How to Bet the NFL Draft: 5 Expert Tips, Including How to Use Mock Drafts and Types of Props To Target

How to Bet the NFL Draft: 5 Expert Tips, Including How to Use Mock Drafts and Types of Props To Target article feature image

Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NFL Draft logo

With the 2022 NFL Draft set to kickoff on Thursday, April 28, it's the perfect time to go over how to approach it from a betting perspective.

Below are five tips to betting on the NFL draft, from how to use mock drafts to which types of props to target, followed by my six favorite bets ahead of Thursday night's opening round.

» Click here to skip ahead to Chris Raybon's 2022 NFL Draft bets «

How to Bet the NFL Draft

1. Use Mock Draft Consensus Sites

If you're betting on the NFL draft, you're going to need a sense of each player's expected draft position. Betting on the draft without ever looking at a mock draft is asking for it, but even using only one mock — no matter how trusted the source– is still suboptimal compared to using a wisdom-of-the-crowds approach.

There are websites that aggregate data from hundreds of mock drafts across the industry. Those provide you with more accurate information regarding expected draft position, providing an average expected draft position for each player as well as other data, such as highest and lowest positions drafted in mocks, which can also be helpful with certain type of draft props.

Two of my favorite sites are:

2. Bet Less Popular Props

Just like the biggest edges on NFL player props often come from betting the under on an obscure third-stringer rather than the over on a star player, the same is true of NFL draft props.

Nearly everyone who cares enough to bet the draft will have an opinion on Travon Walker vs. Aiden Hutchinson as the No, 1 pick, but how many bettors are thinking about whether Skyy Moore's draft position will go over or under 35.5? Because the latter prop isn't as popular, less money will come in on the prop overall, which will typically result in a softer and more exploitable number.

Continuing with the Moore example, Grinding the Mocks pegs Moore's expected draft position at 42.7 while NFL Mock Draft Database has him 48th overall, indicating a 7-13 spot difference between the market and thus major value on the over.

3. Fade Quarterbacks

This goes hand-in-hand with No. 2, as quarterbacks are the most popular position and therefore tend to be overrated in the market.

For example, Kenny Pickett is considered the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft. Even though some of his buzz has worn off, his draft position over/under still sits at 16.5 at DraftKings as of writing — well above where he's expected to be selected, based at Grinding the Mocks (No. 20) and NFL Mock Draft Database (No. 21).

Whether it's betting the over on expected draft position for individual quarterbacks or the under on number of quarterbacks taken in Round 1, there seems to be value on fading the position every single year in the draft prop market.

4. Leverage Information From Related Prop Markets

Many times, the odds for one prop market can give you information about whether to bet another prop.

For example, suppose you are looking to bet over/under 0.5 running backs taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. There are two markets that can give you insight on this prop.

  • Breece Hall, the consensus No. 1 running back, has an over/under of 37.5 (outside the first round).
  • The Bills, considered by many as the only team likely to take a running back in Round 1, have odds to take a running back in Round 1 at +350 — much longer than their odds of taking a defensive back at +150 (bet $100 to win $150).

5. Remember You're Betting On What Will Happen, Not What Should Happen

This is probably obvious to most, but it's still worth stating: NFL general managers aren't always rational, and may not always draft based on what you or I perceive their biggest need is, or select who you or I think is the best player on the board at the pick.

Whenever you can, look at past data of what a GM or front office has done in the past as far as which positions they've tended to target and avoid in Round 1, how often they drafted for need versus best player available, etc.

2022 NFL Draft Picks

  • Steelers to draft Malik Willis (+300)
  • Under 2.5 QBs In Round 1 (+150)
  • Under 0.5 RBs In Round 1 (-200)
  • Under 0.5 TEs in Round 1 (-700)
  • Garrett Wilson drafted before Jameson Williams (-140)
  • Skyy Moore's Draft Position Over 35.5 (-145)
  • Kenneth Walker's Draft Position Over 44.5 (-120)
  • Matt Corral's Draft Position Over 32.5 (-149)
  • John Metchie III's Draft Position Over 56.5 (-120)
  • Sam Howell's Draft Position Over 42.5 (-120)

All bets can be found at DraftKings as of writing. Listen to Chris Raybon's case for betting each of the above picks on a special 2022 NFL Draft edition of the Action Network Podcast.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.