- Nevada sportsbooks have been taking wagers on the NFL Draft since 2017 attracting a primarily ‘sharp’ clientele.
- With the worldwide sports hiatus there was big interest in betting the 2020 NFL Draft from more casual players.
- Nevada bookmakers are reporting a strong handle on the 2020 NFL Draft.
Last week, we reported that bookmakers worldwide were seeing huge betting interest on the 2020 NFL Draft. This was not a surprise with the worldwide sports shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL Draft has been viewed as a huge betting event by sportsbooks and bettors alike since most of the world’s sports leagues began shutting down in late March. Sportsbooks went out of their way to promote NFL Draft betting and worked overtime to come up with an extensive menu of wagers.
We now have some idea of exactly how much action the 2020 NFL Draft attracted–at least in Nevada. The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that the number of draft props at sportsbooks increased ‘exponentially’as did betting handle on the event. William Hill had 104 2020 NFL Draft props on the board–a far cry from the 10 offered in 2017, the first year that Nevada sportsbooks were allowed to take action on the draft.
Not surprisingly, the 2020 NFL Draft betting handle demolished previous years. According to William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich, Silver State bookmakers took roughly five times the amount of action as in prior years:
“Nevada’s handle for this draft is around five times bigger versus other years. It’s the equivalent of a ‘Thursday Night Football’ game.”
That might not sound especially significant but it was no doubt welcome by Nevada gaming companies. With the state’s casino industry currently shut down the only trickle of revenue coming in is via sportsbook apps. Circa Sports book manager Chris Bennett concurred that the handle was ‘similar to a popular regular season NFL game’. No secret that the lack of sports action worldwide played a significant part in generating the high betting volume as Bennett notes:
“It’s a unique event that overlapped with a unique situation”.
William Hill’s Bogdanovich thinks that the NFL Draft will continue to grow in popularity even with the major sports (hopefully) back in business:
“People really love the draft. There’s just so much interest surrounding it. I expect the handle to be similar, or even potentially increase, for next year’s draft.”
Currently, there are four Nevada gaming companies taking sports bets via their online interface and mobile apps: William Hill, Circa Sports, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. The Westgate Superbook is planning to re-open their mobile app for betting on May 7.