Two weeks ahead of the NFL draft, Bryce Young is the new consensus betting favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick ahead of C.J. Stroud at sportsbooks around the nation.
Young moved past Stroud this week after a surge of bets came in on the former Alabama quarterback and flipped the odds at multiple sportsbooks. Young was a growing -300 favorite Thursday at Caesars Sportsbook, with Stroud a +180 underdog.
Stroud had been the odds-on favorite since after the Carolina Panthers traded for the No. 1 overall pick on March 10, with Young as long as a 3-1 underdog. The odds began shift late last week when bookmakers noticed an uptick of bets on Young.
FanDuel said 81.6% of the money wagered on the top pick this week had been on Young, with Stroud attracting 15%.
Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN that the interest in Young started picking up April 6, causing the odds to move.
“You start taking bets from all over the country, all on the same thing, and, yeah it’s something that’s obviously going to sound alarm bells,” Pullen said. “That what happened [with Young].”
Betting on the NFL draft is prohibited by a handful of states, including New York, but remains a popular offering at sportsbooks in many jurisdictions. Odds on the draft can move quickly and significantly based on the latest mock drafts, media reports or internet rumors. Pullen said he wouldn’t be surprised if the odds flip back toward Stroud ahead of the draft.
“The draft is volatile,” he said.
Kevin Lawler, head of trading, at sportsbook PointsBet said they saw an increase in interest on Young from bettors after his March 23 pro day workout in Alabama.
“We still feel this latest shift is liable to flip again based on what is heard, given neither Young nor Stroud are bulletproof,” Lawler said.
Former Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, at 20-1, has the third-shortest odds to be the No. 1 overall pick at Caesars Sportsbook, behind Young and Stroud.
The NFL Draft begins April 24 in Kansas City.