By Adam Thompson | | 35 mins
NFL Draft Odds, Predictions & Ultimate 2022 Betting Guide
The NFL Draft is no longer simply a time for teams to replenish rosters. Now spread over three days with a prime-time broadcast of the first round on Thursday, the NFL Draft has become another hugely popular event for the public.
For NFL betting enthusiasts, the 2021 NFL Draft offered hundreds of possible ways to wager. This year’s edition, which begins Thursday night with the first round, offers even more, from NFL odds on the first overall pick to the Over/Under on draft position, to which QB will come off the board first to whether the SEC or Big Ten will have the most picks in the top 32.
Below is a breakdown of several of the most popular wagers and the NFL odds for each, from the No. 1 overall pick to the offensive player selected first.
First Overall Pick Odds
All odds in this article available at DraftKings and accurate as of publication.
Betting analysis: Hutchinson, the edge rusher out of Michigan, has been a top choice the last two months. But Walker, the edge rusher from Georgia, has emerged in the last week because of sources inside the draft room of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the first overall pick.
We haven’t had any real debate for the first overall pick lately. Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow were each -10000 the last two years, Kyler Murray was a safe -500 the year before. The last time the favorite wasn’t taken was in 2018, when the Browns went with Baker Mayfield (+1000 that week) over Sam Darnold (-250).
There’s value in Hutchinson, who NFL.com scouts say has far more potential and “elite” level NextGen stats. There’s always smoke atop the draft – not usually at No. 1, but in this instance, we’ll go with the guy who’s been near the top all along.
Best Bet: Aidan Hutchinson To Go 1st overall
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Second Overall Pick Odds
Betting analysis: The Detroit Lions own this No. 2 overall pick, and this one is fairly straightforward. If the Jaguars don’t take Hutchinson, the Lions will snap up their hometown product, who grew up in suburban Detroit then played college down the road at Ann Arbor.
If Jacksonville takes Hutch instead, Detroit has reportedly preferred the skillset of Thibodeaux over Walker. Since I believe Hutchinson ends up in Jacksonville, we can go with Thibodeaux here at +200. We’ll either win both bets or lose both.
Best Bet: Kayvon Thibodeaux To Go 2nd overall
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No. 3 Overall Pick Odds
|Derek Stingley Jr.||+600|
Betting analysis: What do you get for a team that needs everything? The Texans can go with “best available” at No. 3 overall and they will improve the team. Tackle and edge rusher are immediate concerns, which is good for this spot. At least one of Hutchinson, Thibodeaux or Walker will be available, and the top two tackles, Ekwonu of NC State and Neal of Alabama, should be as well (at least one of them).
We can triple down here on a bet for Walker at +500 on betting sites. For those seeking a little less risk, couple it with a splash on Ekwonu, who has vaulted over Neal on most offensive lineman lists.
Best Bet: Travon Walker To Go 3rd overall
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No. 10 Overall Pick Odds
|Derek Stingley Jr.||+600|
Things get tricky with the No. 10 pick. The New York Jets own it, but they also own the No. 4 overall pick. That’s a lot of flexibility and a lot of directions to go, especially for a team in need of help in nearly all facets.
My Jets draft odds for the No. 4 pick projected Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner as the favorite to hear his name called. It’s a small reach for the projected top CB in the draft at a huge position of need. If Oregon edge Kayvon Thibodeaux is still on the board, however, they could go that route.
That would leave CB as still a position of need at No. 10. Gardner is likely to be gone by then, but LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. could be there.
If he’s not, then the Jets absolutely must improve at receiver. Rightfully, the top three names on the board are wideouts. USC’s Drake London offers the best value and would be a great, big target for second-year QB Zach Wilson. Go with London (+500) and Stingley (+600).
Best Bet: Drake London To Go 10th overall
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Below are our other best bets from Bookies.com NFL handicapper Adam Thompson.
NFL Draft 2022 Best Bets & Predictions
Kayvon Thibodeaux | Over/Under 4.5 Draft Position
We’re pretty confident Thibodeaux isn’t going No. 1 to the Jaguars. But No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4? We’re fairly confident he’s going somewhere in there. The odds aren’t spectacular, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a reliable source that doesn’t have the Oregon standout going past No. 4. We like the Under here on betting apps.
Andrew Booth | Over/Under 28.5 Draft Position
Booth is rated as the third- or fourth-best cornerback in the field. It’s a position of supreme importance in today’s pass-happy NFL, and one that Pro Football Focus says is a “need to improve” for 15 teams heading into the draft. Of those 15 teams, 14 are contenders to take a CB in the first round, 12 of which have picks inside the top 28. Getting Booth at these odds is a steal.
