Even a shred of normalcy in a sports-world turned upside down will look different. Instead of Radio City or a spring festival atmosphere in a host city, the NFL Draft will be held online.
Viewers will get a look into Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s at-home war room. This year, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert will be subject to taunts if he flubs picks and if there isn’t a Terrible Towel in the background.
NFL Draft 2020: Where, When, How
Some semblance of sports is happening!
NFL Draft 2020 schedule:
Thursday, April 23: Round 1 starts at 8 p.m. ET
Friday, April 24: Rounds 2-3 starting at 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 25: Rounds 4-7 starting at 12 p.m. ET
Where is the Draft?
All 32 NFL teams will make their picks remotely. At his home in New York, Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the picks.
It is a necessary safety measure to curb the spread of coronavirus, but a far cry from the original plan. The 2020 Draft was set to be in Las Vegas with the stage at the iconic Bellagio Fountains.
How to watch the Draft:
Thursday: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
Friday: ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
Saturday: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
Live stream: NFL.com, NFL Network, ABC, ESPN
No Draft betting in PA, but FanDuel offering DFS contests
Wagering on the NFL Draft or any professional draft is not legal in Pennsylvania. It’s in Act 42 of the state’s gambling expansion law. PA sports gambling is restricted to: “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.”
It’s why you won’t see legal wagers on the color of the Gatorade at the Super Bowl, whether or not Doug Pederson wears glasses on the sideline or how many times Joel Embiid will tweet after a playoff game.
A good rule of thumb in PA is, if the action doesn’t take place between the lines of the playing court/field, you won’t be able to bet on it.
FanDuel is offering DFS contests around the Draft, however.
- Predict The Draft – Fuel the Frontline (Charity Free Play) – no entry fee, select the top ten picks (in order), $10K in prizes and $1,000 for first, one entry per player
- $10K Draft Challenge – 5 entries max, points for top five draft positions and bonus points if the player is involved in an in-Draft trade, $10K bonus cash in prizes and $1,000 bonus cash for first
NFL Draft Betting in New Jersey
Betting on the NFL Draft is legal in New Jersey and sportsbooks started releasing props in mid-March. A total of 85 props were added at William Hill last week.
The biggest bets on the 2020 NFL Draft so far:
- $4,000 on “more than 3 quarterbacks drafted in the first round” at -400, which would take home $5,000.
- $1,500 on Baylor wideout Denzel Mims being selected in the first round at a +125 price, which would pay out $3,375.
At William Hill, eight players have seen their draft position odds increase by at least four spots and two have decreased by at least four.
Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins is the prospect with the biggest differential in draft position. He opened at 25.5 and is now at 34.5.
Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones draft position odds went from 32.5 to 27.5.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love (12.5 to 19.5), Alabama safety Xavier McKinney (17.5 to 24.5) and Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun (25.5 to 32.5) sank seven slots.
Just two other players from William Hill’s initial draft prop group have increased at least three spots: Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray (25.5 to 21.5) and Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson (17.5 to 14.5).
2020 Draft Props top percentages as of 4/20:
- 91% of total tickets on Baun over 32.5
- 90% of total tickets on Josh Jones under 27.5
- 99% of all money wagered: Jones (under 27.5), Baun (over 32.5), Antoine Winfield Jr. (under 43.5)
FanDuel offering a steal on Joe Burrow prop
At FanDuel in New Jersey, the the most popular Draft markets are “Number One Overall Pick” and the “Draft Position of Former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.”
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is currently -7,000 to be selected first overall. However, FanDuel is offering a special market for the likely Cincinnati Bengals franchise quarterback with odds at +200 (max $25 bet).
A winning bet would offer little consolation for Eagles fans who are hoping Ohio State defensive end Chase Young doesn’t go to the Washington Redskins at #2 and harass Carson Wentz for the next decade.
But quarterbacks always get the attention and it’s no different even in a virtual draft. Tagovailoa risk/reward factors revs bettors’ and GMs’ intrigue.
Tua talk dominates Draft discussions
At William Hill, the over (drafted fourth or later) on Tagovailoa’s 3.5 draft position line is priced at -280, with +240 for the under. When it comes to Tagovailoa, the majority of tickets (74%) and dollars (65%) back the over.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill’s U.S. Director of Trading said:
“Tua’s draft position, we originally opened at 4.5. We went down to 3.5 when there was such great news about his health. But now bettors are backing the over due to all the uncertainty. Everyone’s talking about Tua. I think the majority of the betting on him will come in the next week. Before his injury, people thought he would be a superstar. Now, is he damaged goods? It just depends on what the bettors believe and who they’re listening to.”
William Hill’s “team to draft Tua Tagovailoa” prop:
- Chargers: 5/2 odds
- Redskins: 5/1 odds
- Lions, Raiders, Patriots, Bengals: 14/1 odds
One other area where Tagovailoa has generated plenty of interest is William Hill’s “third quarterback drafted” prop.
He was listed as high as +700, however is now a -110 co-favorite with Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Bettors have backed Tagovailoa on 44% of the total number of tickets.
Philadelphia Eagles 2020 Draft
It’s no secret the Philadelphia Eagles need a wide receiver. Last season, the Eagles’ top three wide receivers missed significant time due to injury and they went into the final weeks with practice squad wideout Greg Ward as their most reliable option.
Despite injuries which also spread to other skill positions and the offensive line, Carson Wentz became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards without any wide receiver hitting 500 reception yards.
Surrounding Wentz with weapons while he is in prime health is a major need in the Draft. The Eagles did some things to address a suspect secondary in free agency but still need more depth. The Eagles have the 21st pick in the NFL Draft.
- Justin Jefferson, LSU: +155
- Denzel Mims, Baylor: +500
- CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: +750
- Henry Ruggs III, Alabama: +750
- Jalen Reagor, TCU: +1,110
PointsBet has some different odds for the same prop:
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) April 14, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers do not a have a first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Steelers traded their 2020 first and fifth-round picks, and 2021 sixth round pick to the Miami Dolphins for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick will be 23-years-old going into the 2020 NFL season. He’s under a team-friendly contract through 2021 with a team option for ’22.
If the Steelers do not make a trade to move up, they will make their first selection on Friday night with the No. 49 in the second round and No. 102 in the late third round.
- Defensive tackle: Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave signed with the Eagles. The past seven drafts, the Steelers selected a defensive player first.
- Quarterback: Is this the year the Steelers draft the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger? After suffering a season-ending injury during Week 2, backups Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges combined to throw 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
- Running back/wide receiver: The Steelers ranked 30th in average yards per game last season (276.8). Obviously, a big part of their paltry offensive production can be attributed to Roethlisberger’s absence. Don’t be surprised if the Steelers add a tight end if their wide receiver target is off the board when their pick comes around.