The NFL Draft Round One produced record-setting handle for PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey and a plethora of first-round surprises late last week. Both handle and bet counts were already triple last year’s numbers for the full draft on just the opening day of the three-day event.
According to the firm, 76% of all sports betting handle at PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey was bet on the NFL. The overwhelming majority was wagered on the draft, although there was some betting on futures and non-draft props.
The largest bet of the day was a nearly $5,000 bet on the first wide receiver being drafted to be CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma. In fact, Lamb to be the first receiver taken was the most popular bet of the entire night. He was third behind Alabama wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy.
Ruggs was taken as the 12th overall pick by the Las Vegas Raiders and was a first-round surprise. Jeudy was selected 15th, by the Denver Broncos, and Lamb was taken 17th, by the Dallas Cowboys. Ruggs had the fastest time of any player in the NFL Combine. Ruggs returned +400 as the first receiver taken and combined with Jeudy and Lamb to pay bettors +650 in a unique trifecta wager. It required the bettor to select the top three receivers taken, in exact order.
The New York Giants produced the first-and largest first-round betting surprise by taking offensive tackle Andrew Thomas of Georgia as the fourth pick. He was +1000. The Giants had been expected to take either Tristan Wirfs of Iowa or Isaiah Simmons from Clemson in that spot. Both Wirfs and Simmons had been showcased in wagers to be drafted in the Top 5 overall.
Another popular prop was Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama to be the second quarterback drafted.
The majority of players won on this bet. After LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the first player selected in the draft, Tagovailoa was taken fifth by the Miami Dolphins. This also rewarded bettors who pegged him to be taken by Miami.
Another highly-popular prop was how many wide receivers were drafted in the first round. The bet was over-under 5.5. The over won as there were 6.
One bet receiving strong play was over 0.5 running backs to be taken in the first round. This bet won on the final pick in the first round with Clyde Edwards-Helaire going to the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
Offensive linemen were quite popular in round 1. The over/under opened at 5.5, but moved to 6.5 close to draft night, with the line closing at 6.5 over -200. There were seven linemen drafted, rewarding the over bettors.
“This was an outstanding opening night for the NFL draft,” said Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates PlaySugarHouse.com. “We are delighted with the strong wagering action and how bettors supported many imaginative prop bets. They really prepared well for the draft and they weren’t afraid to bet heavily on some long shots.”