2023 NFL Draft Props: Best Bets (Fantasy Football)
Kyle and I have taken on the NFL Draft over the last two years from a wagering perspective and spent several DFS Podcasts last offseason talking about the Draft from a prop betting perspective. Overall, this was a great learning experience and a ton of fun! We’re taking the plunge early this year and will be sure to update this article with each bet we personally make. Of course, we’ll also be talking about the NFL Draft on multiple DFS shows over the course of March and especially April, so make sure you’re subscribed on your favorite podcast platform.
The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on April 27th. As the days and weeks go by, more and more NFL Draft props will become available across a variety of sportsbooks. We recommend shopping around for the best lines and prices whenever possible.
General Strategy and Thoughts
- Betting NFL Draft props will not make you rich – This is a relatively soft market and honestly, a bit of a niche market. Books are very willing to take on thousands and thousands of dollars (even millions at times) on NFL lines and totals because they’re extremely efficient lines and Vegas knows they’re going to win in the long term. Most books will set a limit on the amount of money you can place on a prop bet and that includes the NFL Draft.
- This market is fluid and is sure to change – Unlike NFL spreads and totals, where we may only see things shift by a point or two, the odds and values of these props will change drastically over a couple of months. We recommend viewing this process as a market and being willing to adjust as necessary. At times, it might even make sense to bet the same prop but with a different player, if you think the market has moved enough in the wrong direction.
- Build a portfolio – It’s certainly possible to win a few wagers if you’re only betting a handful, but because this market is so fluid, there’s going to be inefficiencies all over the place. For example, there might be value in a bet right now in February that no longer has value in April. Similarly, new information might become available in March that wasn’t available in February, and now the bet you just placed a month ago looks off. Don’t get take lock – adjust!
- Be sure to shop around at multiple books if you’re able – If you live in a state with legalized wagering that offers multiple books, be sure to try to find the best odds, prices, and even types of wagers that are available. Because this is a niche market, it’s difficult for books to wrap their heads around a market that might adjust day to day and week to week by the time mid-April gets here.
NFL Draft Props We’ve Bet Before the NFL Combine
**Lines accurate at time of publishing**
We’ll be taking bigger stands as we get more information in the coming weeks. Just for transparency sake, here are a couple of wagers we’ve taken in the last few weeks prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, which took place in late February and early March.
1. Jordan Addison to be the 1st WR Taken (+200)
Analysis: Addison is a former Biletnikoff Award winner and has one of the best Production Profiles in the 2023 class. He’s also frequently mocked inside the first round of the NFL Draft according to GrindingTheMocks and NFL Mock Draft Database. We know size isn’t as valuable to the NFL as it once was when it comes to WRs, so we’ll fade the favorite, Quentin Johnston, here and take Addison at plus money.
Update: Addison posted one of the worst weight-adjusted speed scores at the NFL Combine. While he’s still likely to go in Round 1, he’s now +600 to be the first WR taken. As of now, we wouldn’t chase him in this market. Jaxon Smith-Njigba excelled in his agility drills and reportedly interviewed very well. He’s now the favorite at -150.
2. C.J. Stroud to be the first QB Taken (+425)
Analysis: Bryce Young is the odds-on favorite to be the first QB taken, but there’s so much up in the air right now with several QB-needy teams potentially looking to trade up for the #1 overall pick. Indianapolis, Carolina, and Las Vegas are all candidates to go up and get their guy. While Young is largely considered the consensus QB1 in the class by most NFL Draft analysts, Stroud profiles as a higher floor pick and could be a preferred option by a certain coaching staff if he fits their scheme. In addition, with the combine coming up in a few days, it’s possible Young’s height and weight work against him depending on his official weigh-in.
Update: After the Panthers traded up to the #1 overall pick, C.J. Stroud’s odds to be the first QB taken have inflated to -275 on most books. Current QBs coach Josh McCown raved about Stroud and new head coach Frank Reich has historically worked with bigger-bodied pocket passers (Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz), and Stroud fits that bill. That said, laying heavy juice at this point in the process isn’t something we’d recommend.
NFL Draft Props We’ve Bet After the NFL Combine
**Lines accurate at the time of publishing**
3. Team to Draft Anthony Richardson: Raiders (+1500) and Lions (+1200)
Analysis: These are the exact type of long-shot bets that make the NFL Draft so fun. We’re placing a small wager on both of these teams at long odds to land Florida’s Anthony Richardson, who blew up the combine with the best QB performance we’ve ever seen. While the Raiders and Lions both have a short-term QB in place with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jared Goff, both of these QBs are largely viewed as “bridge QBs” so these landing spots are ideal for a raw prospect like Richardson. Just a few days before signing Jimmy G in free agency, the Raiders were reportedly involved in trade discussions for the #1 overall pick before Carolina sealed the deal. The Seahawks also fit the bill as a team who could land Richardson with Geno Smith on a short-term deal, but there isn’t much value left in the market as of mid-March (+200).
4. Bryce Young to be the No. 1 Overall Pick (+225)
Analysis: Hedging our C.J. Stroud ticket here to increasee the likelihood we get the No. 1 overall pick correct at plus money. The Panthers are certainly taking a QB with the first pick and while most mock drafts have them taking C.J. Stroud, they’re reportedly undecided on the position. In Daniel Jeremiah’s most recent mock draft, he had Carolina taking Stroud, writing, “The Panthers will do their homework on this year’s top quarterback prospects over the next month, but I believe Young is the best of the bunch and will emerge as their target.” It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that the Texans trade to go up to No. 1 to get their guy, which could be Young.
5. Anthony Richardson to Go Ahead of Will Levis (-240)
Analysis: In the “Who Will Be Drafted Earlier?” section, this one stands out. Laying -240 is not a fun endeavor but we’ve laid some serious juice on NFL Draft bets before (-400 Micah Parsons 1st LB taken) where we felt more confident than what the market said. In the “3rd QB Selected” market, Levis is currently +380 but only +190 in being drafted before Richardson. We’ve received little to no news of any team hyped about Levis or connecting him to a top-5 pick while Richardson’s insane combine performance and consistent media drumbeat since has catapulted into the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick for some. According to MockDraftDatabase.com, Richardson is connected most with the Colts at No. 4 overall with Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock dropping Levis to No. 19. We would expect this line to move closer and closer to -400.