I’m writing this literally six hours before the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, and here’s a list of Things We Know With Probably 99% Certainty:
1) The Carolina Panthers will select Bryce Young with the No. 1 pick. He’s at -5000 at FanDuel, much to the chagrin of Reddit user SaleAgreeable2834, who was pretty darn confident Will Levis was going to be the top pick.
One of the top trending posts on Reddit is from 'SaleAgreeable2834' — an account created six days ago.
It claims that Kentucky QB Will Levis has told people he will be drafted #1 overall by Carolina.
Odds for Levis to go #1 have shifted from +4000 to +400 within hours. pic.twitter.com/qbAW9M6uqC
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 25, 2023
And that’s the end of the “things we know” list when it comes to sportsbook odds.
Here’s our second list: Things We Think We Know With Say, Oh, a 40% Degree of Certainty:
1) Will Anderson will be the second pick, taken by the Houston Texans. He’s at -350 at DraftKings.
Will Anderson is now -500 to be the second overall pick at Caesars
— Connor Allen (@ConnorAllenNFL) April 27, 2023
And now, here’s our third list:
Things we don’t know but are interested in
In other words, the “burning questions” referenced in the headline. Here are the top five of those:
1) Who will be the third pick? Well, it depends. If the Arizona Cardinals keep the pick, Anderson at +250 (though he’ll probably be gone) or fellow edge rusher Tyree Wilson (+650) or offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (+400) would seem to be the most likely picks.
But if the Cardinals trade the pick, it’s almost certainly going to a team (Raiders? Titans? Colts?) that needs/wants a quarterback. If that’s the case, then it’s CJ Stroud (+140), Will Levis (+550), or Anthony Richardson (+1000) who could get picked here.
Anthony Richardson is going to go a lot higher than most people expect tonight and that's not a guess.
— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) April 27, 2023
NFL Draft Day is here.
With so many moving pieces already, Sports Handle has you covered on what you need to know about the betting side of day one of the NFL Draft.#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/ZppBJa7lJC
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) April 27, 2023
2) How about the fourth pick? This is where the Colts currently sit, and it’s a foregone conclusion they’re taking a quarterback, as evidenced by the odds here. At FanDuel, Levis is +125, Richardson is +125, and Stroud is +450. It would appear, based on Stroud’s odds for picks three and four, that sportsbooks expect the Cardinals to dish their pick to a team high on Stroud.
3) Where does Bijan Robinson land? As recently as five years ago, he would’ve easily been a top-three pick based on the other talent in this year’s draft, if not the first pick. But due to the way quarterback contracts are structured, combined with the mostly correct belief that running backs are fungible, Robinson and his Saquon Barkley-like skills will almost certainly fall to at least the eighth pick, where the Falcons reside. He’s +250 to go eighth at FanDuel. From there, the Eagles are probably next in line with the 10th pick, and those odds are at +600. After that? Start with the shrugging shoulders emoji, because who knows? The Commanders are +950, the Texans +1000, the Cowboys +1100, the Titans +1400.
A darkhorse? How about the Lions at +1400 or the Patriots at +1800? Truth is, if Robinson falls past the Eagles, it’s really anyone’s guess.
4) Will Hendon Hooker go in the first round? This one is important for the over/under of the number of quarterbacks taken in the first round. This market opened at +550 on the over; it’s been bet all the way down to -150 at DraftKings. Hooker takes have split the internet.
"Give me Hendon Hooker over Will Levis and Anthony Richardson." – @dannykanell thinks Hooker will be the QB steal of the Draftpic.twitter.com/Ks6XkeILoX
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 18, 2023
Jalen Hurts is entering his 4th season and just signed a $255,000,000 contract
Hendon Hooker is older than Jalen Hurts
Josh Jacobs & Devin White were drafted in 2019 and are entering their 5th season
Hendon Hooker is older than both of them
Hooker is also older than these QBs…
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 27, 2023
5) Who will be the first wide receiver drafted? Jaxon Smith-Njigba has long been the favorite, currently at -350 at FanDuel. But almost all draftniks say this wide receiver class is subpar, and not everyone is sold on Smith-Njigba going first. One name that keeps popping up is Quentin Johnston, at +1000 at FanDuel. Why? Because he’s the only top “big” receiver in the class, and if a team has a need there, its GM may reach for him.
Lastly, please note this story will undoubtedly be rendered moot by a random Reddit post in the coming minutes, so if you find any of the above odds appealing, act quickly.