- The NFL will hold its first Virtual Draft due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Bets are up on sportsbooks about possible timing issues as General Managers like John Elway are worried about the constraints.
- Odds for whether or not a team will get a pick in time, how many trades occur in the first round, and more could be affected by the virtual format.
NEW YORK – There has been a lot of concern over the NFL Draft taking place virtually this year. The reason that the draft has to be done this way is due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has also lead to some new NFL Draft prop bets, as well as affecting some major props as well.
Because this is the first time the event has ever been done online, the league held a mock draft in order to iron out any glitches and to be sure that General Managers understood how it was going to work. The mock draft ran into a few issues but overall, it went well.
“The draft went smooth, it got off to a little bit of a hiccup when we first started, but other than that it went really smooth,” said John Elway, the general manager of the Denver Broncos. “There were really no problems with it, so we got comfortable with it.
While the strategy was understood after all was said and done, there is still an idea that issues may arise during the actual event. One problem will be the time constraints with GM’s having to deal with a new system of doing things within the same limited time they’ve always had during a regular draft.
Communication may also be another hard factor since each team’s scouts and managers will not all be in the same room as they are accustomed to. Mobile sportsbooks like BetOnline have realized this and have put up wagers around these issues.
Bets On The Virtual Draft With Time As A Factor
NFL Draft betting lines have a similar theme on timing and communication. Due to the newest form of holding a draft and depending on technology, time may be an issue along with unfamiliarity of the process. It may also affect General Managers being able to secure trades on Draft day.
Will any team not get a pick in on time?
- No (-220)
- Yes (+155)
This seems unlikely as teams have already put in months of research to studying potential prospects and assessing the immediate needs of their teams. Each team should have an idea, if not already outright chosen who they are going to select. Elway’s comment’s reassured that.
“It will be interesting to see. The mock draft we had Monday, everything was kind of predetermined, so it made it a little easier than I think it’s going to be,” said Elway.
Will there be a trade in the top 10 picks?
- Yes (-1000)
- No (OFF)
The Detroit Lions and the New York Giants have both openly stated that they are in the market to trade their top 10 picks. Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman went on record saying his team is ‘open for business’ all the way back in February. With this knowledge, it’s no wonder why the sportsbook won’t even let it’s bettors put action on no trades.
Total draft day Round 1 trades
- Over 5.5 trades (-120)
- Under 5.5 trades (-120)
All 32 teams will get 15 minutes to make their choice in the first round of the draft. The order of the first round has been listed by ESPN. Last year’s draft had a total of six trades within the first round, which is why the odds were favored for the over. Back to standard odds of both sides of 5 ½ trades, the over should still be considered but Elway’s assessment of the mock draft may lead bettors to think differently.
“Obviously, the time constraints, being virtual and not having everybody in the same room makes it more difficult, so that may lead to less trades. I still think there is going to be trades, if anything it makes us prepare a little bit harder to have an idea at each position of where we are right now.”
Will a draft spot be moved back due to missing a pick?
- No (-2500)
- Yes (+800)
With the possibility of computers lagging and communication getting lost in the haze of Zoom calls and the like, a team running out of time while they are on the clock is a legitimate possibility.
This has actually happened twice in recent memory. The Baltimore Ravens missed their chance on the number 26 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and the Minnesota Vikings missed out on the number seven pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.
But these are just two instances among the hundreds of draft picks from between that time and now. Sportsbooks aren’t putting too much faith in it with how they set up the odds, but this might be a sleeper pick for those betting on the NFL Draft.
The first-ever NFL Virtual Draft can be streamed through NFL, ESPN, and ABC platforms. The First Round of fun begins at 8:00 p.m. EST, April 23.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.