Tyler Smith | Over/Under 32.5 Draft Position
Smith, the widebody offensive lineman from Tulsa, had a surge of interest a couple of weeks before the draft, which saw his stock rise. But it’s since come down.
Now, the only place you’re likely to see him on mock drafts is at No. 26 to the Tennessee Titans. But if the rest of the draft shakes out as expected, some of the other lead interior linemen will be “unexpectedly” available. The Titans can go another course easily, and Smith should fall to Round 2.
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First Offensive Player Selected
Ekwonu, the tackle from NC State, has passed Neal, the tackle from Alabama, in pretty much every prognostication. But both O-linemen are likely to be gone before any quarterback or wide receiver is taken. We just need all the Ekwonu-over-Neal talk to be accurate.
Position Of First Player Selected
Pittsburgh Steelers – Quarterback, +110
Pittsburgh acquired Mitchell Trubisky in free agency, but even if he works out in the short-term, there is no viable No. 2 QB, and no guarantee Trubisky gets it done. They reportedly covet Malik Willis but have been linked to Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral. Expect a signal-caller for the Steelers.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Defensive Line/Edge, -1000
Huge odds, but free money. The Jaguars are likely to take one of three players, and they all play the same position: This one.
Tennessee Titans – Offensive Line, +185
Tennessee could go in a few different directions, including adding a receiver to replace Julio Jones. But its interior line is the top priority heading into the draft, and No. 26 looks like a spot where getting a Week 1 starter is attainable. We get good odds for such a move.
New York Giants – Offensive Line, +130
The Giants have Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in the backfield, but the last two years have proven that it doesn’t matter how skilled your skill players are if nobody can block for them. The Giants again must make O-line a priority and at No. 6 overall should have an opportunity to claim one of the premier offensive tackles.
Detroit Lions – Defensive Line/Edge, -360
While riskier than the Jaguars’ “free money” pick, this one is very likely to go to someone that can get after the QB, a skillset the Lions lacked in 2021. If local boy Aidan Hutchinson is there, he’ll be taken. If he goes No. 1, Detroit still has great D-line options. This can also be used as a hedge for the aforementioned first and second overall picks odds.
First Player Selected By Position
First QB Selected – Kenny Pickett, +170
Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett could be the choice for the Panthers at No. 6. If he’s not, then the favored Willis (-190) will likely be the guy. But Carolina has a lot of connections to Pickett, from ownership on down, and head coach Matt Rhule may need a win-now QB if he wants to be here in 2023. Pickett over Willis for the present.
First CB Selected – Ahmad Gardner, -250
Gardner was as good as it got in college at Cincinnati and his draft stock has soared in the last month. He’s now the consensus top corner in the field over Derek Stingley. Stingley won’t fall past 12, but Gardner could go as high as No. 4 or 5, and certainly not past 10.
Best NFL Draft 2022 Parlay Bet
Ekwonu 1st OL and Gardner 1st DB Taken, -130
We’re not worried about “Sauce” Gardner being top cornerback selected; he’s created space between him and LSU’s Derek Stingley, who is likely to go by pick No. 12 himself. This is a doubling down of Ekwonu going ahead of Evan Neal as the first O-lineman taken.
SEC Players Taken In First Round
The SEC usually leads all conferences in players selected in the first round, and the overwhelming consensus is it will again in 2022. That prop isn’t even available. But the number of total first-rounders by the SEC is available.
This one is too high. Ten looks to be much more likely than 11, and that’s with Georgia WR George Pickens, Florida CB Kaiir Elam and Arkansas WR Treylon Burks all going. One of them is likely to get pushed to early second round.
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Team to Draft Malik Willis
There is no surefire pick here, but it’s probably the most-intriguing player wager at the 2022 NFL Draft. Willis is the most mobile and has the strongest arm of any QB in the first-round conversation. He also played at Liberty, where his passing numbers were good-not-great, and may take longer to reach his full potential vs. counterparts who played in the SEC or ACC. For that reason, he’s been slotted anywhere from No. 6 overall to the Panthers to No. 20 overall to the Steelers, and a number of spots between them.
The Steelers reportedly like the guy, but it appears unlikely he’ll drop all the way to No. 20. Fortunately, Pittsburgh has the capital to move up and get him, as long as Carolina doesn’t nab him at No. 6. We’ll take the big plus-odds on the Steelers finding a way.