The Las Vegas Raiders are almost on the clock. The Raiders were supposed to be the host team for the 2020 NFL Draft. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, non-essential businesses are currently closed in Nevada and the annual NFL Draft this week won’t take place in Las Vegas.
However, the show must go on and it will. Instead of being a live event in front of hundreds of thousands of people on the Vegas Strip, the 2020 NFL Draft will be a “virtual” event taking place online. Similar to a fantasy football draft, teams will submit their picks online.
NFL Draft prop bets
Live sports around the world is at a minimum with games taking place halfway around the world. Sports fans and bettors are seeking any traditional sports activity. There’s only so much esports and ping pong Nevada sports bettors can wager on. The NFL Draft can’t get here soon enough for football fans and bettors. For many sports bettors, this year’s draft is the only game in town.
There’s never been more attention on the NFL Draft and that’s one reason there are so many prop bets available in Nevada this year. This is still a relatively new sports betting market in the Silver State. Nevada Gaming Control Board first allowed sportsbooks to offer NFL Draft wagers in 2017.
Another reason for the increased number of NFL Draft prop bets being offered is from the national competition. While a New Jersey sportsbook might not be direct competition for Nevada, they offer some ideas on new markets to offer. For example, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering hundreds of NFL Draft prop bets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc. According to ESPN, the sportsbook operator expects to see 10 times more money wagered on the NFL Draft than last year.
NFL Draft betting may not grow as much in Nevada as it will in New Jersey. Mobile wagering is only open for existing customers. Additionally, Nevada Gaming Control has one major stipulation that will affect anyone looking to place a wager on the NFL Draft. Sportsbooks can’t accept wagers during the day of the NFL Draft. If anyone in Nevada wants to wager on the NFL Draft they must submit bets via a mobile app on Wednesday, April 23.
Las Vegas Raiders Prop Bets In Nevada
The Las Vegas Raiders have the 12th and 19th picks in the first round of the NFL Draft this year. They have five of the first 91 picks to help build the team playing its first season in Las Vegas.
Most NFL Draft betting opportunities focus on the first round. Until this week, there was speculation that the Raiders would draft a wide receiver with the number 12 pick in the draft. Selecting a wide receiver might still be the priority for the Raiders but there are rumors that they could select Tua Tagovailoa or even a cornerback like CJ Henderson.
The odds for the Raiders drafting Tagovailoa at Circa Sports are currently +1200. They’re behind the Dolphins (+135), Chargers (+180), Jaguars (+735), and Lions (+1000) to draft the former Alabama quarterback.
Circa Sports still has three wide receivers as the favorites for the Raiders first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft:
Jerry Jeudy +235
CeeDee Lamb +235
Henry Ruggs +450
Cornerback CJ Henderson has the lowest odds of any non-receiver to be the first pick of the draft by the Raiders at +600.
Bettors unsure of the specific player can simply wager if on whether or not the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft for the Raiders will be a Wide Receiver. Current odds at Circa Sports are:
Bettors who think the Raiders will draft a defensive player first might want to check the BetMGM or Caesars apps. They both have odds posted on whether or not the Raiders will choose an offensive or defensive player first:
Offensive player -200
Defensive player +165
Offensive player -230
Defensive player +185
BetMGM has odds on the Raiders drafting a variety of players. Once again, the three wide receivers have the lowest odds:
Jerry Jeudy +240
CeeDee Lamb +350
Henry Ruggs +425
Tua Tagovailoa +1200
Justin Herbert +1400
Derrick Brown +2000
Jeffrey Okudah +4000
Jedrick Willis +5000
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill, tells PlayNevada “this year we have the first Raider to be taken in Nevada. Nine players are listed as well as the field. Jeudy is the favorite at + 170 right now.”
He continued saying that “betting action is adding up and we’re very happy with handle considering all the obstacles in current world. The props with Tua are drawing the most attention.”
Watching The NFL Draft
The NFL Draft will take place on three days this year:
- Thursday, April 23: Round 1 (5 p.m.)
- Friday, April 24: Rounds 2-3 (4 p.m.)
- Saturday, April 25: Rounds 4-7 (9 a.m.)
ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network will be airing the virtual 2020 NFL Draft all three days.