NFL Draft Betting Guide 2021

Draft Order, Odds, And Strategy

NFL Draft odds

The offseason is traditionally the portion of every sport’s calendar where hope springs eternal for both teams and fans. The NFL, with its well-publicized free agency and draft periods, is certainly no exception. After COVID-19 turned the 2020 edition of the player selection show into an all-virtual event, this year’s NFL Draft is scheduled for a return to relative normalcy. It is set to unfold on location, April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio. Here, we will look at NFL Draft odds as there are a variety of ways to bet on the event at top US sportsbooks.

Bet $1 on NFL Draft, win $100

DraftKings Sportsbook has a fabulous offer for new users in which you can bet $1 on the NFL Draft and win $100. If a QB is drafted first overall (which is a stone-cold lock), you will win $100 in free bets on a $1 NFL Draft wager. To take advantage of this awesome deal sign up at DraftKings Sportsbook here.

Win $100 if Trevor Lawrence is picked first

Unless Urban Meyer and company take crazy pills on Thursday, Trevor Lawrence will be the top overall pick. FanDuel Sportsbook has a foolproof offer where you can win $100 on a $5 bet that Lawrence will be picked first. Sign up at FanDuel Sportsbook here to take advantage.

Free entry Draft Pool

DraftKings Sportsbook is running a free entry NFL Draft Pool for Round 1 with $50,000 in total prizes. You’ll have to correctly answer questions like “Who will be the third overall pick?,” “Who will be the first WR drafted?,” and “How many QBs will be drafted in the first round?” To enter the Draft Pool at DraftKings Sportsbook go here.

2021 NFL Draft odds

NFL Draft odds for who will be the No. 1 overall pick have been up for months at DraftKings Sportsbook. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is a lock to be chosen top overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, as he has -10000 odds to be picked in the top spot. BYU QB Zach Wilson (-2000) is a heavy favorite to be selected by the New York Jets at No. 2.

The 3 spot is where things get fascinating as the San Francisco 49ers traded up in March to secure the third pick. Here are third overall pick odds, fourth overall pick odds, fifth overall pick odds and sixth overall pick odds. Scroll through the tabs to see the current number from the top US sportsbooks.

Third Overall Pick Odds
Fourth Overall Pick Odds
Fifth Overall Pick Odds
Sixth Overall Pick Odds

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Trey Lance
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-200
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-200
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-145
Mac Jones
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+150
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+160
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+135
Justin Fields
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+350
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+650
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+450
Kyle Pitts
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+2000
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+2400
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+2500
Zach Wilson
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+2500
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+6000
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+8000
Trevor Lawrence
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+4000
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OTB
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+25000
Ja'Marr Chase
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+5000
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OTB
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+250000

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Kyle Pitts
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-300
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-390
Trey Lance
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+300
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+430
Justin Fields
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+450
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+430
Ja'Marr Chase
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+1200
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+1900
Mac Jones
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+1600
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+2200
Penei Sewell
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+2000
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+1900
Jaylen Waddle
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+2500
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+10000
Zach Wilson
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+4000
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OTB
DeVonta Smith
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+5000
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+10000
Micah Parsons
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+5000
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OTB
Elijah Moore
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+6600
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OTB

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Ja'Marr Chase
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-225
Penei Sewell
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+140
Kyle Pitts
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+400
Justin Fields
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+1600
Jaylen Waddle
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+2000
DeVonta Smith
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+2000
Trey Lance
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+2000
Elijah Moore
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+2500
Mac Jones
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+2800
Zach Wilson
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+4000

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Ja'Marr Chase
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+150
Jaylen Waddle
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+200
Penei Sewell
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+300
Kyle Pitts
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+350
DeVonta Smith
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+600
Rashawn Slater
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+600
Justin Fields
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+600
Trey Lance
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+800
Mac Jones
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+2000
Zach Wilson
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+5000

Sportsbooks also have “Pick by Position” NFL Draft odds for which QB will be selected first, which RB will be selected first, etc. Check out NFL Draft odds for each position by looking at our position-by-position draft previews:

Draft specials

Sportsbooks like DraftKings have a variety of special markets for 2021 Draft. To wager on any of the following markets at DraftKings go here.

  • How many trades will occur in Round 1: Under 5.5 (-125), Over 5.5 (+100)
  • Buffalo Bills first pick: Defensive Player -250, Offensive Player +180
  • Miami Dolphins first pick: Offensive Player -2500, Defensive Player +900
  • New England Patriots first pick: Offensive Player -200, Defensive Player +150
  • New York Jets 2nd pick in NFL Draft: Defensive Player -130, Offensive Player +110
  • Mr. Irrelevant – Who will get picked last?: Offensive Player or Kicker -110, Defensive Player or Punter -110

