NFL Draft Live Updates: Jacksonville Selects Travon Walker at No. 1

Credit…Isaac Brekken for The New York Times

Not everyone in Las Vegas is happy that the NFL draft is coming to town. The hotels will be packed, the restaurants will be filled and tens of thousands of fans visiting for the three-day event will no doubt head to the many casinos here.

But to Jay Kornegay, the vice of the Westgate SuperBook, one of the largest sports books in Las Vegas, the draft president is likely to be a money loser. Too many bettors have too much data about NFL teams and the college players that might help them. Some might call that a level playing field, but to a sports book that relies on “asymmetric” amounts of data (more for them, less for bettors) to turn a profit, it’s a recipe for disaster.

“There’s just so much information out there: The sharps have it, the novices have it,” Kornegay said, sitting in a VIP box on the floor of the SuperBook this month. “It’s my least favorite event because they’re winning.”

Kornegay said the Westgate had never made money on the event since Las Vegas sports books started taking bets on the draft in 2017. To limit their exposure, sports books offer relatively low limits, $1,000, as opposed to five-figure limits for typical football games .

Most of the Las Vegas sports books posted their odds only this week. According to BetMGM, Aidan Hutchinson, an edge rusher from Michigan, is the favorite to be taken first overall.

In Nevada, bets that involve a player’s name are cut off 24 hours before the start of the first round of the draft, whether they are placed by phone or in person at a sports book. Bettors who wanted to put money on Hutchinson to be picked first overall had to do so by Wednesday night.

Bets that don’t involve a player’s name — the over/under on the number of linebackers picked, for instance, or the number of players from the Southeastern Conference taken in the first round — can be made up to the beginning of the round on a given day. Even with these variables, bettors come out on top more often than not.

“There’s very few real surprises,” Kornegay said. “I don’t know why we take bets on the draft. We’ve yet to win any money.”

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