New York Sports Betting Does Not Allow NFL Draft Wagers: Here’s Why

As football fans get ready to watch and wager on the NFL Draft starting on Thursday, New York sports bettors won’t be so lucky.

It turns out that while the state legalized sports betting, regulations set by the New York State Gaming Commission exclude certain types of bets. Restricted bets include in-state college teams, player prop bets for college teams, and bets on events outside the field of play, i.e., events that don’t involve an actual game. 

What does that mean? Bettors can’t wager on events like:

  • Who will be voted MVP
  • The NFL Draft
  • Awards like the Oscars, ESPYS, etc.

Bets on awards like MVP are restricted to maintain the “integrity” of gaming since the award is chosen by vote. The argument is that bettors could potentially game the system, pooling votes to benefit their wagers. 

The NFL draft is excluded because it is not considered a “sports event.” While legislators say it’s a “gray area” in the law, sportsbooks can’t offer these bets to New York bettors.

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How I Learned NFL Draft Wagers Are Prohibited In New York

And one of those New Yorkers was me! This week, I logged onto DraftKings New York to write a piece about the Giants and the Jets NFL draft odds. But, much to my mounting frustration, I couldn’t find them. 

After a significant amount of time cursing at my computer, I sent a tech support request over to DraftKings. It was only then that I figured out what was going on. 

In the support email, DraftKings explained: “New York state has not approved wagering on the NFL Draft, and therefore, users in New York state will not be able to see those lines.”

Whomp whomp.

The states that have approved this market are New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, Michigan, Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon, and Louisiana.

But New Yorkers are shut out.

The NYSGC’s regulations state that “a casino sports wagering licensee shall not offer sports wagers on…any event that is not a sports event.” 

While I’m newer to sports betting, apparently even seasoned bettors weren’t aware of the fine print in the law, and many people found out about it when trying to place bets. 

Back in February, during the Super Bowl, Twitter users were going to the app to express frustration that they couldn’t find a section on sportsbooks to bet on the Super Bowl MVP. Others logged on to commiserate, complain, or ask for the law to change.

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New York Lawmakers Also Frustrated

The two senators most known for championing mobile sports betting in the state have expressed hope that additional allowances are on the way. 

Senator Joe Addabbo pointed to new provisions in the state budget that will allow for expanded sports betting servers and says he expects more opportunities to expand in the near future. 

A big part of the optimism about expanding sports betting in New York comes from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s support of the effort. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was opposed to any such expansions.

New Yorkers who want to place these bets will likely revert to their strategies from before sports betting was legalized in New York. 

Many New Yorkers used friends or bookies in other states to help them place bets, drove the short drive to New Jersey or Pennsylvania to place bets themselves, or even placed bets illegally.

NFL Draft Betting Odds For New York Teams

Even though New Yorkers can’t place bets in-state on the NFL draft, we’ve got details and odds on the draft so you can follow from wherever you are.

This year, both New York football teams have two top-10 picks, making fans feel a little better about the rough season behind them.

The Jets have nine picks, including Nos. 4 and No. 10 in the first round. The team went 4-13 last season, so there’s a lot of room for improvement and some exciting opportunities with the draft.

Jets GM Joe Douglas has helmed the team through two drafts, and coach Robert Saleh is entering his second season with the team after coming over from the San Francisco 49ers. 

They’ll most likely be looking for a top wide receiver to weaponize QB Zach Wilson, a key player to fill out their defensive line, and a cornerback or offensive line spot.

The Giants also went 4-13 last season and have nine picks overall, with two in the first round — Nos. 5 and 7.

In January, the team brought on both a new GM and a new coach to shake up their losing streak. GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll worked together on the Buffalo Bills, with Schoen as the team’s assistant GM for five seasons and Daboll as offensive coordinator for four seasons.

We’ll see the first real public test of their teamwork at the helm of the Giants in the draft starting this Thursday. The Giants need a tight end, a running back, an offensive lineman, and an edge rusher.

NY Jets NFL Draft Betting Odds

Here are some of the DraftKings odds for the Jets’ pick at No. 4 overall.

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux +275
  • Ahmad Gardner +350
  • Travon Walker +500
  • Jermaine Johnson II +600
  • Ikem Ekwonu +750
  • Garrett Wilson +1400
  • Evan Neal +1400

And for the No. 10 overall pick:

  • Garrett Wilson +400
  • Jameson Williams +450
  • Drake London +450
  • Ahmad Gardner +550
  • Jermaine Johnson +600
  • Derek Stingley Jr. +600
  • Kyle Hamilton +800

NY Giants NFL Draft Betting Odds

Here are the top choices from DraftKings for the Giants at No. 5 overall

  • Ikem Ekwonu +300
  • Evan Neal +300
  • Ahmad Gardner +450
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux +450
  • Charles Cross +450
  • Travon Walker +700

And for the No. 7 overall pick

  • Ahmad Gardner +300
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux +500
  • Evan Neal +550
  • Jermaine Johnson II +600
  • Charles Cross +600
  • Kyle Hamilton +800

AP Photo/Steve Luciano

About the Author

Hannah Vanbiber

Hannah Vanbiber is an LSU fan by birth, Cavaliers fan by marriage, and Mets fan by choice. She started her journalism career in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a reporter covering local sports, entertainment, and business in the East Tennessee area. She was the leading editor for the launch of a new sports magazine brand by Chattanooga’s CityScope Magazine. Hannah moved to New York City in 2013 and started writing freelance for several clients including newspapers, magazines, and corporate brands. She also joined the nonprofit world and spent eight years working in fundraising, most recently as the Director of Volunteers at New York City’s oldest homeless services organization. She is now a full-time freelance writer, editor, and reporter, covering women’s sports and sports betting in the New York metropolitan area. Hannah lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ben Wagner, whose loyalty to LeBron James knows no bounds.

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