Recently, the Nevada Gaming Control Board passed betting for several markets on the annual NFL Draft. But is this really a success for potential bettors and do sportsbooks in the Silver State have enough time to entice them with an April 26 cutoff date?
After petitioning by an unidentified Silver State sportsbook, the Nevada Gaming Control Board granted approval for sportsbooks to be able to take select bets on the NFL Draft as well as on the Super Bowl MVP and Conn Smythe Trophy. The NGCB approved 17 categories, but not individual player categories or who will be the ultimate overall No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, set to be held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from April 27-29 (ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network).
But with betting in this newfangled and somewhat boring market closing April 26, sportsbooks and operators here in Nevada only have so much time to work with a new product that’s honestly just not as sexy as betting on the World Series of Poker (approved in 2011), college football’s Heisman Trophy winner (approved 2015), MLB’s MVP, Cy Young and Manager of the Year (approved 2016), or maybe even someday the Academy Awards. On the latter, the NGCB has previously denied sportsbooks requests to take action due to the nature of award shows where winners are known in advance. Although off the betting board in Nevada, wagering on the Oscars has provided decent handles for Offshore sportsbooks through the years.
Jay Kornegay, VP of Race and Sports at the largest sportsbook in the world, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, will be posting only some of the 17 passed categories, citing the amount of time his shop would have to put into making good numbers to attract what he told the New York Times may only amount only “grocery dollars” in some of these new and strange markets that are complete variables and can’t help but be affected by suit-and-tie randomness.
Chief of enforcement for the NGCB Karl Bennison said; "We tried to avoid wagers where knowing one team's intent could be used to gain an unfair advantage, before the wagering cut-off date.” And Kornegay made a great point saying, “If a trade happens, it could happen at any time, which could change the entire draft. It could have a rippling effect.” And anyone watching past drafts knows that there are always trades and surprises in Round 1.
“It has to be something that makes us comfortable from a regulatory standpoint,” Chairman A.G. Burnett told Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the NGCB decision. “Most importantly, that the outcome of the event can’t be affected by a bet that is placed.”
For now William Hill has put up numbers for 10 of these NFL Draft props, including “Defensive Players -5½ vs. Offensive Players” selected in Round 1, but the book has seen limited interest, while Wynn Las Vegas reportedly won’t even bother booking this new market.
Draft Categories Now Open For Betting
The 17 categories approved for betting by the NGCB include: the number of players from a particular college drafted in Round 1 as well as in the entire draft; head-to-head conference matchups in Round 1 as well as the entire draft (example: SEC -5½-player favorites vs. Pac-12 in Round 1, William Hill); head-to-head college matchups in Round 1 as well as the entire draft; the number of head-to-head Offensive vs. Defensive players chosen in Round 1; the 'Over/Under' for when the first kicker is chosen; conference X having the most players drafted; college X having most players taken in Round 1 as well as in the entire draft; and head-to-head college matchups (players taken) for Round 1 as well as the entire draft. The NGCB also allowed betting for the Total number of players drafted from given conferences as well as Totals for the numbers of Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receivers taken in Round 1.
Intertops Offering Odds On First QB, RB Selected
Mitch Trubisky (6-2, 222) was a slight -115 favorite over Deshaun Watson (-105) at BetOnline two months ago to be the first QB chosen this year, but now with rumors cropping up Trubisky won't last long the former North Carolina QB is now priced at -200 at Intertops with the former Clemson QB at +200, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes at +1200 and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer at +1400. Intertops also offers a First RB to be selected in the NFL Draft with LSU’s Leonard Fournette a prohibitive -600 chalk with FSU’s Dalvin Cook priced at +450, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey at +1200 and Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon a long shot at +2500 (Intertops).
FIRST QB SELECTED IN 2017 DRAFT PICK: Trubisky -200 (Intertops)