It’s a big day for West Virginia sportsbooks and football fans around the country. For the first time in a long time, a sporting event has everyone’s attention.
The 2020 NFL Draft begins on Thursday evening in what is now a three-day event. NFL betting fans, as well as bettors everywhere, finally have something to watch on TV during sports’ prolonged absence.
Typical springs would include plenty of betting markets available for a variety of sports. However, the health rules and precautions put in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19 has drastically limited options.
Even during a year where all sports were currently playing, this year’s draft would see a lot of betting attention. There are more states now that feature legal sports betting than ever before.
Also, sportsbooks provided more wagering lines than in previous drafts.
Although the retail locations in the Mountain State remain closed, the online sports betting apps are all available. The three offered in the state include:
These mobile platforms have several draft odds available, including team and player props. While a lot of bets focus on the earlier picks, there are more than enough to choose from for later rounds.
Let’s examine some of the most intriguing draft lines and take a look at where some of the former WVU Mountaineers players might end up.
Top NFL Draft Picks
As with most drafts, the beginning portion is set to be the most exciting. Outside of the top overall selection, no one knows how the rest of the first 10 picks is going to look.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow appears to be a lock to be first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. His historic college season earned him a Heisman Trophy, National Championship, and now most likely the draft’s top selection.
Sportsbooks show Burrow as the overwhelming favorite to go No. 1.
After that, things get a little more tricky. Ohio State’s Chase Young is a sizable favorite to be the second player drafted. DraftKings lists him at -2000, while BetMGM shows -1250 odds for the defensive end to go off the board second.
If the top two picks go as projected, then the draft will get very interesting at the third pick. This is the point in the draft where trades could start flying in for teams looking to acquire quarterbacks.
Since the Detroit Lions don’t necessarily need a new QB right this second, they may be looking to move out of the spot. This could open up a bunch of different trade scenarios.
At the moment, Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah is the favorite to be taken third overall. DraftKings shows him with +150 odds.
This could all change if the Lions are not the team making the pick, though. If another team trades into the spot, then one of the remaining quarterbacks becomes the most likely choice.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is listed at +250, whereas Oregon’s Justin Herbert has odds of +400.
Other top linemen are the next projected selections. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is listed at +600 along with offensive linemen Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, and Tristan Wirfs all at +1200.
WV football players to watch for in the Draft
While this draft isn’t a big year for former WVU Mountaineers players, there are some notable guys to keep an eye on.
Both Kenny Robinson and Colton McKivitz have been mentioned in mock drafts conducted online.
In CBS Sports’ latest seven-round mock, the safety Robinson goes in the fifth round at pick No. 167. It predicted that the Mountaineer guard, McKivitz, would be taken in the seventh round at pick No. 224.
Even though this isn’t at the top of the draft, being selected anywhere is a tough task.
The only other former WVU player mentioned is cornerback Keith Washington. Walter Football rated Washington as a seventh-rounder as well.
Marshall football won’t have a big showing in this year’s draft. Although most mocks don’t have any Thundering Herd players, several still prepared for the big event.
Long snapper Matt Beardall is one of these players. He pointed out that Marshall was able to complete their pro days, unlike many other schools around the country.
With such crazy circumstances around the 2020 draft, perhaps Beardall’s in-person workouts were enough to move up draft boards.
WV sportsbooks offer some interesting bets
WV bettors might have to wait until next college football season to bet on Mountaineers, but there are a lot of other exciting NFL Draft wagers out there.
Since Ohio is so close to WV, there may be a decent amount of Bengals fans in the area. DraftKings showcases draft specials for Cincinnati’s second player selected.
You’re able to bet on whether the Bengals’ second pick plays offense at -167 or defense at +135.
You can also put action down on the specific position that draft choice plays. DraftKings has the following odds:
- Offensive lineman +100
- Cornerback +400
- Wide receiver +400
- Defensive lineman +700
- Linebacker +700
- Safety +1000
The Dallas Cowboys are another popular team all over the nation. They pick 17th overall in the opening round on Thursday night.
You’re able to bet on what position they will address with their first-round selection at DraftKings. The current odds show the following:
- Cornerback +175
- Defensive lineman +200
- Linebacker +400
- Offensive lineman +500
- Safety +700
- Wide receiver +1100
Be sure to check back into sportsbooks after each round, as they will probably all have updated and new odds for the starts of day two and three.