NFL Draft betting options after first week of free agency


A few weeks ago, we highlighted some of the betting options available for the 2022 NFL Draft, and things have mightily shifted since then.

When we last looked at the odds for the first-overall pick, it was Evan Neal who was the favorite. We highlighted Aidan Hutchinson as a dark-horse candidate to place a futures on at +250.

Since then, the Jaguars have put money into their offensive tackle position, and Hutchinson is now a -400 favorite to be selected with the first pick.

This past week of NFL free-agency charts the course for many teams, and with the dust beginning to settle, now is likely a more appropriate time to begin seriously considering placing a future on some of the 2022 NFL Draft bets available on books like DraftKings and FanDuel.

First-Overall Pick Betting Odds

As mentioned, the market fully expects the Jacksonville Jaguars to select defensive end Aidan Hutchinson with the first pick, with -400 odds on DraftKings.

This is likely not a place to put your resources into, but there are other options, which we’ll highlight in this piece.

The top of the board:

  • Hutchinson, EDGE (-400)
  • Evan Neal, OT (+800)
  • Ikem Ekwonu, OT (+800)
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (+1800)

It’s clear how much value is placed in the trenches when you look at the top of the board for the first pick. With the Jaguars investing in the tackle position by franchising Cam Robinson, it seems to be a foregone conclusion they draft an edge rusher.

Thibodeaux was once considered the top-overall prospect, but he has dipped down a bit as the collegiate season and NFL offseason went on.

First Quarterback Selected

We highlighted the quarterback market at the beginning of March, mentioning that Malik Willis to be the first QB drafted at +150 had some solid value.

Since the combine, Willis has shot up the board, and is currently -170 on FanDuel to be the first quarterback off the board.

Kenny Pickett has slid to +195, followed by Sam Howell and Matt Corral at +1500.

The more intriguing betting market now becomes trying to hone in on where Willis will be selected.

The over/under on total number of quarterbacks drafted in Round 1 is set at 3.5 (+150 DK).

The following teams feel like legitimate options to draft a quarterback in the first round:

  • Detroit Lions
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Washington Commanders
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

I lean the under on this betting option, I’d expect teams to grab quarterbacks on Day 2 this season, with Willis and Pickett the likely only options to go in the first round.

Second-Overall Pick Betting Odds

The futures board has now opened to bet on the second- and third-overall picks in the draft. Remember, just because a team is slotted in this spot does not mean they will be the ones making the selection.

Should a team become enamored with a prospect, they could trade up to secure their rights. This typically occurs with a quarterback at the top of the board, so if a team feels that Malik Willis is their guy, expect to see him selected second or third overall.

Current odds for Number 2 Pick:

  • Kyle Hamilton, S (+350)
  • Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE (+400)
  • Travon Walker, EDGE (+500)
  • Malik Willis, QB (+550)
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (+800)
  • Evan Neal, OT (+1000)
  • Ikem Ekwonu, OT (+1000)

The Detroit Lions own this pick. They currently have Jared Goff at quarterback, certainly not a long-term answer.

The Lions truly have needs throughout the team, and I tend to value the trenches, and I know head coach Dan Campbell does the same.

Currently, the best value I see is either Travon Walker, one of the top defensive players on Georgia’s national championship team, or Thibodeaux.

Third-Overall Pick Betting Odds

The Houston Texans have the third pick and they too have needs everywhere. They’ve finally moved on from the Deshaun Watson situation, and their pockets are loaded with first-round picks for the foreseeable future.

It seems that Houston is preparing to go into the year with Davis Mills as their quarterback, and when looking at this spot, we must consider who can be a franchise cornerstone for the next decade.

Current Odds for Number 3 Pick:

  • Ikem Ekwonu, OT (+175)
  • Evan Neal, OT (+225)
  • Kyle Hamilton, S, (+750)
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (+850)
  • Travon Walker, EDGE (+900)

I like the value on Neal and Hamilton here. Evan Neal is a beast of a man, and locking in a franchise left tackle is one of the most pivotal tasks a franchise can accomplish.

Kyle Hamilton is a versatile defender who would immediately slot in as the leader of a Houston defense devoid of top-end talent.

If Willis were to remain on the board here, I could see Houston being sellers as they look to continue stockpiling first round picks.

It’s very clear that the Carolina Panthers, sitting at No. 6, have a huge hole at quarterback. I could see either Carolina moving up three picks to secure their guy, or a team like Seattle jumping up from No. 9 after trading Russell Wilson.

Willis’s odds to go third are currently +1000.

We still have moving pieces in the NFL with the second week of free agency, but we’re getting closer to locking in our futures bets for the 2022 NFL Draft at the end of April.


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