The 2020 NFL Draft was unique. Instead of taking place in Las Vegas, it was held virtually with teams connected by webcams and phones. Non-essential businesses in Nevada are currently closed so the NFL had to find another option to host the draft. With most of the country sheltering in place, the NFL Draft saw its highest TV ratings ever.
Not only did the NFL Draft have great TV ratings but sportsbooks all around the country saw more wagers placed on the event than ever. In fact, Nevada sportsbooks had more NFL Draft props available than ever.
While sports fans and bettors are cooped up they can begin making new plans to see the NFL draft in person on the Vegas Strip. During the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Las Vegas is back in the mix and will host the event in a couple of years.
2020 NFL Draft Wagering In Las Vegas
There are currently four NV sports betting apps taking wagers in Nevada. While BetMGM, Caesars, Circa Sports, and William Hill are looking high and low for sports to offer wagers on, there’s still nothing more popular than football wagering. The NFL Draft gave Nevada bettors a live sporting event with familiar names to wager on for a few days.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board first approved the NFL Draft for wagering in 2017. The first year saw only a handful of wagering opportunities. This year, Nevada sportsbooks offered around 100 NFL Draft prop bets.
This wasn’t the largest sports wagering event in history but it was huge when compared to the other options available with most professional sports leagues on hiatus. Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill’s U.S. Director of Trading, says the company saw a record handle for this year’s NFL Draft.
“Nevada’s handle for this draft is around five times bigger versus other years,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s the equivalent of a Thursday Night Football game.”
This is just the beginning of expanded NFL Draft prop wagering. “People really love the draft, there’s just so much interest surrounding it,” Bogdanovich said. “I expect the handle to be similar, or even potentially increase, for next year’s draft.”
2022 NFL Draft awarded to Las Vegas
NFL Draft wagering could hit another level when the event finally takes place in Las Vegas. During the virtual draft telecast, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the draft will come to Las Vegas in 2022. The 2021 event is already slated to take place in Cleveland, OH.
The plans for the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas will remain the same as they were for the event that was scheduled to take place this year. Caesars Entertainment, as the Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL, will host the NFL Draft Main Stage next to the Caesars Forum Conference Center. The NFL Draft Experience will take place adjacent to the main stage.
The most talked about event for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas will still be part of the event. The Draft Red Carpet remains in place in 2022. Prospects will take a ferry to and from the Red Carpet stage on the famed Fountains of Bellagio.
2020 Las Vegas Raiders Draft Wagering
The NFL Draft was the first major event for the Las Vegas Raiders since relocating from Oakland. There were plenty of wagers available in Nevada to help celebrate the occasion. Let’s take a look at the results of some of the Las Vegas Raiders-related NFL Draft wagers:
Circa Sports had 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
Winner: Ruggs +450
Also at Circa Sports: Will the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft for the Raiders will be a Wide Receiver?
Winner: Yes -150
BetMGM and Caesars had odds on whether the first pick for the Raiders will be offense or defense.
Offensive player -200
Defensive player +165
Offensive player -230
Defensive player +185
Winner: Offensive player -200 or -230
More NFL Draft Winners
Nevada residents weren’t only placing wagers on their new local NFL team. Here are some big non-Raiders NFL Draft wager winners from William Hill.
- $250 to net $5,000 on Tee Higgins first pick on Day 2 (20/1, $5,250 in total)
- $2,500 to net $2,750 on Cesar Ruiz will be drafted in first round (+110, $5,250 in total)
- $400 to net $4,000 on Clyde Edwards-Helaire first running back drafted (10/1, $4,400 in total)
- $2,200 to net $2,000 on Jeff Gladney under 45.5 (-110, $4,200 in total)
- $2,200 to net $2,000 on Jalen Hurts over 51.5 (-110, $4,200 in total)
- Another $2,200 to net $2,000 on Kyle Dugger under 71.5 (-110, $4,200 in total)
- $500 to net $2,000 on D’Andre Swift first running back, Tee Higgins first wide receiver and Xavier McKinney first safety on Day 2 (4/1, $2,500 in total)
- $115 to net $2,070 on Cardinals drafting Isaiah Simmons (18/1, $2,185 in total)
2020 NFL Season Win Total Update
Circa Sports was the first Nevada sportsbook to offer wagering on NFL Season Win Totals. Between free agency and the NFL Draft, there have been quite a few changes since the totals were first released.
- Bills opened at 8 wins, are now 9 wins
- Jets and Dolphins opened at 6 wins, are now 6.5 wins
- Texans opened at 8.5 wins, are now 8 wins
- Colts opened at 8.5 wins, are now 9 wins
- Eagles opened at 9 wins, are now 9.5 wins
- Redskins opened at 5 wins, are now 5.5 wins
- Vikings opened at 8.5 wins, are now 9 wins
- Saints opened at 10.5 wins, are now 10 wins
- Bucs opened at 8.5 wins, are now 10 wins
- Panthers opened at 4.5 wins, are now 5.5 wins
- Rams opened at 9 wins, are now 8.5 wins
- The vig has changed on a few other NFL season win totals but the number of victories remains the same. The biggest mover in the NFL season win totals at Circa Sports is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Much of that change can be chalked up to the signing of Tom Brady as a free agent.