Walker, who was not even listed when some sportsbooks set the odds on which player would be the No. 1 pick, surged past Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson late Sunday and now sits atop oddsboards at books across the country. Hutchinson had been the outright favorite since early March.
Walker’s odds went from +150 to -200 Sunday night at Caesars Sportsbook, with Hutchinson falling from -170 to +160. During a 12-hour span beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday, 36% of the money bet on all NFL-related options at Caesars Sportsbook was either “pro-Walker or anti-Hutchinson,” according to Max Meyer, a spokesperson for Caesars.
Walker opened at 30-1 to be the first pick at BetMGM sportsbooks. He now accounts for 35% of the money wagered in BetMGM’s odds to go No.1, the most of any player. Seamus Magee, sports trader for BetMGM, said they took “sharp money late yesterday on Walker” that contributed to the odds movement.
The Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick. The trading team at sportsbook PointsBet, where Walker also moved past Hutchinson over the weekend, say they believe that Jacksonville general manager Trent Baalke is “fully on Walker.”
“Ultimately, at the end of the day, Baalke gets the final call, which is why Walker is currently the overall favorite go No. 1,” a PointsBet spokesman told ESPN on Monday.
The draft begins Thursday in Las Vegas.