NFL Draft Betting Guide

Draft Order, Odds, And Strategy

The 2019-20 NFL season is now behind us, which means, for those in rebuild mode, the best part of the year is on the horizon as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches. This year’s event will take place Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With the college football season also wrapped up, fans and analysts alike are starting to piece together prospect rankings and mock drafts. Below, you’ll find the updated draft order and the top needs of each of the teams picking in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. We’ll also look at some of the best draft prospects and dig into the ways bettors can get some action.

2020 draft order (as of February 22, 2020)

PickTeam2019 RecordDraft Needs
1Cincinnati Bengals2-14QB, OT, LB
2Washington Redskins3-13OL, TE, CB
3Detroit Lions3-12-1CB, DE, OL
4New York Giants4-12DE, DB, OT
5Miami Dolphins5-11QB, OL, DE
6Los Angeles Chargers5-11OL, QB, CB
7Carolina Panthers5-11DB, OL, LB
8Arizona Cardinals 5-10-1CB, OL, WR
9Jacksonville Jaguars 6-10LB, CB, OL
10Cleveland Browns6-10OL, S, LB
11New York Jets 7-9OL, DE, CB
12Oakland Raiders7-9WR, CB, DE
13Indianapolis Colts 7-9QB, WR, DL
14Tampa Bay Buccaneers7-9OL, CB, QB
15Denver Broncos7-9OL, DT, WR
16Atlanta Falcons7-9DE, OL, LB
17Dallas Cowboys 8-8DB, WR, DL
18Miami (via Pittsburgh)8-8QB, OL, DE
19Oakland (via Chicago)8-8 WR, CB, DE
20Jacksonville (via LA Rams)9-7LB, CB, OL
21Philadelphia Eagles9-7WR, DB, DE
22Buffalo Bills10-6WR, DE, OL
23New England Patriots12-4 QB, TE, OL
24New Orleans Saints13-3WR, CB, OL
25Minnesota Vikings10-6 DB, OL, DL
26Miami (via Houston)10-6QB, OL, DE
27Seattle Seahawks 11-5OL, CB, DT
28Baltimore Ravens14-2 DE, LB, OL
29Tennessee Titans9-7OL, DE, LB
30Green Bay Packers13-3WR, OT, LB
31San Francisco 49ers13-3 DB, OL, WR
32Kansas City Chiefs12-4LB, CB, OL

2020 NFL Draft Odds

#1 Overall Pick

Game
04/23/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Joe Burrow
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-1150
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-1200
Chase Young
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+550
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+600
Andrew Thomas
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+1400
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+1400
Justin Herbert
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+1700
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+1600
Tua Tagovailoa
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+1200
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+2200
Jeffrey Okudah
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+3500
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+2800
Jacob Eason
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+3500
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+3000
Jake Fromm
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+3500
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+3500
CeeDee Lamb
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+6000
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+5000
Jerry Jeudy
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+6000
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+6600
Jordan Love
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+8000
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+10000

2020 NFL Draft prospects

QB Joe Burrow, LSU

Burrow used the College Football Playoff to cement his Heisman Trophy-winning season and status as the likely top pick. The breakout senior is the only logical pick for a Bengals team in desperate need of a fresh face at QB.

DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Young is viewed as the best player available in this year’s draft, but he’s unlikely to go first overall as a result of him not being a quarterback. He racked up 16.5 sacks with six forced fumbles in 2019-20 and can be a focal point of a defense for a long time. He’ll be a steal for the Lions or Giants out of the third or fourth spot, respectively, but don’t be surprised if a team like the Raiders packages picks to move up as high as No. 2 for his services.

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Tagovailoa entered the 2019 college season as the odds-on favorite to be the NFL draft’s top choice, but a slightly disappointing junior season allowed Burrow to emerge. His season was ended by a hip injury which has some questioning his long-term health. Be surprised if he slips past the Dolphins, but the Chargers would be more than happy to end his brief slide.

CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

The second player mentioned here from the stout Ohio State defense. Okubah’s junior season at OSU was his best, finishing with two forced fumbles, three interceptions and 35 total tackles. He makes sense as a replacement to Josh Norman in Washington.

OL Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Thomas is viewed as the top offensive lineman available and will be a hot commodity among teams without a pressing need at the skill positions. The Lions should be interested after losing QB Matthew Stafford and backup Jeff Driskel to injury amid another lost 2019 campaign.

LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Simmons is expected to be a safety in the pros, but his versatility will entice many teams in need of a rebuild on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers and Cardinals could duke it out for the next Tyrann Mathieu.

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Jeudy and his draft stock suffered from the injury to Tagovailoa late in the year. He totaled just 92 yards and no touchdowns in the final two games of the season before erupting for 204 yards and a touchdown in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. The Cardinals would be lucky to pair him with Kyler Murray for the foreseeable future.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

Lamb finished the 2019 campaign with better numbers than Jeudy with 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he could certainly take over as the top receiver in the draft with a strong combine performance. He’s another player who could spark a trade by the Raiders.

DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Brown can anchor a defensive line as a strong run-stopper who also has the ability to get to the quarterback. The Jets or Colts should be interested.

DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

At 6-foot-6, 280 pounds, Epenesa will be someone to watch at the NFL Draft Combine. He totaled 22 sacks over his final two years at Iowa with four forced fumbles in each season. He’ll be a good consolation prize for a team that misses out on Young. The Falcons would benefit from a move up the board.

How to bet on the NFL draft

In the coming months, more and more prop bets will be released to give bettors action on the 2020 NFL Draft. The most common bet type is for who will be the First Overall Pick, but due to the widespread expectation of Burrow having this honor locked up, bettors should be willing to look elsewhere rather than chasing the unlikely longshots here.