2021 NFL Draft order

PickTeam2020 RecordDraft Needs
1Jacksonville Jaguars1-15QB, DL, TE
2New York Jets2-14QB, WR, CB
3San Francisco 49ers 6-10QB, LB, OL
4Atlanta Falcons4-12RB, LB, QB
5Cincinnati Bengals4-11-1DL, LB, TE
6Miami Dolphins10-6WR, OL, S
7Detroit Lions5-11S, DL, OL
8Carolina Panthers5-11TE, DL, CB
9Denver Broncos5-11DL, CB, RB
10Dallas Cowboys6-10DL, LB, OL
11New York Giants6-10OL, WR, LB
12Philadelphia Eagles4-11-1OL, WR, RB
13Los Angeles Chargers7-9WR, TE, LB
14Minnesota Vikings7-9CB, DL, WR
15New England Patriots7-9DL, WR, QB
16Arizona Cardinals8-8WR, TE, OL
17Las Vegas Raiders8-8DL, LB, WR
18Miami Dolphins10-6WR, OL, S
19Washington Football Team7-9WR, OL, QB
20Chicago Bears8-8QB, WR, RB
21Indianapolis Colts11-5QB, WR, CB
22Tennessee Titans11-5DL, LB, CB
23New York Jets 2-14QB, WR, CB
24Pittsburgh Steelers12-4OL, RB, WR
25Jacksonville Jaguars 1-15QB, DL, TE
26Cleveland Browns11-5S, LB, WR
27Baltimore Ravens11-5WR, S, CB
28New Orleans Saints12-4TE, WR, OLB
29Green Bay Packers13-3RB, WR, DL
30Buffalo Bills13-3RB, OL, LB
31Baltimore Ravens11-5WR, S, CB
32Tampa Bay Buccaneers11-5RB, CB, WR

Best NFL Draft betting sites

2021 NFL Draft prospects

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Seen as one of the most “foolproof” quarterback prospects in recent memory. No true holes in his game and brings elite size at 6-foot-6. Considered a lock for the top overall pick and an ideal fit for the Jaguars.

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Possesses above-average arm, accuracy and football IQ and comes off a spectacular junior season during which he compiled 3,692 passing yards, a 33:3 TD:INT and 10 rushing touchdowns. Was not quite as productive across 18 games in his first two seasons, but is widely considered the second-best QB prospect behind Lawrence.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Put together one spectacular season with the Tigers, a 2019 sophomore campaign during which he produced an 84-1,780-20 line across 14 games, before sitting out 2020 to focus on preparing for an NFL career. Chase has only average size at 6-feet, 208 pounds, but he’s extremely explosive and considered by many analysts to still be the top WR in this year’s class.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama 

Considered 1-A to Chase in many draft circles after a prolific Crimson Tide career that saw him produce a combined 185-3, 112-37 line over his last two seasons. Smith also became the first receiver to garner the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard in 1991, and despite some standard concerns about his 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame, his abundant collection of positives make him a likely top-10 pick.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Smith’s Crimson Tide position mate is similarly slight in size (5-foot-10, 182 pounds) but possesses even better speed. Waddle was nowhere near as productive as Smith at the college level, but with YPCs of between 17.0 and 21.1 during his three college campaigns – his ability to put a strain on a defense is unquestioned.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Likely to be the third or fourth QB taken, Fields brings impressive size and athleticism at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds. His stock may have arguably been even higher after a junior season during which he racked up 3,757 total yards and 51 total touchdowns while committing just three turnovers. However, his junior 2020 campaign included a personal-best 70.2% completion rate and 9.2 YPA, and the 21-year-old’s mobility gives him an extra, coveted dimension.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Considered a prototypical pass-catching tight end with plenty of room for development at just 20 years of age, Pitts compiled 97 receptions, 1,499 yards and 17 touchdowns over his last two seasons in Florida. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, the raw tools to eventually evolve into a formidable blocker are seemingly there. His routes and downfield chops are expected to pay immediate dividends.

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Widely considered likely to be the first offensive lineman off the board despite sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID precautions. Sewell left a lasting impression with a 2019 sophomore campaign that saw him garner the Outland and Morris trophies, as well as First-Team All-Pac-12 and Unanimous All-American honors. With a 6-foot-6, 325-pound frame and elite athleticism for a left tackle, he’s also considered a top-10 prospect.

First defensive player picked

Because of the inevitability that the first few picks of the 2021 NFL Draft will be quarterbacks, DraftKings Sportsbook has a market up for First Defensive Player Drafted. Here are those NFL Draft odds.

PlayerOdds
Patrick Surtain II-120
Micah Parsons+200
Kwity Paye+400
Jaycee Horn+450
Jaelan Phillips+1000
Caleb Farley+1600
Gregory Rousseau+2000
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah+4000
Trevon Moehrig-Woodard+5000
Jamin Davis+6600
Azeez Ojulari+6600
Jayson Oweh+6600

How to bet on the NFL draft

In the coming days, more and more prop bets will be released to give bettors action on the 2021 NFL Draft. The most common bet type is for who will be the First Overall Pick, but due to the widespread expectation of Lawrence having this honor locked up, bettors should be willing to look elsewhere rather than chasing the unlikely long shots 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. 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

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. Trevor Lawrence is a heavy favorite and had odds of -3335 at DraftKings Sportsbook in January. This means a $100 bet would return a profit of just $3. These are very low, or short odds. Unless you have a large bankroll to support making big wagers, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

Be sure to shop around, as the odds for each player can vary considerably from sportsbook to sportsbook.

2021 NFL Draft details

Where is the 2021 NFL Draft?

The 2021 NFL Draft will take place in Cleveland, Ohio. Last year it was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 NFL Draft is slated to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When is the 2021 NFL Draft?

Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1

  • 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 2021 NFL draft

The entirety of the 2021 NFL Draft will be broadcast across ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network, as well as streamed on NFL.com.

How the NFL Draft works

Determining draft order

The draft order for spots 1 through 18 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 19 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 was five (2018) during that span. The 2021 NFL Draft should match or surpass the 2018 mark, with Lawrence, Wilson, Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones expected to be picked early.

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.