This week, there has been a sudden and drastic shift when it comes to betting odds for the NFL Draft. For months now, there hasn’t been much of a consensus over which player will go second overall with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson and even Georgia edge Travon Walker all spending time as the favorite to be the pick.
Now a fourth has jumped to the top. As first pointed out by Jaime Eisner of The Draft Network, Oregon edge Kayvon Thibodeaux now holds the best odds to be Pick No. 2.
A few caveats before we dive into the numbers. As always, odds are not meant to be predictive, but rather follow the betting action so that the sportsbooks can get as close to equal bets on all sides. Additionally, this wager is for the No. 2 pick overall, not necessarily for the Detroit Lions. If the Lions move, the odds do not move with them.
Okay, now let’s look at just how drastically Thibodeaux’s odds have shifted, via our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. Back on March 23, we noted that Hamilton was the favorite to be that second pick. Here’s what the odds looked like for the top prospects then and how they shifted two weeks later:
Odds to be the No. 2 pick (@DKSportsbook):— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) April 9, 2022
2 weeks ago:
- Kyle Hamilton (+300)
- Aidan Hutchinson (+400)
- Malik Willis (+400)
- Travon Walker (+400)
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (+1000)
- Hutchinson (+250)
- Walker (+250)
- Thibodeaux (+400)
- Willis (+450)
- Hamilton (+850)
Now here’s what the odds look like today:
- Thibodeaux: +150
- Hutchinson: +160
- Walker: +450
- Willis: +1000
- Ahmad Gardner: +1200
- Ikem Ekwonu: +2500
- Evan Neal: +2800
- Derek Stingley Jr.: +3000
- Hamilton: +3000
Hamilton’s fall is kind of shocking, but that’s for another story. Let’s focus on Thibodaux's rise from +1000 to +150 in a month.
The dramatic shift seems somewhat random, as most recent reports seem to question whether Thibodeaux is a culture fit in Detroit. Late last week, Albert Breer revealed that he had a conversation with an anonymous NFL executive who believes head coach Dan Campbell isn’t a fan of Thibodeaux.
“His personality is a lot,” said one exec, “and you hear the head coach there isn’t a fan.”
Though it’s worth pointing out at least one publication has refuted that report, saying “that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
The Lions themselves have kept their intentions pretty close to the vest, but their interest in Thibodeaux has been quite public. Lions general manager Brad Holmes attended at least one game in person, they had conversations with him at the NFL Combine, showed up en masse to his pro day, and even had him in for a top-30 visit. Personality aside, Campbell fully admitted the guy has talent.
“He’s an explosive athlete,” Campbell said two weeks ago. “He’s a playmaker, you know? He’s got a good, quick first step. I mean, he’s something else. He’s pretty special on tape.”
So is this latest shift in odds a sign that someone with insider information has been betting hard on Thibodeaux or is this just another confusing development in what has been an extremely tough draft to predict?
We’re just over a week away from knowing the truth, y’all.