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NFL Draft Odds 2024: Bets, Picks & Predictions for the First Round (April 25)

The 2024 NFL Draft has almost arrived, and with it comes the last chance to get action down on the NFL until next fall. While betting on players’ draft positions, teams to pick certain positions and the like may not be for everyone, I’m still getting my football fix in by placing some bets. Without further ado, let’s dive into the odds for my top bets, picks and predictions for the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft!

If you’re looking for more 2024 NFL Draft coverage, check out our other draft articles: 2024 quarterback busts, 2024 wide receiver busts, the most shocking picks of all time and the greatest No. 1 picks ever.

NFL Draft Odds 2024: Bets, Picks & Predictions for the First Round

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NFL Draft Odds 2024: Bets, Picks & Predictions for the First Round

J.J. McCarthy Odds

Draft Position
Odds via BetMGM
Over 5.5: +115
Under 5.5: -150

Is J.J. McCarthy a Top-5 Pick?

Michigan’s star quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, is widely projected as an early first-round pick. But is the hype warranted? His collegiate production isn’t that impressive, as he wasn’t asked to do much. But his youth and coachability have teams salivating over his upside — or do they?

McCarthy is in the unenviable position of competing with several far better athletes for the honor of becoming a top-five NFL draft selection:

Caleb Williams is the consensus No. 1 choice. Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels appear likely to be the next two quarterbacks off the board. Wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers have strong cases to go on the top five, as do offensive tackle Joe Alt and wide receiver Rome Odunze.

This year, at least, it isn’t lonely at the top.

You’ll find McCarthy trading at odds of +115 on BetMGM to fall out of the first five draft selections. While several quarterback-needy teams control the early picks (the Chicago Bears at No. 1, Washington Commanders at No. 2 and New England Patriots at No. 3 all need new starters), they would all have to pass on a better prospect to draft McCarthy with a top-five selection.

I don’t buy into the hype. You shouldn’t, either.

2024 NFL Draft Betting Pick: J.J. McCarthy Draft Position Over 5.5 +115 at BetMGM

Michael Penix Jr. Odds

Draft Position
Odds via ESPNBET
Over 32.5: +200
Under 32.5: -260

Is Michael Penix Jr. a First-Round Quarterback?

The sports betting markets are confident that soon-to-be 24-year-old Michael Penix Jr. is a first-round quarterback. The draft pundits don’t share that confidence. Penix is Dane Brugler’s QB6 (behind Bo Nix) and 52nd overall prospect. ESPN’s analytics team has him falling out of the first.

I share the pundits’ skepticism of Penix. While stats at Washington are undoubtedly impressive, the four season-ending injuries and the fact he produced those stats alongside star wideout Rome Odunze are both red flags. Yes, his letter to NFL GMs in the Players’ Tribune was moving, but it doesn’t move the needle for me on this market — especially when we’re getting him at odds of +200 not to be a first-round pick.

Of course, ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler has called Penix a “first-round lock,” citing NFL executives impressed by the prospect. I don’t believe that either the production or the potential warrant making him one, however, so I’ll play the heel and recommend you back him to fall out of the first round — especially for such a friendly price.

2024 NFL Draft Betting Pick: Michael Penix Jr. Draft Position Over 32.5 +200 at ESPNBET

Kool-Aid McKinstry Odds

To Be a Round 1 Pick
Odds via FanDuel
Yes: -220
No: N/A

Is Kool-Aid McKinstry a First-Round Pick?

Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry was widely viewed as a first-round lock last season and earlier in the draft process, but now, most NFL mock drafts have him falling into the late first (and some the early second). I don’t think the talented defender falls past the Baltimore Ravens at 30th overall.

I’ll talk more about the Ravens later, but we’re backing McKinstry to at least go in the first with this pick. He is trading at odds of -350 at DraftKings with a positional total of 28.5 FanDuel is a bit more skeptical of the cornerback, listing his positional total at 29.5. We’re eking out just enough value on McKinstry to go in the first round at -220 on FanDuel to warrant enough action to secure a quarter-unit return.

McKinstry grades out as Brugler’s CB5, but that’s still good enough for him to rank as the 30th overall prospect. Brugler’s most recent mock has McKinstry going at 28th overall. ESPN’s analytics team has him going at 25th. PFF’s mock has him going 30th. We only need him to make the first to secure a marginal profit, so let’s pounce.

2024 NFL Draft Betting Pick: Kool-Aid McKinstry to Be a First-Round Pick: -220 at FanDuel

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Ravens Draft Odds

Position of 1st Drafted Player
Odds via DraftKings
OL: -350
WR: +400
CB: +600

What Position Will the Baltimore Ravens Draft?

The Baltimore Ravens had a busy offseason, losing multiple key pieces after their collapse in the AFC Championship Game. But the position the betting market favors them to draft (an offensive lineman) would be a proactive response to left tackle Ronnie Stanley‘s likely departure at the end of the year, and it wouldn’t resolve more pressing issues along the defensive line or in the secondary.

The Ravens are infamous for drafting the best player available. That’s what got them Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum in the 2022 NFL Draft. The only position the Ravens tend to draft aggressively for need has been wide receiver, but they just took Zay Flowers last year and still have Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor under contract (as well as tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely).

Baltimore’s secondary wasn’t picked clean, but the losses of safety Geno Stone and cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Rock Ya-Sin will leave them undermanned. With several highly touted cornerbacks like McKinstry, Nate Wiggins and Cooper DeJean all projected to go in or around the late first, they could be the best players available at Baltimore’s pick.

Further, if the Ravens trade back into the early second (or get aggressive in the late first), Michigan’s Mike Sainristil is a possible pick, too, especially given the team’s close ties to the program. We’re getting the Ravens at longshot odds of +600 on DraftKings just to draft a corner, but the same bet will cost you +330 on Caesars and +500 on FanDuel. Sign me up!

2024 NFL Draft Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens 1st Drafted Player: Cornerback +600 at DraftKings

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