The 2020 NFL Draft adapted to the times and went virtual.
NFL general managers and coaches, like many across the country, worked from home. Roger Goodell announced the picks from his basement. It makes you wonder what event his wife was holding upstairs that resigned the NFL commissioner to the basement.
With most people staying at home, the NFL Draft reached record levels for betting and viewership.
It also provided its share of drama. Especially for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.
If you would have asked which PA-based team would pick a quarterback, the odds would have overwhelmingly favored the Steelers. However, the Eagles picked Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round with the 53rd pick.
Historic draft for betting
Betting on any draft is not permitted in Pennsylvania. However, it is legal in New Jersey and William Hill offered over 100 prop bets.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill’s U.S. Director of Trading, says they saw a historic level of betting for the draft:
“Nevada’s handle for this draft is around five times bigger versus other years. It’s the equivalent of a Thursday Night Football game. People really love the draft, there’s just so much interest surrounding it. I expect the handle to be similar, or even potentially increase, for next year’s draft.”
The 2020 NFL Draft was the most watched ever. Over the course of three days, it reached more than 55 million viewers representing a 16% increase over the 2019 draft. According NFL Media, each day set new records for viewership.
Round 1 on Thursday: 15.6 million viewers (+37% vs. 2019)
Round 2 & 3 on Friday: 8.2 million viewers (+40% vs. 2019)
Rounds 4-7 on Saturday: 4.2 million viewers (+32% vs. 2019)
Philadelphia had the third-highest ratings (8.6), behind only Columbus, Ohio (8.8) and Cleveland (8.7).
Draft bet winners
Biggest winning 2020 NFL Draft payouts at William Hill:
- $250 to net $5,000 on Tee Higgins first pick on Day 2 (20/1)
- $2,500 to net $2,750 on Cesar Ruiz will be drafted in first round (+110)
- $400 to net $4,000 on Clyde Edwards-Helaire first running back drafted (10/1)
- $2,200 to net $2,000 on Jeff Gladney under 45.5 (-110)
- $2,200 to net $2,000 on Jalen Hurts over 51.5 (-110)
- $2,200 to net $2,000 on Kyle Dugger under 71.5 (-110)
- $500 to net $2,000 on D’Andre Swift first running back, Tee Higgins first wide receiver and Xavier McKinney first safety on Day 2 (4/1)
- $115 to net $2,070 on Cardinals drafting Isaiah Simmons (18/1)
2020 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Picks
The Pittsburgh Steelers shipped their 2020 first round pick to the Miami Dolphins in an early season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Despite a season-ending elbow injury for Ben Roethlisberger during Week 2, the Steelers did not select a candidate to groom to replace the 38-year-old quarterback.
Steelers’ 2020 draft picks:
- Round 2, pick 49: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
- Round 3, pick 102: Alex Highsmith, DE, Charlotte
- Round 4, pick 124: Anthony McFarland, Jr., RB, Maryland
- Round 4, pick 135: Kevin Dotson, G, Louisiana
- Round 6, pick 198: Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland
- Round 7, pick 232: Carlos Davis, DL, Nebraska
Philadelphia Eagles Draft Picks
The Philadelphia Eagles went into the draft with a glaring need for a wide receiver. Despite CeeDee Lamb slipping to #17, the Eagles stayed put at #21. The Dallas Cowboys drafted Lamb and the Eagles chose TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor over LSU receiver Justin Jefferson who was also available.
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) April 14, 2020
Probably the biggest surprise of the 2020 NFL Draft was when the Eagles chose Hurts in the second round. It’s a head-scratcher and a fuel-the-fan’s ire pick.
The Eagles signed Carson Wentz last offseason to a $128 million contract and had other immediate needs that could have been addressed with a second round pick. Instead, they selected Hurts, who appears to be an insurance policy for the often-injured Wentz.
Philadelphia Eagles 2020 Draft picks:
- Round 1, pick 21: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
- Round 2, pick 53: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma,
- Round 3, pick 103: Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
- Round 4, pick 127: K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
- Round 4, pick 145: Jack Driscoll, OL, Auburn
- Round 5, pick 168: John Hightower, WR, Boise State
- Round 6, pick 196: Shaun Bradley, LB, Temple
- Round 6, pick 200: Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Miss
- Round 6, pick 210: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
- Round 7, pick 233: Casey Toohil, LB, Stanford
FanDuel online sportsbook Rookie of the Year odds and Bet Boosts
FanDuel NFL odds boosts (available until 4/29):
- Joe Burrow to win Offensive Rookie of the Year boosted from +250 to +300
- Chase Young to win Defensive Rookie of the Year boosted from +350 to +400
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds:
- Joe Burrow: +250
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire: +800
- Tua Tagovailoa: +800
- D’Andre Swift: +900
- Jonathan Taylor: +950
- Jalen Reagor: +2,800
- Chase Claypool: +4,100
- Jalen Hurts: +6,000
DraftKings online sportsbook Rookie of the Year and bet boosts
DraftKings PA NFL bet boosts:
- Tua Tagovailoa to win Rookie of the Year boosted from +700 to +825
- Rob Gronkowski to win Comeback Player of the Year boosted from +200 to +235
- Tom Brady to complete a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski in week 1 of 2020 regular season boosted from +150 to +170
Defensive Rookie of the Year odds:
- Chase Young: +200
- Isaiah Simmons: +500
- Patrick Queen: +900
- Kenneth Murray: +1,100
- Jeffrey Okudah: +1,600
Offensive Rookie of the Year odds for Eagles and Steelers:
- Jalen Reagor: +2,000
- Jalen Hurts: +8,000
- Anthony McFarland: +10,000
- Chase Claypool: +10,000
FOX Bet online sportsbook boosts
FOX Bet boosts:
- Jalen Reagor to win offensive rookie of the year boosted from +2200 to +2,800
- Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy to combine for over 1999.5 yards receiving yards boosted to +350
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire over 8.5 rushing & receiving TDs boosted to +333
- Steelers to win the AFC boosted from +1200 to +1400
- Packers to win the NFC boosted from +1200 to +1300
- Todd Gurley over 1399.5 rushing yards boosted to +600
Reagor totals vary
Considering the Eagles did not have a wide receiver account for more than 500 receiving yards last year, the Eagles hope Reagor can provide production. The over/under for Reagor’s 2020-2021 regular season total receiving yards vary.
FanDuel: Over/under 700.5
FOX Bet: Over/under +774.5
BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse: Over/under 800.5
Unibet: Over/under 800.5
DraftKings: Over/under 800.5