AP Photo/Bob Leverone
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | 2 a.m.
The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away. For many fans, those patiently waiting for a new season to begin at the end of the summer, the draft gives a few days of relief in the weeks with no games to occupy the weekend.
The draft will bring more excitement this year for those in Nevada because sports books have received permission take wagers on the draft for the first time.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board last weekend granted approval to offer prop bets on the draft, and that’s exactly what they’re doing from now until April 26 — the day before the draft. They can’t offer wagers on specific players or picks, but can take bets on how many of a certain position will be drafted in a certain round, or how many players from a specific college will be selected.
We found a few prop bets worth wagering on. Here’s why:
Prop: What round will the first placekicker be taken?
Pick: Rounds 4 to 7 at minus-120
William Hill offers a wager on whether the first kicker will be selected in the first three rounds, or the last four rounds. Surprisingly, bettors only have to lay minus-120 (risking $1.20 to win $1) for the last four rounds, which is historically much more likely to happen.
Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Roberto Aguayo in the second round, but it was the first time a kicker has been chosen in the first three rounds in 11 years. Only two kickers have been chosen in the first three rounds since 2001.
This year’s top prospect is Zane Gonzalez out of Arizona State, but most draft sites have him projected to go in the fifth or sixth round at the highest. It’s also worth noting that if no kicker gets drafted the wager is refunded.
Prop: Number of quarterbacks selected in first round
Pick: Under 3.5 at minus-150
There are really only four quarterbacks that could reasonably go in the first round (Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes II), so bettors on the over will need all four to be picked in order to cash their ticket.
Not only is this class weak at quarterback, but it’s also loaded on the defensive side. Teams will opt for the more talented defenders and wait to fill their need at the quarterback position.
Prop: Which conference will have more first-round selections
Pick: Big Ten minus-0.5 vs. Pac-12
The Pac-12 is projected by most draft sites to have four players selected in the first round (Solomon Thomas, John Ross, Garett Bolles and Takkarist McKinley). Don’t be surprised if the Big Ten has as many as seven first-round selections led by Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley.
While there are other Pac 12 players who could sneak into the first, like Christian McCaffrey, Adoree' Jackson and Ahkello Witherspoon, they shouldn’t match the Big Ten.
Prop: Will there be more offensive or defensive players selected in first round
Pick: Offensive plus-5.5 at minus-120
This is not a bet for the weak of heart. Taking the offensive players plus-5.5 is the right play, but it could look ugly early on.
The draft is stacked on the defensive side of the ball, and nine of the first 10 picks could be defensive players. With that being said, it should even out as the round goes on, and 5.5 picks is just too big of a line.
The offensive linemen are down this year, but there are too many talented receivers, running backs and tight ends to lay that many selections with the defense.
Here is a list of the draft wagers available at William Hill :
Number of Alabama players selected in the first round
Over 4.5 minus-140
Under 4.5 plus-120
Number of LSU players selected in the first round
Over 2.5 plus-110
Under 2.5 minus-130
Number of SEC players selected in the first round
Over 11.5 plus-110
Under 11.5 minus-120
Which conference will have more first-round selections: SEC or Pac-12?
Pac 12 plus-5.5
Which conference will have more first-round selections: SEC or Big Ten?
Big Ten plus-4.5
Which conference will have more first-round selections: Pac-12 or Big Ten
Big Ten minus-0.5
Pac 12 plus-0.5
More offensive or defensive players selected in first round
What round will the first placekicker be taken?
Rounds 1 to 3 even money
Rounds 4 to 7 minus-120
Number of quarterbacks taken in the first round
Over 3.5 at plus-130
Under 3.5 at minus-150
Number of running backs taken in the first round
Over 2.5 at minus-160
Under 2.5 at plus-140