Monday, March 4, 2024

2023 NFL Draft Odds: C.J. Stroud now betting favorite over Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson for No. 1 pick

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With NFL free agency underway and the 2023 NFL Draft only a month away, it’s a good time to check out who is the favorite to be the first overall pick. The last time we looked at the odds for the No. 1 pick in late January, former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was the betting favorite at -135, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. At that time, the Bears still had the No. 1 overall pick, which they acquired thanks to the Texans winning in the final week of the regular season.

Fast forward two months later, and we now have a new team in possession of the No. 1 overall pick after the Panthers pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Bears. Carolina traded the Nos. 9 and 61 picks in this year’s draft, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and veteran wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Bears for the top overall selection.

The Panthers are under new leadership after hiring Frank Reich to be their new head coach. Carolina will likely take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, as the only quarterbacks they have on their roster are Andy Dalton and second-year QB Matt Corral.

This is a star-studded QB class that could see as many as five signal-callers get picked in the first round, which would be a big improvement after only Kenny Pickett was drafted in the first round last season. Below, we’ll discuss the top-three betting favorites to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick.

2023 NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Pick Odds: Top 8

Odds courtesy of Sports Interaction

Player No. 1 Overall Pick Odds
C.J. Stroud -164
Bryce Young +159
Anthony Richardson +539
Will Levis +3798
Will Anderson +10300
Jalen Carter +15400
Tyree Wilson +15400
Devon Witherspoon +15400

2023 NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Pick Odds: Favorites

C.J. Stroud (-164)

The former Ohio State standout is starting to emerge as the top overall pick in next month’s draft. Many NFL draft analysts believe that Young or Richardson could be donning a Panthers’ uni. Stroud’s name is starting to pick up steam after his pro day, which was well represented by Carolina. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Stroud met with the Panthers on Tuesday before his pro day and will meet with them again before the draft. 

Stroud had another outstanding season with Ohio State, completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Even though his completion percentage and passing yards decreased from 2021, Stroud’s stellar play under center helped the Buckeyes get into the College Football Playoff, where he put on a show against the eventual National Champion Georgia Bulldogs. If Stroud finishes the draft circuit strong and wows the Panthers’ brass, it will be hard to pass up on a 6-3, 214-pound quarterback who can throw the ball around the field. That said, his odds right now don’t offer much value right now unless you think Young and/or Richardson will disappoint at their pro days.

Bryce Young (+159)

The former Alabama standout quarterback has the second-best odds to be the first overall pick behind Stroud. Young did not do any on-field drills at the NFL combine earlier this month but will reportedly throw at his pro day this week. The 21-year-old signal-caller had a stellar career at Alabama that saw him throw for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns, and eight interceptions last season. He also had a career-high 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Young was the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick (-160) on March 1, per DraftKings Sportsbook. However, the Panthers might be hesitant to use their pick on a 5-10 quarterback. Regardless of his height, Young should still have a fantastic NFL career, whether in Carolina or Houston, who currently has the No. 2 overall pick. As far as his odds go, he still offers value considering he was the betting favorite less than a month ago.

Anthony Richardson (+539)

Richardson could be the No. 1 overall pick next month if he has an incredible pro day after having a great showing at the Scout Combine. The former University of Florida standout isn’t an efficient passer like Stroud or Young, but he has the athleticism, mobility, and arm strength that has scouts and draft analysts thinking he could be the next great dual-threat quarterback in the NFL. Even though Richardson will likely have to sit for most of his rookie season, he could be the best quarterback in this draft class three years from now, making him a relative value bet at +539.

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