We’re just two days away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and the betting market is starting to solidify in many places, based on the latest rumors and buzz around the league.
As we continue our preparation for the draft, one area that catches the eye is the first-round position totals.
There are currently seven positions on which DraftKings has defined lines.
Over 4.5 (+120) | Less than 4.5 (-150)
Over 7.5 (+155) | Less than 7.5 (-200)
Over 2.5 (-250) | Less than 2.5 (+190)
Over 0.5 (+145) | Less than 0.5 (-190)
More than 1.5 (-285) | Less than 1.5 (+220)
Over 0.5 (+450) | Less than 0.5 (-700)
More than 6.5 (-105) | Less than 6.5 (-125)
As you may have noticed, there aren’t many odds here that are worth betting on. We certainly expect several safeties to be drafted in the first round, but we’re not going to bet on anything at -285.
There is one market that remains competitively priced, that of wide receivers. This line was 5.5 a few weeks ago and has gone down to 6.5, but it deserves more attention.
Best prospects for wide receivers
There are five players who appear to be surefire locks to get drafted in the first round, namely:
- Garrett Wilson
- jameson williams
- Drake London
- Chris Olave
- Treylon Burk
To consider betting on the bet, we need two more prospects to participate in the first round. The most likely candidates based on betting odds and overall industry rankings:
- Jahan Dotson
- Christian Watson
- Skyy Moore
- George Pickens
A Note on the Wide Receiver Market
It’s important to recognize all the movement in the NFL this offseason with the wide receiver position.
Star receivers Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill have both been traded and won huge contracts, while young receivers AJ Brown, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf all want new offers.
Money talks, and today’s market for star receivers has exploded. A reasonable conclusion might be that teams see how much it costs to get a star receiver at their peak, decide that those resources could be better spent, and choose to expand their receiving room throughout the draft.
This would make this betting market more intriguing. The Packers and Chiefs were content to fire their quarterbacks’ best options, and are now both armed with two first-round picks. It would be a slight surprise to see neither of these teams select a receiver.
Teams in play to draft a first-round receiver
There’s a reasonable argument that eight to nine teams need to be home. This is just one author’s opinion, but the teams that stand out for a potential landing spot for WRs:
- New York Jets
- philadelphia cream
- New Orleans
- Green Bay
- Tampa Bay
- Kansas City
If the Jets don’t trade for Deebo Samuel before the draft, they’re certain to take a passer at No. 10. Philadelphia and New Orleans both have two picks midway through the draft and have a reasonable need for receivers. .
The last four teams here are where we really have to wonder if this market has enough juice to bet on.
The Packers are devoid of wide receiver talent, and after the drama of last year’s draft, it would be a huge surprise to see them not give Aaron Rodgers a new receiver.
Tennessee signed Robert Woods, but with AJ Brown wanting a new contract, they could be in play for a receiver here. Even if they bring Brown back, the offense could use another weapon in the passing game.
Tampa Bay has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but with Antonio Brown out of the picture and their offense’s propensity to pass, they could pick up a WR here to add to a talented roster.
The Chiefs’ current reception hall is JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marques Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman. They’re a decent group, and many see Kansas City taking on the defense to begin with.
It’s tight. There are plenty of talented offensive linemen and defensive contributors who should enter the second half of this first round, and the race for receivers could start in the second round.
For context, here are the current over/under of outlier receivers for draft positioning:
- Christian Watson: over/under 39.5
- Skyy Moore: over/under 35.5
- George Pickens: over/under 36.5
- Jahan Dotson Over/Under 31.5
DraftKings only projects Dotson to enter the first of the latter group, suggesting it may be difficult to reach seven wide receivers in the first.
Officially, the lean here is to bet on the under, set at -125 on DraftKings. It’s a sweaty bet, but it seems like the right approach. You can also consider betting on the first receiver drafted. We like Jameson Williams, whose odds have increased to +175 since this writing.