draft’s top five prospects, and their odds as of late February 2024, are shown here.

Player Position College Odds
Caleb Williams QB USC -900
Drake Maye QB North Carolina +600
Marvin Harrison WR Ohio State +1100
Jaydon Daniels QB LSU +1400
Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Marvin Harrison Jr., NFL Draft
Image: Twitter/The Athletic

Caleb Williams is a heavy favorite. The -900 means you would need to wager $900 just to win $100 (take back $1,000, $900 of which is your original stake).

The remaining odds feature a plus sign (+), meaning a $100 wager would return that amount. If you bet on Marvin Harrison Jr. to be selected at No. 1 and it happened, his total return would be $1,200 on a $100 bet (the $1,100 winnings plus the original $100 stake).

There isn’t much controversy over the No. 1 overall pick in betting on the NFL Draft, but fans can place wagers on other NFL Draft props such as the second player picked, the third player picked and, as the draft dates draw near, dozens of other props.

Bets can be placed on offerings such as how many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round, how many players from a major college football conference will be selected in the first round and where a particular player will be selected.

In 2023, the number of quarterbacks “over/under” was 4.5 at most sportsbooks. For 2024, that number will be posted in the weeks leading up to the first night.

NFL Draft Betting Strategy

Football fans celebrate the NFL Draft, and arrive on draft day with a good amount of knowledge. Information is key to betting on the NFL Draft. Here are four ways to become better informed before making your bet.

Study the NFL

It’s important to be familiar with the teams owning poor records from the previous season, but also with the teams who own the top draft picks.

In the 2023-24 season, the Carolina Panthers were the worst team. The Panthers, however, traded the rights to their first-round pick to the Chicago Bears last season. Therefore, the Bears own this year’s No. 1 overall pick.

Look at the latest mock drafts

In preparing to bet on the NFL Draft, you can use many tools to stay informed. Among those is NFL experts’ mock drafts, in which the players and order of selections are predicted. These mock drafts are often informed by strong reporting from these journalists, including information obtained from the teams themselves.

Watch video from the NFL Scouting Combine

This annual event can change the NFL Draft odds quickly. It’s a showcase for college football players, held at the end of February in Indianapolis.

Do your Research on College Football

The NFL is the most watched sports league in the USA but when it comes to the Draft, it pays to know your SEC from ACC and B1G conferences. There is almost as much data and statistics available about college players as there is about NFL players these days, and that can help you find an edge when it gets to Draft day.

Caleb Williams will be the name on everybody’s lips this year, but there are 224 picks in seven draft rounds. That means plenty of opportunities to find value for those who have done their college football research.

Bet types on the NFL Draft

Pick NumberPick Number Over/UnderConference and School PropsPosition PicksFirst Player Drafted by a Team

Pick Number

Who will be pick no. 1? No. 2? No. 5? Bet on the player you think will be picked in every position in the top five. You can also bet on the exact order of the top two picks.

Pick Number Over/Under

Bet on whether a given player will be taken above or below a certain pick number. Great for when you think a certain player will go higher or lower than what his pre-draft hype suggests.

Conference and School Props

These markets provide a great opportunity for college fans to put their knowledge to the test. You can bet on the college football conference that will have the most players go in the first round. And the number of players from CFP champions Michigan who will be drafted.

Position Picks

You can bet on individual players to be the first drafted in their position or the overall number of players in a given position to be picked in a given round. For example, who and at what pick number will the first tight end, wide receiver, linebacker and offensive lineman be picked at? Will there be over/under 4.5 running backs selected in the first round?

First Player Drafted by a Team

Think your team will roll the dice on a new QB, or do they need to shore up a leaky defense? Predict the player selected first by any team. You can also bet on the position of the first player a team selects, in case you’re unsure exactly who a team will take, but know what they will want with their first pick.

Conclusion

Betting on the NFL Draft, to be held April 25-27, is a competitive and entertaining experience.

The No. 1 pick, likely USC quarterback Caleb Williams, isn’t going to have much value as a standalone bet (he was -900 or -1000 at most sportsbooks as of late February), but can be used to bet on the exact order of the top two or three NFL Draft picks at many sportsbooks.

Football fans will have a large menu of betting options by mid-April and can employ our NFL Draft betting guidelines to inform their wagers.

FAQs

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Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert

Jay is a Sports Betting Writer at Techopedia.com, and has been working in US sports for more than 20 years. He's worked for Daily Racing Form, the Arizona Republic, The Athletic and FanDuel among other sports and gambling positions.