The first NFL draft was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1936.
From its humble beginnings in Philly, to Radio City Music Hall, to Nashville, and a brief retreat to Roger Goodell‘s basement, interest in the NFL draft has exploded.
With the expansion of legalized sports betting, the NFL draft’s popularity is also growing at sportsbooks.
However, in states like Pennsylvania, wagering on the 2021 NFL Draft in April is not permitted…Yet.
NFL Draft betting in Pennsylvania
Johnny Avello, head of sportsbook and gaming operations at DraftKings, says NFL draft betting markets have gained popularity. He expects the trajectory to continue and DraftKings to add more betting markets surrounding the draft.
“We are writing more money for them every year. People are learning how to handicap the draft. You can listen to (Mel) Kiper and look at mock drafts but things change quickly, especially in the three to five days leading up to the draft. It’s about keeping your eyes open and making those choices early.”
“Sounds great, Johnny. But I’m in Pennsylvania and can’t bet on the draft,” I said to the veteran Vegas bookmaker.
Avello believes that will change.
“Eventually, states will get comfortable with it,” he said.
Why you can’t bet on the NFL Draft in PA
Act 42 of Pennsylvania’s state gambling expansion law defines sports wagering as:
“The business of accepting wagers on sporting events or on the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sporting event or combination of sporting events by any system or method of wagering, including over the Internet through websites and mobile applications. The term includes, but is not limited to, exchange wagering, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools and straight bets.”
Basically, the general rule of thumb on if a certain type of wager is offered in Pennsylvania is, “Does the action take place in the field of play?” Wagers can only be accepted on events that involve the direct outcome of an athletic contest. A walk to the podium, holding up a jersey and giving Goodell a bear hug does not constitute an athletic event.
Will there ever be a time that Pennsylvanians can bet on the NFL draft?
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said that the Gaming Act would need to be amended by the legislature for that to happen.
2021 NFL Draft betting
Betting on the NFL is, however, permitted in nearby New Jersey.
New Jersey sports betting apps offer various 2021 NFL Draft markets.
DraftKings NJ has odds for:
- No. 1 overall pick (The favorite: Trevor Lawrence, -10000)
- 2nd overall pick (The favorite: Zach Wilson, -2000)
- 3rd overall pick (The favorite: Mac Jones, -305)
- Team to draft Trey Lance (The favorite: Denver Broncos, +300)
- Draft position specials
- 1st Round totals
- Player Top 5 odds
- Player Top 10 odds
Philadelphia Eagles head into draft with plenty of needs
A disappointing 4-11-1 season had immediate consequences for the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Doug Pederson was fired in January. Then, about a month later, they shipped disgruntled franchise quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, taking on a $33.8 million dead-cap hit, the largest ever.
The Eagles’ woeful record landed them the No. 6 pick in the draft. Visions of LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase or Florida’s tight end/wide receiver hybrid Kyle Pitts filled Eagles’ dreams after a nightmarish 2020 campaign. But on March 26, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who has been skewered for bumbling draft picks among a list of other #firehowie offenses, dealt the No. 6 pick to the Miami Dolphins. The Eagles received the No. 12 pick, No. 123 pick (fourth-round pick) and a 2022 first-round pick. Miami received the No. 6 pick and the No. 156 overall pick (fifth round).
Philadelphia Eagles 2021 NFL draft picks
Round 2: No. 37
Round 3: No. 70, No. 84 (from Colts)
Round 4: No. 123 (from Dolphins)
Round 5: No. 150
Round 6: No. 189, No. 224, No. 225
Round 7: No. 234, No. 240 (from 49ers)
When is the 2021 NFL Draft?
- Round 1: April 29 at 8 p.m. ET
- Rounds 2-3: April 30 at 7 p.m. ET
- Rounds 4-7: May 1 at noon
Who will the Eagles draft in 2021?
Everyone from my 97-year-old grandmom to Colin Cowherd has a mock draft. They will be endlessly updated up until draft day. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the clear top pick, is ticketed for Jacksonville. In late December, Lawrence was -650 to be the first pick in the NFL Draft. Now he is -10000 at DraftKings and -6000 at FanDuel.
Who do online sportsbooks think the Eagles might select at No. 12?
There isn’t a 12th overall pick odds market. But we can look at player draft specials to try to get an idea of who the Birds will pick (if Howie doesn’t make another trade).
DeVonta Smith draft position: Over 11.5 (-104)/Under 11.5 (-121)
Rashawn Slater: Over 10.5 (+101)/Under 10.5 (-125)
Jaycee Horn: Over 13.5 (-112)/Under 13.5 (-112)
Micah Parsons: Over 11.5 (-112)/Under 11.5 (-112)
Jaylen Waddle: Over 11.5 (-125)/Under 11.5 (+101)
Patrick Surtain: Over 10.5 (-112)/Under 10.5 (-112)
Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ 2020 second round draft pick, took over for Wentz at halftime during Week 13. The Eagles were rumored to have tried to trade up to select Zach Wilson, but it appears the New York Jets are sold on the BYU signal caller.
For now, Hurts seems to be the likely Week 1 starter for the Eagles. Of course, there is still more offseason and the draft for drama to unfold. What are the chances the Eagles next quarterback is also from North Dakota State? The Broncos (+300) and the Atlanta Falcons (+400) are the favorites to select Trey Lance with the Eagles a longshot (+2500).
Philadelphia Eagles 2021 odds
The Eagles haven’t come out and said it, but many, including PA online sportsbooks, certainly think the Birds are in rebuilding mode.
(Odds via BetMGM)
- Super Bowl LVI: +8000
- NFC: +35000
- NFC East: +400
Will the Eagles make the playoffs
- Yes (+280)/No (-350)
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth