The very first NFL Draft took place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1936. The very first player selected was Jay Berwanger, the first-ever winner of what would later be called the Heisman Trophy.
The need for the draft arose because players went to the team that offered them the most money, and it left other teams at a competitive disadvantage. The Philadelphia Eagles were one such club, and it was Eagles co-owner Bert Bell who first proposed the draft, which was adopted unanimously by the league.
A note of the changing times – only 24 of the 81 players selected in the 1936 draft went on to play in the NFL, as going from college football to the pros simply wasn’t the desire of most players, including the first pick, Berwanger. Instead of playing football he took a job with a Chicago rubber company and coached part-time at the University of Chicago.
The draft kept expanding – first with nine rounds, and by 1943 it was up to 32 rounds and a total of 300 players selected. Scouting was hard, so most of the players drafted came from media reports and coaching connections.
At its peak in 1976, the NFL Draft had a total of 487 players drafted in 17 rounds. The next year it dropped to 12 rounds, and by 1994 we had just seven rounds, where the draft stands today.
Betting on the NFL Draft
If you like NFL betting, you will like NFL Draft betting. And the best part is the ease with which you can learn to be a top NFL Draft bettor. There is no shortage of information to read prior to placing your bets, and there is no shortage of potential bets.
Betting on the NFL Draft doesn’t have a long history like betting on NFL games, with only Nevada allowing NFL Draft betting prior to the legalization of sports betting in states across America. But now that so many in the U.S. can place draft bets, the NFL Draft betting industry is booming. It’s even got quite a following in European markets, where the NFL is popular and NFL betting is big.
2022 NFL Draft Information
From 1965 to 2014 the NFL Draft was held in New York City, with the final nine of those years taking place at Radio City Music Hall.
In 2015 and 2016 it was held in Chicago, and then it began making the rounds of NFL cities. After Chicago it went to Philadelphia, then Dallas and Nashville, Cleveland, and this year it is in Las Vegas.
The 2022 NFL Draft has seven rounds and a total of 262 picks, with 39 of those picks coming as compensatory picks. Those are awarded for losing players to free agency and hiring minority head coaches or coordinators.
Both the Chiefs and Jaguars have 12 total picks, the most in the NFL. Jacksonville has the top pick in the draft, and multiple picks in the third, sixth, and seventh rounds. Kansas City has multiple picks in the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh rounds.
The Miami Dolphins have the fewest picks in the draft with just four. They don’t pick until the third round with pick No. 102.
The first round will be held on Thursday, April 28, beginning at 8:00 pm ET. The second and third rounds are on Friday, April 29, beginning at 7:00 pm ET. On Saturday, April 30, at noon ET the fourth through seventh rounds begin.
2022 NFL Draft Order
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- New York Giants (from Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos)
- New York Jets (from Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (from Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Dolphins)
- New Orleans Saints (from Colts via Eagles)
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Saints)
- New Orleans Saints (from Eagles)
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (from Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers via Dolphins)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (from Rams)
How Do NFL Draft Odds Work?
Unlike betting on NFL games, there are no points and point spreads for the NFL Draft. These bets are handled like moneyline bets – the more likely a bet is to happen, the shorter the odds. The more unlikely something is to happen, the longer the odds.
NFL Draft betting odds are no different than when you place a futures bet. You are betting on an event that hasn’t happened yet, and the less we know about the outcome, the bigger the payout. If you bet on one of the top defensive ends to get picked first overall, the worst betting odds you can get are +140. If you bet on quarterback Malik Willis to go No. 1 overall, the odds are +4000.
At +140 you would get $14 in profit for every $10 you wager. At +4000 you get $400 for every $10 you wager.
Draft Bets Explained
The most common NFL Draft bet is on the first overall pick.
Aidan Hutchinson had been the favorite in the early going, paying odds of +140. But on current draft boards right now the favorite is Georgia defensive end Travon Walker. He is paying -160 at the moment to be selected first overall.
Something to consider when betting on either of these two players is that each of the last four first overall picks has been a quarterback, in Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, and Baker Mayfield. But two of the four picks prior to this current run were defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.
Following the two defensive ends, Walker and Hutchinson, on the favorites board this year are offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu (+750), offensive tackle Evan Neal (+1600), and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
If you’re unsure about a top overall pick or simply like the odds better here, you can bet on if a player will be selected in the top five.
The NFL Draft betting odds have Travon Walker listed at -1400 to come off the board in the top five, followed by Kayvon Thibodeaux at -400. Oddsmakers are still skeptical of a quarterback going this high, with Malik Willis paying +400 if he is selected with one of the top five picks in the draft.
In order to win this bet, it doesn’t matter where the player is drafted, as long as it’s by the fifth pick. If he goes with the sixth pick or later, the bet is lost.
Betting on the draft position is like betting the over/under on a game. A line is given, and you place your wager on if the player is going to be selected earlier than that line (under) or later than the line (over).
Kayvon Thibodeaux has a line of 4.5. If you bet the under then he needs to be selected in the top four picks in order for the bet to win. If he goes with the fifth pick or later, the over wins.
Aidan Hutchinson has a line of 1.5. If you bet the under and it hits the bet pays +140, just like the bet for Hutchinson to go No. 1 overall. Everything after the first pick pays -180 if you take the over.
This is a bet on the number of players at a particular position that will be drafted in the first round. Like with draft position, this is an over/under bet.
The total number of defensive players selected in the first round has a line of 15.5. If 16 or more players are selected and you bet the over, your payout is -125. If you take the under and the total number of defensive players drafted in the first round is 15 or fewer, your bet pays -105.
The line on offensive players is 16.5, with the over paying -110 and the under paying -120.
Much has been made about the wide receiver depth in this draft, and the line on first round wide receivers is 6.5. A great class in 2021 netted five first round picks. Six wide receivers were selected in 2020, and only two went in 2019.
If the over hits for wide receivers in 2022 it will be the most off the board in the first round since seven were selected in the 2004 draft.
The line on quarterbacks drafted in the first round is 2.5, with Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett seeming to be locks to go in the first round. It’s that third quarterback that’s the question mark, with Desmond Ridder and Matt Corral both hoping to make it into the first round.
If only two quarterbacks are selected it will be the fewest first round picks since 2015, when Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were taken.
NFL Draft Betting Frequently Asked Questions
It varies from sportsbook to sportsbook, but generally, you can place wagers on individual pick positions, over/under on pick positions, position over/unders, college team and conference over/unders, head-to-head player pick position, and a host of other potential bets. Be sure to check what your sportsbook offers before registering an account.
The NFL Draft begins with the first round on Thursday, April 28, at 8:00 pm ET. The second and third round takes place the following night at 7:00 pm ET, with rounds four through seven taking place on Saturday, April 30, at noon ET.
The first round on Thursday night will take roughly three hours. The second and third rounds on Friday night will take around four hours. The broadcast on Saturday of rounds four through seven generally takes between six and seven hours.
Seven rounds and 32 teams (minus the Saints’ forfeited sixth round pick) equals 223 picks, yet this draft has 262 picks. That means there are 39 compensatory picks awarded by the NFL.
Compensatory picks are awarded to teams if they lose more or better free agents than they acquired in the previous season. There is a maximum of 32 compensatory picks for free agency, and this year another seven were awarded as special compensatory picks for having a minority employee hired as a head coach or general manager.
The supplemental draft is held for players that for one reason or another were not eligible to be selected in the main NFL Draft. The supplemental draft is usually held later in the summer, but there is no firm timeline, and the pool of eligible players changes from year to year.