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Betting on NFL draft explodes at Las Vegas sportsbooks

The number of NFL draft props and amount of money wagered on them increased exponentially at Nevada sportsbooks in the fourth year they were allowed to take bets on the event.

William Hill offered 104 props on the 2020 draft, or more than 10 times the 10 props it offered in 2017, and shattered its record for draft betting handle.

“Nevada’s handle for this draft is around five times bigger versus other years,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “It’s the equivalent of a ‘Thursday Night Football’ game.”

Likewise, Circa Sports sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said the handle was “similar to a popular regular-season NFL game.”

The handle was certainly bolstered by the fact that the rest of the sports world essentially has been shut down for the past six weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic and the draft was the only game in town.

“It’s a unique event that overlapped with a unique situation,” Bennett said.

Still, Bogdanovich expects betting on the draft — rescheduled for Las Vegas in 2022 — to continue to grow.

“People really love the draft. There’s just so much interest surrounding it,” he said. “I expect the handle to be similar, or even potentially increase, for next year’s draft.”

Draft prop payouts

A William Hill bettor won $5,000 on a $250 wager on Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (20-1) to be the first pick on Day 2 of the draft Saturday.

A William Hill bettor turned $115 into $2,070 on the Cardinals drafting Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (18-1).

Westgate to reopen app

The Westgate sportsbook plans to reopen its mobile sports betting app May 7 in advance of UFC 249, scheduled for May 9 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

UFC 249 odds

Odds on the UFC 249 card are posted at William Hill, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts.

In the main event, Tony Ferguson is a -170 favorite over Justin Gaethje (+150) for the interim lightweight championship.

In other fights, Anthony Pettis is a -130 favorite over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (+110), and former NFL player Greg Hardy is a -180 favorite over Yorgan De Castro (+160).

Election odds

Nevada sportsbooks aren’t allowed to take bets on the U.S. presidential election. But South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro announced odds for entertainment purposes only on the 2020 presidential election and the 2020 vice presidential candidate for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Vaccaro made the presidential election a pick’em between Biden and President Donald Trump, listing each man at even money to win.

He made Kamala Harris the +140 favorite to get the Democratic vice presidential nomination and Amy Klobuchar the 3-1 second choice. Gretchen Whitmer is the 8-1 third pick, followed by Stacey Abrams (15-1), Elizabeth Warren (16-1), Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (20-1) and Michelle Obama (25-1). The field (anyone else) is 10-1.

“Me and (South Point sportsbook director) Chris (Andrews) know this is the worst time in our country’s history. We did it just to have people talk about it and have a little bit of fun,” Vaccaro said. “For maybe a half hour out of your day, you can get away from this insanity and talk about it.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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