NFL Draft Odds
It’s not all downside in the NFL offseason, and that’s just as well for those of us looking to keep our heads in the game. That’s right – springtime keeps the sportsbook plenty busy, with NFL betting, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for the all-important NFL Draft.
In 2022, the NFL draft will gather up its picks from April 28 to April 30. Right now, NFL draft odds for the first player to be selected in the draft are up and ready to take your own picks at Bodog Casino, giving you yet another opportunity for a payday, with warm regards from the biggest football league in the world.
For the uninitiated, this is how NFL draft and NFL draft betting works.
What is the NFL Draft?
You can think of the NFL Draft, which is officially, and by no one, called the “Player Selection Meeting”, as a career-sized version of picking off players in middle school when you had the privilege of being that day’s team captain – but with more captains. The NFL’s clubs take turns selecting from the most promising college football players in North America. Being selected in the NFL draft is the dream of every ambitious college football player, and for hundreds of them, is a make-or-break event. For fans, it’s an opportunity to see the next generation of NFL players coming in the ranks after watching them grow at the college-level competition.
To keep it fair and square, the order of the teams who get to pick the players changes each year. This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars get the coveted first pick, followed by the Detroit Lions.
The only question, then, is who the Jags will put up as their top choice? Enter Bodog NFL draft odds.
NFL Draft Betting
We’ve narrowed down the top college players who are most likely to be the number-one choice in 2022 when the Jaguars pounce.
Aidan Hutchinson (-190)
The current favourite for the Bodog NFL Draft betting odds is Aidan Hutchinson. The defensive end is a senior at the University of Michigan completing his studies in applied exercise science, and has been an indispensable member of the Michigan Wolverines football team since the day he started as a freshman.
Hutchinson played in all the Wolverines games in his first season and was promoted to starter for the following year, making 34 solo tackles. An injury in 2020 left Hutchinson out of action for all but three games, but he bounced back in his senior year, setting a new record for the most sacks in a single season at Michigan.
In fact, bounced back is putting it mildly – Aidan Hutchinson scooped up a grand total of six awards in his senior season, including the prestigious Ted Hendricks and Lombardi Awards.
It’s something of an understatement to note that there’s plenty of interest in Hutchinson. No doubt the Detroit Lions would love to hang on tight to one of their own Michiganians, but even with the second overall pick to play with, they might have to give up their local hero if their fellow big cats get their paws on him first.
Travon Walker (+170)
Travon Walker is another defensive end with strong 2022 NFL Draft prospects. Born in Thomaston, Georgia, the 21-year-old stayed local for college, playing for the Georgia Bulldogs since 2019.
In his freshman year, Walker managed 15 tackles from 12 games. The following year, he managed 13 tackles, despite only making it onto the field on nine occasions. For the 2021 season, Walker was promoted to a starting role and stepped his performance up a gear. He made 33 tackles, more than doubling his tally for the previous two years combined.
It’s likely that Walker will follow a similar performance trajectory in the NFL, with many pundits speculating that he’ll fast become a starter.
With the Jaguars being in the enviable position of deciding the knock-on effect throughout the entire draft, much of the focus is on what much of their focus is on. It’s clear they need to firm up their defence, but they appear to be unsure about whether to opt for Hutchinson or Walker. In the last few days, there have been signs they might be favouring the Georgian, which could make his +170 odds look like a great deal for NFL draft betting.
Ikem Ekwonu (+1200)
The 6ft 4in offensive tackle, Ikem Ekwonu, is the top-placed attacking player that the NFL Draft odds favour. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and, like Walker, opted to stay local for college.
Ekwonu enjoyed a strong freshman season, becoming the starting left tackle for the last seven games of the year. As a sophomore, Ekwonu continued as a starter, moving to left guard temporarily before going back to left tackle.
In the 2021 season, he maintained his ferocious performance and became the leading blocker in the entire ACC.
The NFL’s Next Gen Stats classify Ekwonu as an “elite” prospect who is likely to become a starter for whichever team signs him in his first year as a pro. That said, it’s clear the first-pick Jaguars are more in need of a defensive player than an offensive one. Of course, the Jags could always disagree with that assessment, so let’s not rule out Ekwonu so hastily.
Evan Neal (+1600)
Originally from Okeechobee, Florida, Evan Neal is another offensive tackle in the running for the first pick at the 2022 NFL Draft, albeit one who’s trailing in fourth place. He joined the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2019 and immediately became a starting left guard, taking part in all 13 games that season.
For 2020, Neal moved to right tackle, a position he has remained in since. Alabama won the CFP National Championship that season, with Neal weighing in heavily to that success. In the 2021 season, Neal has continued to impress, ranking in the top ten for several key metrics, including being the sixth-best scoring offensive player and the seventh-best in offensive passing in the country.
It’s performance like this that has earned Neal a prime place in the 2022 draft. And like Ekwonu, his NFL betting odds of +1600 are reflective of the fact that he’s an offensive player, and the Jaguars need to prioritise their defence.
The 2022 NFL Draft is ripe for the pickings, and there’s not much daylight between the main contenders for the first pick. They all deserve a place in the league but only one can take the prestigious spot. If you can think like a Jaguar, then this is a great opportunity to test your football knowledge and pounce on the best NFL draft odds before the first pick.