Unique 2020 NFL Draft drives record betting handle

Reuters
FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured on a football at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City
FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured on a football at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft shattered viewing records and saw sports-starved bettors flock to get in on Thursday's action.


While the telecast of the event conducted remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic averaged more than 15.6 million viewers across platforms, PointsBet USA saw nearly eight times the total bet compared to 2019. Meanwhile, PlaySugarHouse saw more than triple the handle and bet counts in New Jersey on Thursday night than it did for the entirety of last year's draft.


Both sportsbooks offered hundreds of prop bets, with one PlaySugarHouse.com bettor wagering $5,000 that CeeDee Lamb would be the first wide receiver selected - contributing to that being the most popular bet of the night at the book. The former Oklahoma star ended up being the third receiver off the board behind the Alabama duo of Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy.


Ruggs III was +180 to be drafted ahead of Jeudy (-225) at DraftKings, which also saw Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+130) go to Kansas City with the final pick of the night in a head-to-head offer against Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins (-159), who remains available.


"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."


PointsBet director of communications Patrick Eichner told Field Level Media that Round 1, "turned out to be better than a typical MNF or TNF game, as we initially expected, and ended up more so on par with a marquee NFL playoff matchup (not quite the Super Bowl, but a playoff game is certainly a fair comparison)."


Among the significant bets at PointsBet:


--$10,000 on Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with a 22.5 over/under (+100 odds). Love sliding to the Packers at No. 26 was the book's best result of the night.


--$10,000 on the ACC +0.5 head-to-head first round picks vs. the Big Ten (+130 odds). The ACC ended up with three players selected compared to the Big Ten's five.


--$10,000 on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts' draft position. The over/under of 62.5 (+102 odds) will be determined in Round 2.


--$43,386 that the Dolphins' first drafted player would be on offense (-1429 odds). Miami selected Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick.


DraftKings is also offering a round prop on Hurts: Round 2 (-167), Round 3 (+130), Round 4 (+1100), Round 5-7 (+3300). Hurts is being offered at +300 to be selected by the Colts, followed by the Steelers (+600), Jaguars (+700) and Patriots (+700).


The Cincinnati Bengals hold the first selection of Round 2 at No. 33 overall. TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock and Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims are being offered as co-+300 favorites to be the pick by DraftKings, followed by Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones (+400) and Wisconsin linebacker Zach Baun (+700). No one else is lower than +1400 (Boise State guard Ezra Cleveland).


--Field Level Media

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