In just two weeks from today, the 2023 NFL Draft will be officially underway. Round One of the 2023 NFL Draft is on Thursday, April 27th, and if you have been checking out the sportsbooks in your state, you may have seen a lot of prop betting markets surrounding the draft opening up. Is there money to be made betting on the NFL Draft? Absolutely.
In sports betting, as much as there is value in diving into quantitative analysis or having a deep understanding of the sport and each team’s players, information is the true name of the game. If you are able to get the correct information from a reliable source or two before the betting market does, and you are able to get down money and beat the market to said information, you should be profitable in the long run.
In the age of social media, talking heads, and all the other nonsense that is out there, how do you determine who is worth listening to and who is just saying words for clicks? Where should you be consuming information? How do you distinguish legitimate information from someone’s opinion?
Let’s dive into all of this and answer those very questions, all with the intent of coming out profitable while betting on the 2023 NFL Draft.
Betting on the 2023 NFL Draft – Do’s
As I mentioned early, so much of sports betting is information. Knowing who is and isn’t playing, the weather, and personal information about players, is huge for getting an edge. While this holds true for all leagues in all sports, there is no other market where information is more paramount for betting than betting on the draft.
I repeat: The only way to win money betting on the 2023 NFL Draft is by having the correct INFORMATION.
How do you get the right information? Let’s take a look.
Betting on the 2023 NFL Draft – Information
When you see lines move in draft markets, as we saw with the odds for the No. 1 overall pick, this is a clear indicator that oddsmakers got information. If they did not get strong, trustworthy information that Bryce Young is the leader to be drafted No. 1 by the Panthers, why would they make him a -1000+ favorite and expose themselves to potential CJ Stroud money at +700? Because those “in the know” have let you know Young is the pick.
You might say, “Well, CJ Stroud was -360 just weeks ago, what did they know or not know then?” That is a valid question but think about it. That was before the Panthers saw both players’ pro days and had meetings with those players. People talk – the NFL and the media surrounding is a circle. If Carolina did not walk away from Alabama’s pro day wanting to draft Bryce Young, why would his odds drop so drastically so quickly?
Is it possible that in the next two weeks, Stroud becomes the favorite again? Sure – but it is highly unlikely. Sportsbooks would not leave themselves open to this much exposure for that long. They are in this to make money too. If they did not think, or even know for a fact, that Young was not going first, the odds would not have shifted as dramatically as they did.
So, how do you know who actually knows what they’re talking about and who just wants clicks? This is not easy since a lot of the talking heads work for major media companies, but there are a few ways to vet the information you are getting.
For starters, at face value, ask yourself, “Who the hell is this person?” I’m serious. Not all pundits are created equally, and some media companies are on people’s payrolls. Anyone can put out an opinion – only certain people talk to the right people and know facts. For example, take the word of beat writers who work at major media outlets. They talk to people in the building for a living – they don’t make podcasts talking about the draft for clicks to make money. If you want a legitimate scoop from each team, read the work of beat writers who have sources in the building.
Secondly, listen or read reports from people who are close to others in the league. A great example is The GM Shuffle podcast with Michael Lombardi. He makes it very clear when he is stating facts or voicing his opinion. He worked in the NFL for 30+ years – he has friends, and there have been a bunch of times draft lines have moved after he spoke. Start paying attention to guys like him, and not guys who got jobs with major outlets by kissing their asses.
Lastly, use your head. Does some random writer who does mock drafts for PFF, the Ringer, or even the Gold Sheet know who is going No. 1? No, they do not. Do people who worked in the league and still have ties in the league with sources know what is going on? Probably, yes, and a great way to tell is if the betting market reacts when they open their mouth.
Information is the key, but another thing you can do to give yourself a chance if you don’t have info is to look at the GM’s draft histories. Where do they normally take these positions? Do they select guys with similar athletic profiles? How does this team view players’ ages? Is there a common theme of draft picks? Just doing this simple digging will get you ahead as well
The moral of the story: if you want to make money betting on the draft – open your ears to the right people and listen to what they have to say.
Betting on the 2023 NFL Draft – Don’ts
As I made it very clear, the draft is an information-driven process, and the only way to make money is to bet on legitimate information or by understanding how and why GMs draft the way they do.
What’s the easiest way to lose money betting on the draft? Using your opinion and biases when taking bets.
Betting on the 2023 NFL Draft – Biases
I will repeat it again because of how true/important it is: INFORMATION IS THE KEY TO WINNING MONEY ON THE NFL DRAFT. If you listen/read the wrong content, or if you just watch players play and think you know better than teams, you’re going to be making your draft bets using bias, and you will probably be wrong and lose money.
Anyone can look at a team’s depth chart and say to themselves, “Oh, this team clearly needs a tackle, they’re gonna draft one right away.” But that is not how this works. You can also fall in love with a player because you watched them play a few times or they went to your alma mater. Just because you view them as a stud does not mean GMs of NFL teams do at all. They have all their medicals, they spoke to their college and high school coaches, and they hung out with the players’ families, I promise, you do not know these prospects better than these teams do.
So, unless you are betting on the draft for fun, do not use your own opinions to make any wagers. Also, do not use mock drafts to mold your opinions on players. NFL teams are aware of mock drafts because it is impossible to ignore them, and it gives them an idea of how the general public views players, but mock drafts are not gospel. How many times have you seen guys who have been given “second-round grades” drafted in round one? Exactly.
Betting on the 2023 NFL Draft – Conclusion
At this point, we can keep this short and sweet. If you watch the lines move, listen to the right people whose words move those lines, understand how GMs operate, and take a look at team needs in that order, you have a great chance of making money on Thursday, April 27th.
If you bet because a player went to your alma mater or you saw them play twice and you think they’re amazing and will help your team, you will greatly decrease your chances of making money in two Thursdays.
The choice is yours.