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2023 NFL Draft Odds: C.J. Stroud Could Still Be No. 1 Pick (But Don’t Bet On It)

2023 NFL Draft Odds: C.J. Stroud Could Still Be No. 1 Pick (But Don’t Bet On It) article feature image

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7).

There’s nothing like betting on the NFL Draft — and the 2023 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a betting event unlike any draft before.

You can start with the 2023 NFL Draft odds, which have moved in some incredible ways over the past couple of weeks. Bryce Young has become a whopping -1000 to -1200 favorite to be the first overall pick and there’s a potential cascade of chaos left in the wake of that possibility.

On this week’s episode of “The Favorites” — newly presented by bet365, the world’s favorite sportsbook brand! — Chad Millman and Simon Hunter were joined by one of the most astute NFL mock draft experts, Nick Guarisco, to break down all the tumult and tidbits surrounding the 2023 NFL Draft and 2023 NFL Draft odds.

Guarisco, better known as Fantasy Law Guy, has finished among the top six most accurate mock drafts (according to Mock Draft Database) in three of the past four years. Naturally, Millman and Hunter dove right in to Young catapulting to the top of NFL Draft odds boards.

Guarisco feels Young will be the No. 1 pick — but he wouldn’t have said so just a few days ago. However, he agreed with Hunter that even with Young being such a big favorite in the betting markets, he wouldn’t be shocked if C.J. Stroud still goes No. 1 to Carolina:

“I’d be surprised, but I don’t think we should rule it out to this point, especially because I believe Stroud has a visit with Carolina coming up this week. [Editor’s note: That visit was reportedly set for Tuesday.] And I bet you we hear some stuff like, ‘Oh, well, C.J. Stroud’s giving them something to think about now,’ and I could just kind of see that playing out this week, but we’ll see. As of now, I have Young.”

Of course, on Wednesday, we sort of heard the opposite, with reports that Stroud had passed on a rather high-profile commitment, which was another red flag for some:

Report: CJ Stroud made a commitment to the Manning Passing Academy but “the night before he ghosted them and didn’t show up”, per @Brady_Quinn

"When you do that, that's gonna set up alarms for people."

Quinn noted that as one of three concerns with Stroud (h/t @PanthersAnalyst)

— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 19, 2023

So while Guarisco wouldn’t find Stroud going No. 1 overall “shocking,” he pointed out that the odds and all the other signs certainly point strongly to Young — even if only because Carolina’s “suspiciously” loud interest in Young could be a smoke screen built around the Texans’ love of Young, which Guarisco said is the “worst-kept secret” in the draft.

From there, the crew discussed how often Guarsico updates his mock drafts and why he treats them with such urgency:

“I think that a lot of experts kind of do a disservice by only putting out like one mock every, you know, two weeks or whatever it is. Every bit of information — Simon knows this better than anyone, the draft market is extremely fragile. One little report by anyone, not even a credentialed media member, somebody who just has a lot of followers, can put something out there and change things.”

Hunter then shared his response to the Young line movement as someone who is heavily invested in Stroud being the No. 1 pick. Take it on the chin and, if anything, add a little bit more to my Stroud portfolio. Simon also explained how, as someone who has worked with NFL teams, he has seen owners possibly overrule their football people on drafts, citing examples of meddling and owners staying out of the way, and wondered how much that is at play with the Panthers.

For more, including a discussion on how the breadth of NFL draft betting markets has changed in just a few years — and maybe not for the better, at least for bettors — and where Anthony Richardson and other big names in the 2023 NFL Draft might be expected to land, check out this week’s episode of “The Favorites,” presented by bet365!

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