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2022 NFL Draft betting picks and predictions- Who will be first and second picks?

April 19, 2022

As the clock ticks down to the first kick of the football season in September, we have the pressing matter of the NFL Draft. As always, the two most popular markets you will find as part of the draft is who will be the first and second player that is picked.

You always find a lot of similarities in the list of favorites for picks 1 and 2, as those who had a successful final year of NCAAF rise to the top. This can make it a difficult bet to make. This year it is even more difficult as the teams with the first picks have similar issues in their team that they need to ensure they remedy.

Both the first pick team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the team with the second pick, Detroit Lions, are looking for a defensive linesman and this is why the favorites in the two markets are almost identical. This said, there are also some discernible differences between the teams with picks 1 and 2 that might help with these NFL draft betting decisions.

Let’s take a look at some of the front runners of this NFL Draft and determine who will be going where in the first picks!

First Overall Pick – Will the Jags go defense or offense?

Michigan Wolverines’ defensive-back, Aidan Hutchinson is looking like the favored choice by both teams to fill that gap. He has the lowest odds of being both first (-182) and second (+135) pick. This is no surprise as he is hot property off the back of winning both the Ted Hendricks and Lombardi Award in 2021. It is highly likely that if he does not go first, he will go second.

You can not rule out the second event happening, though, and there is a reason why Trayvon Walker is next in line. Specifically, Walker has been on the Jaguars’ radar for some time. So it is a tough one to call but Walker could well edge the favorite. He currently trails Hutchison at +165 for the first pick but while Hutchison certainly looks like the most likely, Jaguar’s previous interest in Walker makes him a decent bet.

There is also the chance the Jaguars go a different direction altogether with their prime position and opt to pick a player that will help the development of their quarterback, and last year’s first pick, Trevor Lawrence. They may also be concerned about losing Cam Robinson in the future too, so a solid offensive tackle is going to be in their thoughts.

In this position, there are two clear front-runners, NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu, who is at +1200, and Alabama State’s, Evan Neall, who is at +2000. We would favor the latter of these two as he is the more practical choice and can play left or right, in case Robinson leaves. Not to mention, he would offer the bigger payouts when it comes to odds.

The first pick is the tougher of the two for sure. However, we think the Jaguars will ultimately opt for defense, and their odds of drafting a Defensive Lineman reflect this at -1115. We would go for Walker over Hutchison. Although if your gut is saying they are going offensive then we would favor Neal over Ekwonu.

Second Overall Pick – Lions looking defensive

The second pick is slightly easier to call because regardless of what the Jags decide, you want to look at the defensive backs again. The likelihood of the Lions drafting a defensive linesman first is very low at -286, as they try to replace Trey Flowers, who was released in March.

Hutchison would remain the most logical pick in this position and if the Jags don’t take him, Detroit definitely will.  Although it would serve to look for a failsafe in this pick. There are a couple of options they could go for if their first choice doesn’t pan out.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is currently looking like he could be the next best thing to Hutchison and seems to be the favored choice over Walker by the Lions according to some.  He is sitting just ahead of Walker (+275) with odds of +240 so he is just edging it as he is more likely to be snapped up by the Lions.

If you are looking for an alternative to the favorites, another option they may go for is Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner, who also has chops as a wide receiver so could be a more versatile addition to their squad, but it might be a bit too early to pick them, and his current odds of +1700 reflect that.

In that same vein, those looking for an even bigger wildcard could go for Jermaine Johnson II of Florida State. He is a defensive lineman who secured 12 sacks in 2021 and has also been pipped to be potentially one of the best edge rushers of the future. While he is still an outsider, sitting at +2000 for the second pick, with so much potential you can see him getting picked early on – although by the Lions is another story.

With all this said, the safest bet is going to be Hutchison here even though the odds are less appealing as he is certainly the right man for their team. You will just need to hope the Jags go offensive or, failing that, feel like Walker is a better fit. A belt and braces approach if you are looking to bet on the second pick alone would be to take Hutchison and cover yourself with Thibodeaux as this definitely looks like the Lion’s likely pecking order.

Want more NFL betting? NFL odds for the 2022-23 are already live on Unibet so if you’ve got a hunch, you know where to go!