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Nevada allows NFL Draft props for first time

By Matt Youmans
VSiN senior editor

garrett
Myles Garrett, a defensive end from Texas A&M, is projected to be the first player called in the NFL Draft on April 27.
© USA Today Sports Images

If most projections are on the money, Myles Garrett, a defensive end from Texas A&M, will be the first player called in the NFL Draft. Best of luck betting on how the rest of the first round will unfold.

But for the first time in Nevada, bettors can give it a shot and play Mel Kiper Jr. for a day.

The Gaming Control Board has approved petitions filed by CG Technology and William Hill sports books to offer proposition wagering on the draft, which will be held April 27 to 29 in Philadelphia. The announcement was a surprise to most Las Vegas bookmakers.

“We certainly welcome it, but we did not realize that was going to be an option,” Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay said.

The state has become more flexible with its sports betting guidelines in recent years, permitting wagering on college football’s Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP. For several years, wagering in Nevada was restricted to results decided on the field of play. However, offshore books posted props on the NFL and NBA drafts in past years.

“I think it’s a positive we have regulators that help us remain at the gaming forefront with creativity and variety,” said Vinny Magliulo, VSiN oddsmaker and Gaughan Gaming sports book director. “It’s good that gaming regulators and book operators are working together to put out the best possible product.”

“There are some things we can do with this.”

Nevada bookmakers still face some restrictions in which props can be posted, but here’s an example of what would be allowed:

* Over/under on the number of quarterbacks drafted in the first round.

* Over/under on the number of players from the Southeastern Conference drafted in the first round.

* Which college will have more players drafted in the first round: Alabama or Michigan?

* The number of players picked from Ohio State in the entire draft.

* More offensive or defensive players drafted in the first round?

“You can do a lot of creative things,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “It’s a great talking point. It will create some interest and intrigue for the entire draft, especially the first round.”

ESPN.com reported 17 examples of props that are approved by the state, and none are player-specific props. A prop that names quarterback Deshaun Watson from Clemson would be prohibited, for example, unless the Gaming Control Board opts to allow it.

Kornegay indicated wagering limits could be small this year while bookmakers evaluate the flow of draft information from NFL media insiders.

“We’re going to proceed with caution because there’s so much information out there that will be flying and influencing the odds,” Kornegay said.

At the South Point, Magliulo, book director Chris Andrews and oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro started brainstorming props on Friday afternoon. Time is short to get the props posted, and books must stop accepting action the night before the draft.

“There’s a lot to think about,” Magliulo said. “There’s one thing we do know — there will be trades and those deals will impact those selections.”

Garrett is the most popular pick to go No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns, but a trade at the top of the draft could change everything.

San Francisco is set to pick second, followed by Chicago, Jacksonville and Tennessee.

As of now, the New York Jets are expected to be the first team to look for a quarterback in the No. 6 spot.

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