Feeling lucky? Nevada casinos allow betting onNFL draftfor firsttime
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Sign for the 2017 NFL football draft, in Philadelphia. (Photo: Matt Rourke, AP)
So you want to make a bet on who will be the first pick of the NFL draft, or which team will be first to take a quarterback. Maybe you want to wager on the first offensive player to go or how long Roger Goodell will be booed when he first steps to the podium.
While you could wager on such things at offshore sportsbooks, you can do it in the only state where sports gaming is legal. In fact, this is the first time the Nevada Gaming Commission has allowed casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the state to offer prop bets for the draft — and the commission only approved eight.
“We’re not able to be as creative as we are for the Super Bowl when we have more than 400,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of the Race and Sports SuperBook Operations at Westgate Las Vegas Casino and Resort. “We’re just getting our toes wet this year.”
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What can you do? You can bet on the total number of quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers taken in the first round.
If you’re looking for something a little different, you can bet on the number of Alabama players to go in the first round, the line there being 4 1/2. You can also bet on which rounds a kicker will go.
“In the past, we were restricted to the field of play,” Kornegay said. “We really couldn’t take wagers on something that was voted upon or took place off the field. The Nevada Gaming Commission has lightened its stance. In the last two Super Bowls, we were able to take wagers for MVP. The last couple of years, we were able to take wagers on Cy Young and MVP of baseball. And along those lines came the NFL draft.
“We’re glad they’ve had an open mind and worked with us and had some flexibility with old regulations.”
The great debate on which conference is better — the SEC or Big Ten — is represented. You can bet the over/under on SEC players in the first round — and that’s a pretty hefty number at 11 — and the Big Ten.
If you want to make any of the prop bets in Vegas, move quickly. The deadline is the end of the business day on Wednesday.