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Will Levis misinformation helps books to rare win on NFL draft

Will Levis eats bananas with the peel on and puts mayonnaise in his coffee.

But perhaps the most surprising fact about the Kentucky quarterback is that he wasn’t selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

Levis became a popular wager this week to go No. 1 after a Reddit post claimed he told his friends and family the Panthers had informed him he’d be the top pick.

His odds to go No. 1 quickly dropped from 40-1 to 4-1 as bettors loaded up on Levis, who was asked about the post before the draft.

“I don’t want to speak on it too much,” he said. “But just don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

The information on Bryce Young — who became the heavy favorite last week to go No. 1 after he reportedly canceled his remaining predraft visits — was spot on, as Carolina took the Alabama quarterback with the first pick.

The misinformation on Levis helped Nevada sportsbooks to their first win on the draft since betting on the event was approved in 2017.

“As I always say, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose on the draft, it’s how much you’re going to lose,” Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “But this year we eked out a small win, surprisingly enough.

“The information is usually solid, but we’re going to win one every once in a while.”

Pullen said most bettors didn’t want to lay the big price on Young to go No. 1 and, for example, wager $2,000 to win $100. But they were all over Levis at long odds based solely on the Reddit post.

“People don’t want to miss that big score, especially on the draft, which is all about information,” he said. “Everybody’s searching for the scoop. You just have to know who to trust. That’s the danger. Just because someone is posting on some message board somewhere doesn’t mean they’re correct.

“But it’s easy to fool people. People have that nugget of information and want to bet on that, especially at 40-1. Bettors have to be careful and should do their due diligence and tread very lightly.”

The Westgate SuperBook also was a small winner in Nevada.

“Mainly due to the first pick prop that was posted a while back,” SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “Young closed as a big favorite.”

Stroud split decision

Levis was a favorite at Caesars to go No. 2 at one point before the odds shifted to Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson, who was a -500 favorite Thursday morning. C.J. Stroud started Thursday at 4-1 before closing as a -150 favorite.

That move proved profitable for Caesars bettors, as the Texans took the Ohio State quarterback with the second pick.

“That was probably the worst decision overall,” Pullen said.

Stroud going No. 2 was the best decision for Circa, which lost on the draft overall.

“We lost a palatable amount, close to what I would have expected,” Circa director of risk Chris Bennett said. “C.J. Stroud going second was good. (Florida quarterback) Anthony Richardson going fourth was bad.

“More losers than winners, as you would expect given the nature of this market.”

Caesars’ best decisions were on props for the third, fourth and fifth picks. Stroud was the worst case for the third pick, where Houston traded up to take Anderson. Levis was the biggest loser for the book at No. 4, where the Colts took Richardson.

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was the largest liability at No. 5, where the Seahawks took Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon.

Raiders prop

Station Casinos was a small loser on the draft. But the book’s biggest win was on a prop on the position of the Raiders’ first pick, which was Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson. Cornerback was the +125 favorite.

“The money was clearly on cornerback and quarterback,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said.

Bettors dealt Station its largest loss on over 1½ running backs in the first round. The prop, which closed at -350, went over when the Falcons took Texas’ Bijan Robinson at No. 8 and the Lions took Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12.

“We got a lot of action on the over,” Esposito said. “It was kind of a stunner to see Gibbs go No. 12 to Detroit with D’Andre Swift there and just signing David Montgomery to a three-year deal.

“There’s so much misinformation out there on the draft. Every single day, there’s different stories. But a mock is just a mock. By the time we got to the fifth or sixth pick, everybody could’ve ripped theirs up.”

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

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