NFL Draft 2023: A Comprehensive Guide to Betting on This Year's Top Prospects
Dive into the world of NFL Draft betting with our in-depth analysis of the 2023 event, which begins on Thursday, April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri. We'll cover everything from top prospects to strategic betting tips and key insights for turning your predictions into profits. Stay ahead of the game with our expert advice and data-driven approach, perfect for both novice and experienced bettors.
MORE: Here are some pro picks from our hosts and analysts, with selections on the NFL Draft and other sports!
Understanding NFL Draft Betting: An Overview
What is NFL draft betting?
The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting times of the year. Not only are some of the top players in the world going to new teams, but you have a chance to bet on the action.
Do you have a hunch on who will be the No. 1 overall pick? There’s a betting market for that!
Do you want to bet on who will be the first player at a position selected? You can find that, too.
There are all sorts of options out there for all different types of bettors, so go out and find something you like. This is an event that spans three days and there’s a lot of information out there that can help you turn a profit on it.
How does the draft process work?
There are 32 teams in the league and each team gets a pick in the seven rounds of the NFL Draft. The draft order is determined by the reverse order of finish in the standings from the previous season. Teams may trade their picks to one another, so you might not see each team selecting in every round. There are also additional compensatory picks that occasionally get added on to rounds. That typically happens when a team loses a key free agent or member of the coaching staff.
Types of draft-related bets
We just mentioned that you can bet on the top overall pick, or the first player to be selected at each position. However, you can also bet on individual matchups and decide who will go first between two players. It’s also possible to bet on what specific round a player will be selected in. And, if you’re feeling lucky, you can try to pin down exactly which team a prospect will land with — with some of these providing you with very favorable odds.
Here are some of the available NFL draft markets at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Top Prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft: Who's Leading the Pack?
Key positions and players to watch: Quarterback is king in the NFL, which is why the Carolina Panthers gave up a ton to get the first pick in the draft, which was previously occupied by the Chicago Bears. The Panthers are rumored to be targeting Alabama's Bryce Young, but Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson also appear to be in the mix. Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Texas running back Bijan Robinson are three players that have scouts drooling.
Potential first-round picks: Another name to keep an eye on as an early first-round pick is Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who is the son of Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowler Joey Porter. Some other notable players you might recognize as first-round prospects are Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer and TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston.
Ranking the top prospects: Not factoring in the importance of certain positions (e.g. quarterbacks are far more valuable than anything else, and running backs are decreasing in value by the year), the top-15 players in this class look something like this (in order): Will Anderson Jr., Bryce Young, Jalen Carter, C.J. Stroud, Bijan Robinson, Myles Murphy, Quentin Johnston, Michael Mayer, Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson Jr., Joey Porter Jr., Tyree Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Devon Witherspoon and Jordan Addison.
Betting Strategies: How to Maximize Your NFL Draft Profits
Analyzing team needs and draft tendencies: When looking to bet on the draft, you can learn a lot by just knowing a bit about each team. Perhaps start reading what some local beat writers think their teams will be going for. They usually have a good pulse on the organizations they cover. But there’s a lot out there than can give you an edge heading into the night of the draft. It just comes down to finding people you can trust for your information.
Weighing the importance of combine performance: The combine should be used as a tool only when looking at two players that might be very close to one another in skill. However, combine results don’t completely make up for bad film. Teams have learned from their mistakes regarding that, with players like Darrius Heyward-Bey and John Ross doing nothing in the NFL after setting the combine on fire with terrific 40-yard dash times.
Utilizing mock drafts and expert opinions: There are a lot of betting markets in which you’d be wise not to let anybody get in your head, but the NFL Draft isn’t one of them. You don’t want to be betting on what you think or want to happen. Instead, lean on the experts that spend their entire years reporting on this very event. Not only do guys like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and the MMQB’s Albert Breer have a good understanding of what goes into being a good prospect, but they also have intel on what teams are looking for. No matter how much college football you watched during the regular season, you’d be wise to seek help for this event. It’s one of the only times of the year in which the sportsbooks are expecting to lose money, and that’s because the public should have a good understanding of how things will play out.
NFL Draft Odds: Navigating the Betting Market
Understanding NFL draft odds: When betting on the NFL Draft, you want to be very careful that you understand exactly what you’re betting on. If you see a total of 2.5 on Stroud’s draft slot, taking the under in that situation means you think he’ll be selected first or second overall. The over in that specific bet would mean he goes third or later. With that said, brush up on your understanding of how general odds work across all sports, but also make sure you are reading everything carefully.
Comparing different sportsbooks for the best value: As is the case with anything you bet, you want to make sure you have as many sportsbooks as possible heading into the NFL Draft. Some sportsbooks are going to offer better prices than others on the exact same bet, so why cost yourself extra money? But we should note that there are a ton of markets up on DraftKings Sportsbook, which also happens to offer live betting on the NFL Draft. That can be a fun way to bet on the draft, especially if you are very prepared going in. There might be value that creeps up that you never even thought was possible.
Predictions and Tips: Making the Most of Your NFL Draft Bets
Tips for success in NFL draft betting: We’ve said it a few times in here, but trust the work of people in reputable spots. This isn’t the type of thing where you want to be betting on a lot of long shots. The odds are listed the way they are for a reason, and it’s because the intel is out there. The sportsbooks have a good idea of who is going where, and the prices reflect that. Don’t get cute.
Expert picks and predictions for the 2023 NFL Draft: Young to go first overall seems like a good play up to -300, but you don't want to go much further than that. The market has changed drastically since the Panthers got the pick, with Stroud looking like the clear favorite at one point.
Another pick we’d make is for Stroud to be the second player selected. He is listed at -225 to be the second pick in the draft, and it's hard to believe the Houston Texans would pass on him. And even if the team didn't want him, the smartest thing it can do is trade it for more value.
Something else that might be worth a small moneyline play is Carter to be the first defensive player picked. If not for some off-field concerns, Carter would have been the first defensive player taken in this draft. So, it might make sense to back him at +650 to do it anyway.