NFL Draft Odds: What to Look Out For

NFL Draft Odds

The annual NFL Draft has turned into one of the biggest spectacles in all of sports. The first draft was way back in 1936, and it was just 99 names written on a blackboard in a meeting room at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. Now it’s a three-day event with all the glitz and glamor you’d expect at the Oscars or the Grammys. The betting action gets serious, too. Every spring, not long after the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft odds hit the board at Bodog Sportsbook.


This is a golden opportunity for football fans to get some skin in the game during the offseason. You’ll get even more value out of your NFL Draft picks if you follow these five very important betting tips.

1. All Mock Drafts Are Wrong

Every media outlet has their own expert giving you their projected draft order for at least the first round, where most of the NFL Draft odds are focused. Somehow, all of their mock drafts are different, and nobody ends up being 100% right in the end.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study them. These experts, at least the reputable ones, all have some level of access to the GMs and other decision-makers across the league. Those front-office personnel aren’t necessarily going to spill the beans – that would make them very bad at their job – but they will give at least some valid information the experts can then provide us with.

The trick here is to look at the most reputable of these mock drafts and see where they tend to agree. It might be a specific player in a specific draft slot; it might be a more general consensus on which positions a certain team is hoping to fill. It’s “the wisdom of crowds” applied to NFL betting.

2. Draft News Travels Slowly – at First

The people doing NFL mock drafts aren’t reporters in the old-school sense of the word – they also rely on the newswires for information, as should you if you want to make smarter NFL picks.

The further back in time you get from Draft Week, the less information everyone has to report. The teams themselves usually don’t know who they’re going to pick, at least not until they’ve done their research, pored over the results from the NFL Combine, and interviewed their leading candidates.

As this process wears on and the teams start gravitating towards their final choices, more information will naturally come out – some of it real, some of it smoke. Just like the mock draft, use trusted reporters and media outlets for your handicapping, and use several of them instead of relying on a single source.

3. Things Can Change Quickly

Especially in the early going when real information is scarce, the odds for which players get drafted where can change drastically in a short amount of time. People will jump on the tiniest scrap of news and assume it’s gospel. Then they’ll change their projections, turning sure-fire No. 1 picks into late first-rounders and vice versa.


This mayhem is actually welcome if you want to get a good price for your NFL Draft odds. If you can keep a clear head and separate fact from fiction, volatility is your friend, giving you the chance to pick up a strong draft candidate at a bargain price. These opportunities will get scarcer as the draft approaches, but watch out for late surprises as teams quickly pivot from one seemingly sure-fire choice to another.

4. Take a History Lesson

NFL teams have at least slightly different needs from year to year, but you can still look at each decision-maker’s history at the draft and see if there are any obvious patterns. For example, owner Jerry Jones is the one pulling the strings for the Dallas Cowboys (although he does listen to the other people in his war room), and he seems to have a thing for wide receivers:

1991: Alvin Harper

2010: Dez Bryant

2020: CeeDee Lamb

Jones also traded away his first-round pick for a wide receiver on three occasions (Joey Galloway, Roy Williams and Amari Cooper), and signed three other big names as free agents (Terrell Owens, Rocket Ismail, Keyshawn Johnson). It doesn’t mean he’ll draft another wideout this year, but it is something to consider when you look at the NFL odds board for Dallas’ draft slot.

5. Manage Your Bet Size

Betting on the NFL Draft can be lucrative if you know what you’re doing, but these wagers definitely fall on the more “exotic” side of the betting spectrum. There’s always going to be more risk with these bets than picking Team A or Team B to beat the point spread.

If you’re relatively new to football betting, we recommend using a “one unit” approach to help manage your bankroll in these situations. That means breaking down your bankroll into units – 100 is a simple starting point – and keeping one unit as your standard bet size, no matter what you’re betting on.

The more experience you have betting the NFL Draft odds, and the more of an edge you think you have on the competition (that’s the other bettors in the marketplace), the larger you should make your bet size if you want to grow your bankroll as efficiently as possible. But this is for the experts; for all those newcomers out there, keep it simple, keep it small, and protect yourself at all times.

Now that you have these five NFL Draft betting tips down pat, check out the NFL odds board at Bodog Sportsbook and see what’s available. We’ve got more helpful sports betting articles waiting for you in our vault as well, so keep reading, and we’ll see you at the draft.