National Football League
2023 NFL Draft odds: How to bet on Will Anderson, Hendon Hooker, Jaxon Smith-Njigba
National Football League

2023 NFL Draft odds: How to bet on Will Anderson, Hendon Hooker, Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Updated Apr. 24, 2023 12:16 p.m. ET

The NFL Draft is just a few days away, and there will be plenty of excitement on Thursday night for fans and bettors. 

While we all know the draft's first pick will be Bryce Young, the rest of the slots are up in the air, which means anything can happen. 

However, there are a few things I think I know, and thanks to the prop betting markets I have plenty of options to choose from. 

So without further ado, here are my three favorite prop bets as we approach what is certain to be a wild opening round (at FOX Bet). 

First wide receiver taken: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (-250, bet $10 to win $14 total)

Smith-Njigba has moved firmly into the lead for the first receiver to be taken as the draft nears, and that should be no surprise after his outstanding pro day at Ohio State on March 23, where he unleashed a 4.48 40-yard dash. After missing a large chunk of the 2022 season with a hamstring injury, it was vital for Smith-Njibga to run well for NFL scouts, which checked the final box for teams. 

Smith-Njigba isn’t the biggest receiver, but he’s got enough size to succeed in the NFL and will project into the slot. The successful pedigree of Ohio State receivers, such as Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, in their 2022 rookie seasons will play a factor in the selection of Smith-Njigba, who many believe is the best receiver out of that trio.

Total number of quarterbacks drafted in the first round: Over 4.5 (-106, bet $10 to win $19.43 total)

We know four quarterbacks are going in the first round, most likely all in the top half of the round. So we are wagering on whether Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker will be the fifth quarterback drafted in the opening round. 

I like this wager because of the benefit of the fifth-year contract option that teams get when drafting a quarterback (or any player) in the first round. A player selected after the first round is given a four-year contract. That extra year of team control is valuable when you have a young quarterback. It keeps their cost down and allows your team to allocate assets to other positions of need to build the roster around said quarterback. 

Hooker appears to be a quarterback gaining draft steam, with NFL draft experts like Daniel Jeremiah mocking Hooker to the Vikings in the first round at No. 23. Teams appear OK with Hooker being an older prospect (25 years old), and his rehab from a major knee injury sustained near the end of the Vols' regular season must be on track. 

2023 NFL Draft: Will the Houston Texans pass on a quarterback?

David Helman and Carmen Vitali discuss why the Houston Texans could pass on a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.

First defensive player taken: Will Anderson (-250, bet $10 to win $14 total)

Will Anderson will be the first defensive player taken, whether that’s at two, three or five. 

Anderson tallied 34.5 sacks and 58.5 tackles for a loss in three seasons at Alabama. According to Pro Football Focus, Anderson had nearly an 18% pressure rate during his Roll Tide career, which is an absurdly good number in college with all the quick passing offenses Alabama faces. While Jalen Carter might be the higher-graded defensive player, Anderson is the safer draft pick. 

Teams will not pass on Anderson if they are looking for a defensive player and have all the options on the draft board.

If you want to place any wagers down on the 2023 NFL Draft, head over to FOX Bet

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @GeoffSchwartz.

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