The 2023 NFL Draft order is set (for now). And all eyes are on the Carolina Panthers, who traded up to the No. 1 spot — presumably to select either C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young as their franchise quarterback. What are the latest odds that one of these two QBs will go No. 1 overall? The following betting odds are based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Who Will Be Drafted First Overall by the Carolina Panthers?
A good quarterback can help elevate a franchise to the postseason, and sometimes deep into the playoffs. And an elite quarterback can help transform a team into a perennial winner.
Just as with past years, we don’t yet know what kind of NFL quarterbacks C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and other incoming rookies will be. Some might develop quickly. Others (see: Geno Smith) might need a decade.
MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!
However, there’s a good chance Stroud and Young will be difference-makers in the NFL within the first two or three years, if not their first season. Assuming the Panthers don’t shock the world by trading away a pick they invested so much in securing, then Carolina has a huge decision to make. As bettors, we must determine which player is the likeliest selection based on his odds.
Bryce Young Odds
How do we know when the team picking first overall desperately needs to fill a positional hole? The odds offer a clue.
Young has a -120 line to be the first player drafted. He also has a -120 line to be the first quarterback drafted. What does this mean? The betting market sees no reasonable scenario where Carolina chooses anyone other than a QB at the start.
Interestingly, Young is now a slight favorite to go No. 1 overall. Three weeks ago, DraftKings gave him +125 odds to go first, which was somewhat comfortably behind Stroud (-185).
Apparently, a lot’s changed since then. Overall, the betting market believes Young is a better fit in Carolina than Stroud is.
Whomever the Panthers select, that person will join a team that jettisoned one of the greatest running backs in the game last fall, and then their clear-cut No. 1 WR this offseason (as part of the package to move up to No. 1 in the draft).
So it’s notable that Carolina isn’t necessarily looking for a win-now QB, because this franchise needs a lot of help. Instead, they’ll likely want someone they can build around these next four years, with the hope that this quarterback helps generate excitement and attract talent for a club that’s recently struggled in these areas.
C.J. Stroud Odds
Similarly, it’s fascinating that Stroud’s odds of going No. 1 have plummeted (relatively speaking) since late March. His odds of going No. 1 are now -105 (the same, naturally, as his odds of being the first quarterback taken).
This is shaping up to be the fifth time in the last six years — and the seventh time in the last nine years — that a quarterback has come off the board first. And no doubt, Stroud remains a good bet to suit up for Carolina in the fall.
MORE: NFL Mock Draft — Will It Be Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, or Anthony Richardson for the Panthers?
We might say, based on the odds, that Young and Stroud are co-favorites. Although Young has the edge, both guys have lines that assume their odds are better than 50/50.
Of course, this is exposes bettors a bit. There’s no hedging on these two because betting the same amount on both automatically would yield a financial loss. Anthony Richardson has the next-best odds at +2000. This is a two-man race, plain and simple.