NFL draft betting: Even with ridiculously short odds, BetMGM has taken many bets on Trevor Lawrence going No. 1

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

There are no locks in sports betting. Well, maybe except that BetMGM prop on who will go first in the NFL draft. 

Betting on the NFL draft is unlike most other markets. You can bet the moneyline on a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, but a No. 15 seed can have the game of its life. A good football team can be up by more than three touchdowns in the second half and lose. Part of the reason we love sports is the unpredictability. 

But the draft isn't like other markets, especially with the first pick. There's no opponent. There's no variance. If the Jacksonville Jaguars want to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the best prospect to come along in a while, nothing (at least within the realistic realm of possibility) will stop them. 

The odds on Lawrence to the Jaguars at BetMGM are about as high as they'll go. But bettors are still taking the action. 

Trevor Lawrence's odds to go first keep moving

The odds on the first overall pick look weird. Lawrence is -10000. That means a bettor would have to place a $10,000 bet to win $100. Or $1,000 to win $10. It seems like a crazy investment to win so little, on the offhand chance Lawrence denounces football and retires to become an accountant before next Thursday. 

And yet ... 

"The book has taken significant action on Trevor Lawrence to be the first overall pick,” BetMGM sports trader Darren Darby said. 

The odds weren't always this short, and that will cost BetMGM. Lawrence opened as a -250 favorite to go first, despite the fact that everyone has known for two years that he'd be the top pick whenever he declared for the draft. 

Basically, Lawrence at No. 1 has been a lock for a while. And there are a lot of tickets out on Lawrence going to the Jaguars. 

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a huge favorite to go with the first pick. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a huge favorite to go with the first pick. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

One huge bet was made on Lawrence

Included in the action BetMGM has taken on Lawrence was a huge bet a while ago. 

BetMGM took a $50,000 to win $4,000 on Lawrence going first when his odds were -1250. It's probably not enjoyable to tie up $50,000 for a couple months on a sports bet, but it will feel like a smart play once it cashes next Thursday. 

There isn't much doubt about the second pick of the draft, as Zach Wilson to the Jets has been the presumed pick for a while. However, the third pick has been debated endlessly for weeks. Not one pick beyond No. 3 should be considered anywhere close to a sure thing. The NFL draft can get wild. There's a reason most mock drafts have a batting average that would get them sent to the minors. 

But the first pick seems safe. If the Jaguars surprise the world with one of the biggest draft shockers ever, it will also shock many bettors who think they found a lock. 

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