Bet options will focus on the top prospects, especially at the skill positions. Their potential landing spots, as well as their draft spot, will be available betting options by early April. Additionally, bets will separate players by position and look at who will be the first QB, WR or RB to be taken.

People will also be able to bet on how many of a certain position will be selected in the first round, or overall. Prospects may also be pitted head-to-head for who is the first to be selected.

How NFL draft odds work

Now that you know what to bet for the 2020 NFL Draft, you need to know how to bet. Like with betting the moneyline or the spread for games, you’re generally deciding between only two possible outcomes, either the Over or Under on draft position or the number of a certain position to be selected. The biggest difference is in picking from select groups of players to be chosen with the No. 1 pick or to be the top player selected at their position.

When betting a prop such as who will be the First Overall Pick, each option listed is given odds based on their likelihood to go first overall. As noted above, Joe Burrow is a heavy favorite and has odds of -1250 at DraftKings Sportsbook. This means a $100 bet would return a profit of just $8. These are very low, or short odds and is known as a chalky play. It’s best to look elsewhere.

Chase Young, who is considered to be the best player available by many has +500 odds. A $100 bet on him would return a profit of $500 if he is taken first overall. WRs Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb are immense longshots, each with odds of +50000 at DraftKings. A $10 bet on them would return a profit of $5000 based on an implied probability of just 0.20 percent.

Be sure to shop around, as the odds for each player can vary considerably from sportsbook to sportsbook. For example, Burrow is -11500 and Young is +550 at FanDuel Sportsbook.

2020 NFL Draft details

Where is the 2020 NFL Draft?

Las Vegas, Nevada

When is the 2020 NFL Draft?

Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25

  • Round 1: Thursday beginning at 8 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 2 and 3: Friday beginning at 7 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. ET

How to watch the 2020 NFL draft

The entirety of the 2020 NFL Draft will be broadcast across ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network, as well as streamed on NFL.com for the second straight year.

How the NFL Draft works

Determining draft order

The draft order for spots 1 through 20 is determined by the reverse order of the standings at the conclusion of the regular season. Barring trades (discussed below) the team which finishes last will make the first pick of each round, while the Super Bowl champions will make the final selection of each round.

Spots 21 through 32 go to playoff teams, with the order being determined by which round teams are eliminated from the postseason, plus their regular-season record. The Super Bowl champion is given the final pick of each round, so long as they haven’t made any trades.

Tiebreakers

Teams which finish with the same regular-season record (i.e. 4-12, 10-6) will have their order decided by tiebreakers, based on the first of these scenarios which results in the teams having a different record:

  • Head-to-head, if applicable
  • Best record against shared opponents (minimum of four)
  • Strength of victory over all games
  • Best league ranking in points scored and points allowed
  • Best point differential
  • Net touchdowns
  • Coin flip

The teams involved in the tiebreakers will alternate which team chooses first in each round, with the tiebreaker awarding the higher pick for Round 1.

Compensatory draft picks

Based on the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, the league can assign up to a total of 32 “compensatory free agent” picks. These allow teams that have lost free agents to recoup losses through the draft. Picks are made at the ends of the third through seventh rounds. Each team can have as many as four additional picks, and these have been eligible to be traded since 2017.

Timing

Each team has up to 10 minutes to make its pick in the first round. That time drops to seven minutes for Round 2, five minutes for Rounds 3 through 6 and four minutes for Round 7. If the clock expires before a team makes its selection, they are able to make the selection later but the next team is able to select the desired player.

Trades

All draft picks are eligible to be traded in exchange for other picks, future picks and active NFL players at any point up until that draft slot. Both teams must phone in a trade with the same information for league approval when trades are made during the draft.

Player eligibility

Players are draft eligible if they have been out of high school for at least three years and have used up their college football eligibility before the start of the next college season. They’re eligible only in the year after they finished their college eligibility. Underclassmen and players who graduated before using their full college eligibility may request league approval for early entry to the draft.

Supplemental Draft

Players who had their eligibility change following the given year’s NFL draft are eligible for the supplemental draft in July. Teams must bid on players by saying which round they’d select a given player and if no other team bids on the same player, his right are awarded to that team, or they’re awarded to the highest bidding team. The team will lose a pick in the same round in the ensuing year’s draft.

NFL draft history

Over the last five NFL drafts, a quarterback was selected first overall four times. Browns DE Myles Garrett in 2017 was the lone exception. The fewest number of quarterbacks taken in the first round was two (2015) and the most were the five taken in the 2018 draft. To date, six quarterbacks selected with a No. 1 pick have led their team to a Super Bowl title. The most quarterbacks selected in a single draft since it was cut to seven rounds was in 2004 when 17 QBs were selected.

The three first-round selections held by the Dolphins this year would be one shy of the record four first-round picks made by the New York Jets in 2000 if the Dolphins were to hold on to each pick.

Only one running back was selected in the first round of two of the last five drafts. Last year was the first time since 2014 not a single RB was taken with a top-10 selection. No more than three running backs were taken in the first round of a draft in that time.

The 2020 draft is expected to feature one of the strongest wide receiver classes of all time. There were six receivers taken in the first round of the 2015 draft with the first taken with the No. 4 pick. There have been at least two receivers taken in the first round of each of the last five drafts, but none were taken before the 25th overall pick of last year’s draft.

Between one and three tight ends were taken in the first round of each of the last three drafts. There wasn’t a single TE taken in the first round of the 2016 or 2015 drafts

The 1998 draft was the only one since 1994 to not have a single punter or kicker selected. There have been two punters taken in the first round, but none since 1979. Three kickers have been taken in the first round but none since Sebastian Janikowski in 2000.