Can You Bet On The NFL Draft In Ohio? The Answer Is Complicated

Written By Brett Gibbons on February 23, 2023
Ohio Sports Betting NFL Draft

Come April 27, the NFL world turns its gaze to the NFL Draft. Around the country, sports bettors will be able to partake in the event, betting on the first overall player taken, the number of cornerbacks selected in the first round, and whether Pick 32 will be an offensive or defensive player.

Ohio sports betting has been up and running since Jan. 1. With NFL Draft odds already available at sportsbooks, why don’t they show up in Ohio?

Will Ohioans be able to bet on the NFL Draft? The answer is complicated.

Can you bet on the NFL Draft in Ohio?

The short answer to this is, yes. In some capacity.

Nationwide, sportsbooks offer dozens of prop markets on NFL Draft placement, team selections, and otherwise, but Ohio limits its bettors to a handful of markets:

  • Number of [insert position here] drafted in Round 1
  • Number of players from Conference X drafted in Round 1
  • Total [insert position here] drafted
  • Total players from Conference X drafted

End of list.

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), league drafts, combines, and other player evaluation/selection events require approval in the Buckeye State. That includes the NFL Draft.

However, the NBA Draft allows Ohio bettors to bet on players going at a certain pick (just not first or second overall). The OCCC executive director reviewed available markets and hand-selected these four to be available to Ohioans.

For residents looking to bet on this year’s first overall pick, you’re out of luck. Same goes for Player X being drafted in Round 1. The markets offered in Ohio will be limited and strong.

Betting on the NFL Draft often carries moral questions. Insider information runs rampant in the event — after all, that’s what mock drafts are all about. What’s to keep Jim Irsay’s cousin’s son from laying $10K on the Colts first pick? Or from Irsay himself announcing to the world the Colts’ intentions? It’s a market that could be seriously fixed.

What markets do other states offer?

Days before the Chicago Bears announce their selection, dozens of markets will exist for the NFL Draft. The most popular exist months in advance: first overall pick, first QB drafted, first WR drafted.

Other markets offered include team position decisions (ex. “The Patriots first pick will be a WR +140”), player-team markets (ex. “CJ Stroud to be drafted by Colts +225”), and first player at Position X to be drafted.

Some states don’t stop there. Safety markets, odd/even jersey number props, and player draft number over/unders are also commonplace at major books. Just, not in Ohio.

So, for this year at least, Ohioans’ options for betting the NFL Draft will be limited. With Gov. Mike DeWine pushing for further regulation in the industry, it’s unlikely we’ll see expansion in these markets anytime soon.

Perhaps a friendly mock draft contest with your friends will have to do.

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Brett Gibbons

Brett Gibbons is a contributing writer for PlayOhio and Brett specializes in sports betting and has previously written for Sports Illustrated and Fansided. Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State.

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