Late Monday night, Reddit user “SaleAgreeable2834” dispatched a post that sent shockwaves across the NFL betting market. It suggested that Will Levis, a projected top-five pick, told family and friends that he’ll be selected first overall. Not only did the steam on Levis’ NFL draft odds fail to prove founded, but the Kentucky product also didn’t hear his name in the first round at all.
Let’s break down the ripple effect of Levis’ NFL draft odds — for bettors and sportsbooks — before taking a peak at his second round betting market. Click on the odds below to place a wager.
Sportsbooks Clean Up On Levis Odds
Initially, Levis’ draft position checked in at 7.5 — with the under juiced to roughly -165. Then, came the steam. For two consecutive weeks ahead of the draft, Levis was either the favorite to go second or fourth overall, respectively. He closed as a -1500 favorite to be a top-five pick to boot.
Levis’ odds dipped from +5000 to +175 to be the first overall pick over a 60-minute span on Tuesday, thanks to the meritless Reddit announcement. Add it all up and the biggest liability for some sportsbooks — albeit many with lower limits — revolved around the 6-foot-3, 232-pound signal caller.
Nevertheless, Levis’ uneventful evening handed trading rooms the last laugh. Jeff Benson — the director of operators at Circa Sports — noted that the sportsbook earned a fine profit on Levis’ draft position. The market eventually closed at 4.5 (+260 to the over).
Evaluating Post-Levis Draft Steam
The notion that Levis would go off the board rather quickly impacted other markets as well. Pro bettors, like Las Vegas resident Brad Powers, felt more confident in their Levis wagers, as rumors swirled on Thursday night that dual-threat QB Anthony Richardson would slip.
Richardson’s draft position closed at 4.5 — with vig on the over (+145). It even sat as high as 7.5 earlier in the week. However, the Colts snagged him with the fourth overall selection. You can price shop Richardson’s 2023 NFL Rookie of the Year odds, along with the rest of the market.
“Personally, I no longer originate (my own bets) when it comes to betting the NFL draft,” Powers said. “I got conflicting info throughout the last two weeks and had to hedge on multiple players, eating the juice on more than a few.
“When it comes to chasing draft steam, I usually like to know where it originated from. … It’s one of the few events I don’t mind chasing and not getting the best of the number (on draft night itself).
“With regards to Levis, I had an under 4.5 position before the Reddit rumors. While I never believed he would go No. 1 overall, I felt very comfortable that he would go No. 4. … The Colts picking Richardson was the single-biggest draft loser for me since I started betting it seven years ago.”
Fellow pro bettor Rob Pizzola added that draft steam, hours before the first pick, is usually reliable information. To his point, now-Texans QB C.J. Stroud was bet from +430 to -2400 for the No. 2 pick odds — 60 minutes before it all began. Don’t forget, Stroud trailed both Levis and Will Anderson in this market in recent weeks.
“In past years, I would’ve been more inclined to believe the early moves, but there were so many conflicting opinions this year that it made it impossible to trust,” Pizzola said. “It’s also insanely easy to move the entire market (meaning that draft steam on days leading up to the first round may not hold as much weight as some bettors think).”
2023 NFL Draft Odds: Team To Pick Levis
Below are latest odds on where Levis winds up come the second round. The Patriots were initially set at +1800, but those odds have shortened to +900 as of Friday afternoon. The Titans have held steady as the favorite (+220).
FanDuel Sportsbook originally showcased a market on whether Levis or his counterpart Hendon Hooker would be drafted first. Those odds are currently off the board, yet the Raiders are a slight favorite (+410) to nab Hooker’s services in his own betting market.
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