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5 Surefire NFL Draft Betting Strategies You Should Embrace

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

5 Surefire NFL Draft Betting Strategies You Should Embrace
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You may think you know what’s going to happen at the 2020 NFL Draft. But do you really? Does anybody? With live sports still on the shelf due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL Draft has exploded in sports betting popularity. Top online sportsbooks have generated a seemingly endless array of ways to wager on the draft. It can be dizzying sifting through the options.

There is a method to the madness of winning at the NFL Draft. Bookies.com NFL expert Adam Thompson, who has posted dozens of 2020 NFL Draft prop picks, reveals five steps to ensuring you come out ahead in what could be a wildly unpredictable first round.


1. Get In On The Action Early

5 Surefire NFL Draft Betting Strategies You Should Embrace 1

This one you can’t do much about with the draft starting on Thursday. But there is a major benefit to paying attention early and often.

It’s because at that moment, NFL futures followers are roughly on the same level as oddsmakers. The New York Giants barely had an idea who they would be taking with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft when odds were created for the prop pick in early March. There’s no way oddsmakers could know, either. That means the lines, in many cases, were wildly different compared to now.

The draft prop “Which will have more first round selections, the SEC or every other conference combined” was posted one month ago with each side was at -110. Now “other conference” is -290.

RELATED: LSU-Alabama NFL Draft 1st-Round Prop: Which Gets More Picks?

2. Look at Mock Drafts — But Not Exclusively

There are countless mock drafts out there by people who follow the sport for a living. They’re all different, and none of them will be 100% accurate. There is some value to be found. They can provide insight and offer differing viewpoints on why, for example, the Chargers might look at taking Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons over a quarterback at No. 6 overall.

One way to use mock drafts to your advantage is to listen to those you trust, and to look at multiple options. Too many of them, however, are used to make noise in a crowded landscape and aren’t based on research, so buyer beware if you’re basing your NFL betting picks on a mock.

3. Expect A Draft Day Wrinkle Or Two

Many of the top experts believe the Lions are taking Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah at No. 3 overall. The Giants follow with Alabama OL Jedrick Wills at No. 4, then the Dolphins pull the trigger on Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5.

But what if the Jaguars make an offer Detroit can’t refuse, secure the No. 3 pick and take Tagovailoa? Everything is blown up.

RELATED: Odds & Top Pick For Who Is Taken At No. 3

It happens. Few thought the Giants would use the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to take Duke QB Daniel Jones — a player many believed could have been had with the No. 17 pick owned by New York. Conversely, Aaron Rodgers was thought to be a potential top-two selection in the 2005 draft. But after the 49ers went with Alex Smith at No. 1, no team nabbed a QB until the Packers took him at No. 24.

Check out latest free: NFL expert picks

4. Diversify Your Portfolio

Because all it takes is one shocker to domino the opening round, it’s best to spread the wealth and don’t go all-in on one no-brainer pick — because there are no surefire no-brainers worth the odds (Joe Burrow is going No. 1, but it’s also -10000 to happen).

If the Lions trade the No. 3 pick, that at least directly affects the next five picks. The Carolina Panthers might be salivating about adding Simmons at No. 7, but if Okudah is there, can they pass on him?

Look at odds for the first player selected from each position — you can find the occasional gem and many of them won’t be affected by changes of heart from general managers.

5. Don’t Bet The Farm

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The NFL Draft is a fun diversion to wager on, and you can do really well on it if you play it right. But we’re still putting all our eggs on the decision-making of men in suits, not players on fields. The entire viewing nation can see one thing, but if one scout gets into the ear of one GM, it doesn’t matter.

In other words, you can break down everything you want, be absolutely correct as to which team should select which player — and not hit what actually happens. Whatever you may put down on an NFL game, take it down a notch for NFL Draft props.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.