NFL draft betting: Travon Walker is 6th different player favored to go 1st overall
Yes, at one point quarterback Spencer Rattler was favored to go first overall in the 2022 NFL draft. Hope you aren't holding on to that ticket.
Last year, there was little doubt from beginning to end. Trevor Lawrence was going first overall to whoever got the pick. There's a lot of time to kill leading up to the draft and there were the predictable takes that someone other than Lawrence was actually the first pick, but there was never a real doubt.
This year there has been doubt from beginning to now. There have been six different players to hold the position of favorite to go first overall in the 2022 NFL draft at BetMGM. The latest, Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker, just took the favorite title on Monday.
The changes with the first overall pick favorite are a window into an unpredictable draft.
History of the 2022 first pick favorite
Before the college football season started, Rattler was favored to go first overall at BetMGM. His lowest odds were +250 on Aug. 17. Rattler had a shockingly tumultuous season. He was benched by Oklahoma during the season and has since transferred to South Carolina.
Then it was Kayvon Thibodeaux's turn. The Oregon pass rusher was the favorite for a while, reaching -115 odds to go first overall on Jan. 5. Then the draft process started and teams found weaknesses. He was knocked out of the top spot, but there's still a chance he goes as high as second overall on Thursday.
Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal was next up. He took over the favorite spot in February and by the end of the month his odds were -145. In early March, NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu took the favorite spot. His lowest odds were +175 on March 7. When the Jaguars franchise-tagged tackle Cam Robinson and signed guard Brandon Scherff in free agency, the focus started moving to edge rushers.
For a long time it seemed the changes at the favorite spot would stop.
Travon Walker takes over as the favorite
Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson was a big favorite. He was -350 on March 16. He was the favorite for more than a month to go first overall. Just about any mock draft before this week had Hutchinson going first.
Then it flipped, and in a shocking way. On Monday, Walker took over the favorite spot from Hutchinson. Walker was +140 on Sunday night, behind Hutchinson, then changed to -160 on Monday morning as bettors kept taking him. That moved to -175 almost immediately on Monday and kept moving to -225 by Tuesday. Walker's odds moved again to -300 by Wednesday.
After months of nobody seeming to know who would go first, and five other players holding the favorite spot, Walker went from second in line to a big favorite in about 48 hours.
Nobody seems to know what will happen in this year's draft, from the first pick on. Even Walker's hold on the favorite spot can theoretically change before the Jacksonville Jaguars make the pick. If the history of the favorite to go No. 1 overall over the past eight months is an indicator, this is going to be a crazy NFL draft.