Public Beat Books in NFL Draft 2024 as ROTY Betting Odds Take Shape

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
NFL News
Public Beat Books in NFL Draft 2024 as ROTY Betting Odds Take Shape


  • Michael Penix Jr. shockingly went to the Falcons with the eighth pick
  • Sportsbooks lost big in the quarterbacks markets
  • Rookie of the Year odds shifted after the draft

Just as online sportsbooks feared, the NFL betting public scored a massive win during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Sportsbooks regularly take huge losses during the annual seven-round selection of top college prospects by the 32 NFL franchises. That’s because it’s a time of year when sharps represent a larger portion of the betting population, along with the wide availability of information via reporting and months of preparation.

The Atlanta Falcons’ stunning selection of Michael Penix Jr. was only the tip of the iceberg for Vegas, which is now turning its attention toward the Rookie of the Year race.

The big surprises

The NFL Draft is one of the very few events in sports that are not settled on a playing field, but on a stage, and by a commissioner speaking into a microphone.

As expected, Caleb Williams was selected with the first overall pick, followed by fellow QBs Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye.

The betting frenzy in the 2024 NFL Draft started when Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers selected Notre Dame lineman Joe Alt with the fifth pick. According to BetMGM, Alt was +400 and behind Malik Nabers, J.J. McCarthy, and Marvin Harrison Jr. in pre-draft odds to become the fifth pick in the draft.

While Harrison Jr. was already off the board by the time they took their pick, Nabers, who plays a position of need, and McCarthy were still available.

The Chargers moved from +10000 all the way to +600 odds to use their first draft pick on a quarterback, per ESPN Bet. Harbaugh coached McCarthy to a national championship at the University of Michigan just a few months ago and referred to his former QB as the best prospect in the draft, though he decided to let him pass.

The Falcons then shocked fans and legal sports betting sites by taking Washington QB Penix Jr. despite signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal during the offseason. Penix Jr. was originally expected to go in the late-first or early-second round, and his selection hit the books hard.

"We got killed on Penix going in the top 10," Scott Shelton of BetMGM Nevada said.

"To do it at No. 8, I’m absolutely stunned trying to figure out what the Falcons’ plan is. It’s an interesting move," added Caesars Sports’ Head of Football Joey Feazel.

Public wins again

DraftKings was hit hard during the draft by a prop market it offered on the amount of quarterbacks that would be drafted in the first round. They set the line at over/under 4.5 picks with -270 odds on the over, giving it nearly a 73 percent implied probability of hitting.

Caesars sports also had Penix’s draft position at over/under 32.5 with heavy juice on the under. Meanwhile, BetMGM Nevada offered +2500 odds on Penix Jr. being a top-10 pick, a bet that numerous bettors snapped up.

All of those bets cashed with ease as a joint-draft record six quarterbacks were taken in a record-setting time of just 12 picks.

Circa Sports reported that it took a loss on the NFL Draft due to the quarterbacks drafted, an over on a line of 13.5 draft position for defensive tackle Byron Murphy II, and several other markets.

"We lost again,” said Circa Sports operations director Jeff Benson via text message, per Fox News. “Shocking? Nope. It’s par for the course with this tomfoolery. But we had fun booking it.”

Looking at what is to come, The Chicago Bears’ new QB Williams is favored to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at +210 odds at FanDuel. Harrison Jr. (+600) is second, followed by Daniels (+900), McCarthy (+1000), Nabers (+1400), Maye (+1500), and others.

The race for Defensive Rookie of the Year offers more parity as Minnesota Vikings edge-rusher Dallas Turner (+500) is the favorite, followed by Laiatu Latu (+650), Jared Verse (+1000), Quinyon Mitchell (+1100), Terrion Arnold (+1100), and the rest of the field.