The NFL Draft provides some of the most underrated, but exciting opportunities for sports wagering. It is a huge annual event, covered throughout the media with mock drafts and team insights. 


Just when the public thinks they know who a team will select, things can change quickly. Let’s reflect back to just two years ago, when the public seemed positive the 49ers were taking Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. 

And this:

Yet, as we approached the actual 2021 NFL Draft, the odds changed quickly. 

The betting market has started to vacillate on the first few picks. Is Bryce Young still locked in as the first overall pick? Is there still value in those early picks, or should we look to later picks to find betting value? 

After scouring expert mock drafts across the industry, especially our own Jeff Ratcliffe, here is my full review of NFL Draft Odds and Best Bets. 

2023 NFL Draft Best Bets

1st Overall Pick

C.J. StroudOhio State320370275280-300
Bryce YoungAlabama-450-400-350-370-400
Anthony RichardsonFlorida900140012001200800
Will LevisKentucky600034005000        2500         6600

Just three weeks ago, C.J. Stroud was an overwhelming favorite (-300) at most sportsbooks to be the No. 1 overall pick. Carolina traded with Chicago for the top pick on March 10, which triggered the thought that the Panthers knew they wanted Stroud as their franchise quarterback. But suppose they didn’t? Suppose they simply wanted the opportunity to evaluate the prospects and make the best choice available? 

Recently, we saw a report from Chris Mortensen that Young is the absolute choice for Carolina at No. 1 overall. Former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith was also passionate that teams love Young’s processing. Given what we observed with Trey Lance just two years ago and the rapid late rise of NBA No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, it seems unlikely this April movement toward Young is baseless.  Our own Jeff Ratcliffe has Young mocked to Carolina with the top pick as well.  As of Monday afternoon, Young is now the favorite to be selected No. 1 overall at all five books listed above. 

Young played in a pro-style offense in Alabama and has shown a strong arm. We’ve seen undersized quarterbacks like Russell Wilson succeed in the NFL based on athleticism and intelligence. Young has both, and his -115 odds at PointsBet are were too enticing given that movement. 

The Pick: Bryce Young (-115, PointsBet), Placed on April 10th

2nd Overall Pick

Bryce YoungAlabama165160160
C.J. StroudOhio State-125130130
Will AndersonAlabama350400400
Anthony RichardsonFlorida200020002000

If Bryce Young goes No. 1, then C.J. Stroud appears to be an automatic pick at No. 2 to Houston. The Texans are in desperate need of a quarterback, currently listing Davis Mills and veteran Case Keenum on their depth chart. Given those options, it is difficult to see Texans GM Nick Caserio passing on a franchise quarterback in Stroud. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Stroud has elite size and exceptional arm strength. He threw for 85 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions over the past two seasons at Ohio State and is more polished than projected QB3, Anthony Richardson. I don’t see a scenario where Stroud drops past No. 2 overall. If a trade is made, it will be for the third overall pick. 

The Pick: C.J. Stroud (+130, BetMGM)


3rd Overall Pick

Anthony RichardsonFlorida-110-135-150
Will AndersonAlabama225250275

It has been fascinating to see how much these odds have flipped over the past few days. Will Anderson was the clear favorite to go to Arizona at No. 3 overall, and if they actually keep this pick, that will be the likely selection. With Cardinals starting quarterback Kyler Murray rehabbing from a torn ACL, it is unlikely Arizona views the 2023 campaign as a playoff season. The priority would be to upgrade a defense that ranked just 24th in DVOA per FootballOutsiders last season. 

Anderson profiles as a superb edge-rusher with 4.6 speed, but there are some questions about his effectiveness against larger NFL offensive lineman. Regardless, he is projected to be the first non-quarterback taken in this draft, but I feel strongly the Cardinals will trade this pick. The only player who could justify trading up to No. 3 overall would be Florida’s Anthony Richardson. Moving up to that spot is costly and can only be justified for a franchise quarterback. 

The Pick: Anthony Richardson (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

4th Overall Pick

4th Overall Pick   
Anthony RichardsonFlorida150150
Will LevisKentucky175200
Will AndersonAlabama200250
Jalen CarterGeorgia25002000

I do not believe teams view Will Levis highly enough to start with four quarterbacks for the first time in NFL history. Levis has elite height (6-foot-4) and incredible arm strength but still needs to work on his accuracy and footwork. After a fantastic 2021 season, there was hope that Levis would see dramatic improvements in competition percentage, rushing and decision-making ability. None of those things occurred, and playing at Kentucky is certainly different from Alabama or Ohio State. 

He does not have the athleticism of Richardson and is not NFL ready like Young or Stroud. That does not sound like the profile of a player who would be the fourth quarterback off the board in this year’s draft. After interviewing Colts beat reporter George Bremer, I’ve started to believe that Indianapolis does not view this pick as an automatic quarterback selection. Indianapolis could start the year with veterans Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles, while possibly grabbing Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker later. First-year coach Shane Steichen certainly wants a franchise quarterback, but there are also defensive needs as well. I don’t believe Richardson falls to this pick, which leaves Levis. GM Chris Ballard, Steichen and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter have all described their ideal quarterback as someone who is a quick processor, gets rid of the ball quickly, doesn’t make mistakes and does a great job reading defenses. That description doesn’t fit Levis, which makes me believe if Anderson falls to No. 4, the Colts will take him as the best player available. 

The Pick: Will Anderson (+250, FanDuel Sportsbook)

First Offensive Lineman Drafted

First Offensive Lineman Drafted    
Peter SkoronskiNorthwestern-125-115170
Paris Johnson Jr.Ohio State-125110-180
Broderick JonesGeorgia700800450
Darnell WrightTennessee12002000900

With uncertainty comes opportunity, and that’s exactly what we have with the first offensive lineman drafted bet. Peter Skoronski was a unanimous All-American and is the grandson of five-time NFL Champion Bob Skoronski. However, his arms measured just over 32 inches, leading to speculation that he is better suited as an NFL guard. 

Paris Johnson is 6-foot-6, 318 pounds, and measured just over 36 inches in arm length. He has superior athleticism and higher upside than Skoronski. Looking at the odds, there is tremendous variation among the three main books, with Caesars listing Johnson as a heavy -180 favorite. I believe NFL teams (particularly Chicago at No. 9 overall) will value Johnson’s upside and will grab the +110 odds on FanDuel. 

The Pick: Paris Johnson Jr.  (+110, FanDuel Sportsbook)