2023 NFL Draft Odds: Our Betting Preview And Predictions For The Big Picks
2023 NFL Draft Predictions:
- CJ Stroud To Be The Second Overall Pick – 5/1 With Unibet
- Under 4.5 Quarterbacks Will Be Drafted In The First Round – 23/20 With BetVictor
- Jalen Carter To Be The Fifth Overall Pick – Evens With Bet365
They call it the NFL off-season but there’s not much respite these days from gridiron news even when the games stop.
Free agency, contract decisions, rookie scouting and trades - the action never really stops and this coming Thursday night sees one of the tent-pole events of the league calendar - the 2023 NFL Draft.
Kansas City hosts the annual gathering this year, and betting sites have a plethora of markets to have a punt on the front office moves that could make all the difference next season.
What Is The NFL Draft?
The NFL Draft takes place over three days this year, from April 27 to April 29, 2023.
During the Draft every team in the league has to condense months of study and analysis of the top college football prospects to the test.
They then make the selections that could turnaround - or tank - their franchise over the coming years. No pressure, folks!
The Carolina Panthers paid a king’s ransom to take the first overall pick from the Chicago Bears this year, who had secured the privilege over the number two pick Houston Texans in dramatic fashion in Week 18 of the 2022 campaign.
Houston do have another first round pick at 12 as a consolation, while Seattle, Detroit and Philadelphia are also armed with a pair of first night cards to play.
This year's first round will have just 31 picks as the Miami Dolphins serve a penalty for violating the league’s tampering rules which led to the forfeiture of their selection.
Meanwhile, the LA Rams, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers are also pick-less on the first night having swapped their opening night picks already - but they could still make a trade to get involved on Thursday night.
And the host city’s Chiefs, as reigning Super Bowl champions, will close out the first night’s proceedings at the 31st spot.
Who Will Be The First Overall Pick?
The market on the best NFL betting sites has fluctuated quite a lot in the months leading up to the draft, but a consensus has settled around Alabama’s Bryce Young.
When the Panthers made their trade for the top spot it was generally agreed they did so with the intention to take CJ Stroud, the quarterback from Ohio State, who was said to fit new coach Frank Reich’s preferred template at the position.
He became an odds-on favourite, supplanting Young, who had been generally accepted as the most talented player at the most crucial position in this year’s class.
The issue many had with him was his size - he measured in at 5ft 10in and 204lbs at the NFL Scouting Combine, putting him among the slightest prospects at the quarterback in any first round in league history.
That’s a considerable issue in such a brutal sport, but the game is changing and the intervening months have seen Young’s stock rise again based on reports of great interviews, his undoubted talent and an aptitude for the intellectual demands of the position.
The best price available of 1/10 shows that Young will be posing with Carolina’s electric blue jersey on Thursday night barring a major shock.
Who Will Be The Second Overall Pick?
That Stroud was odds-on to go first just months ago might suggest he should be the favourite here, especially with the quarterback-needy Texans currently owning the pick.
But NFL draft seasons can be strange and something odd has happened with the 21-year-old’s standing that could go down in league history if teams pass on him only to see him light up the league in years to come.
Rumours were already suggesting that the Texans may not take a QB at all before whispers of disappointing test scores and interviews filtered out about him.
They set the stage for a random Reddit post to cause Kentucky passer Will Levis to surge past him in markets.
Stroud is now 5/1 with Unibet to go second overall – he was odds-on to be first six weeks ago - while Levis is as short as 2/1 having very recently been regarded as the fourth-best quarterback at most on the board.
However, a different position might also be in the frame at number two, with pass-rushers figuring prominently.
Will Anderson is priced 3/1 with UK bookmakers, while Tyree Wilson is 11/8 to get the nod.
How Many Quarterbacks Will Be Drafted In The First Round?
There wasn’t much pop about the 2022 crop of quarterbacks, but this year should see more interest at the position.
Young is as close to lock as you can get, Levis and Stroud have their admirers and shouldn’t last until day two.
Meanwhile, the physically thrilling prospect Anthony Richardson of Florida saw his popularity surge after a great Combine performance
Beyond that, however, Hendon Hooker has been talked about by some, but it’s difficult to make the case for a first round pick for the 25-year-old, especially as he’ll miss the 2023 season recovering from a knee injury.
As such, the 23/20 available at BetVictor for Under 4.5 quarterbacks in the first round seems a generous price.
Who Will Be The First Wide Receiver And Tight End Drafted?
Unusual for recent draft classes, the tight end position might offer more to teams looking for playmakers than wide receiver or running back.
Michael Mayer from Notre Dame and Dalton Kincaid of Utah are two of the most touted tight ends in years. Traditionally, the position does not offer instant plug-and-play options but these two look set to buck that trend.
Kincaid is rated at 7/5 to be the first at the position off the board, behind Mayer who is odds-on at 10/17 with Bet365.
However, the former could be the best pass-catcher in the draft and that skill-set may tempt a team to move for him before the more rounded Mayer.
There’s a more settled picture at wide receiver, where Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a 4/11 favourite to be first picked at various betting sites, while Zay Flowers is next in the betting at 5/1.
Green Bay, who have long avoided spending premium draft capital on receivers, could break that habit at 13, having traded away Aaron Rodgers, and take him.
He probably won’t fall the Baltimore at 22, who desperately need some playmakers despite signing Odell Beckham, so they could be a destination for Flowers.
Who Will Draft Jalen Carter?
Whichever team goes for Jalen Carter could snare the bargain of the draft because of his off-field issues.
The Seattle Seahawks at fifth overall have a lot of appeal as they often take risks in the draft and are known for going against the tide.
The Seahawks also could do with bolstering their pass-rush. They are Evens with Bet365 to take the defensive tackle from Georgia as the fifth pick.
Who Will Draft Bijan Robinson?
There’s only one running back expected to go off the board on the first day, Bijan Robinson from Texas.
A lot of people will say a first round pick at the position is an overspend, and generally they have a point, but Robinson is accepted as a genuine three-down rusher who can make plays in the passing game too.
As such, he has the potential to play a role similar to Saquon Barkley for the Giants and offers an interesting avenue for teams looking for a new identity.
Atlanta currently lead the betting as 2/1 favourites to select him with the eighth overall pick.
However, with Washington set to change ownership, they might be tempted to make a move for Robinson if he drops to 16, at they are an interesting price at 13/2 with betting apps.
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