Caleb Williams NFL Draft Predictions, Projections, Betting Odds & Best Bets: #1 to the Bears a mere formality

Apr 15, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws a pass during the Spring Game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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The 2024 NFL Draft is almost upon us, and this is an event that has dominated sports headlines since the Super Bowl in February, seemingly at or near the forefront of sports fans’ minds even amidst March Madness, Opening Day in Major League Baseball, The Masters and the final stretch of regular seasons in the NBA and NHL. In a matter of days, it will have the spotlight pretty much all to itself.

And the brightest spotlight will undoubtedly be on Caleb Williams. The former USC and Oklahoma quarterback has been considered a heavy favorite to go #1 overall in this year’s draft basically ever since he won the Heisman Trophy in 2022. Williams failed to go back-to-back with the the Heisman (the 2023 honor went to LSU’s Jayden Daniels), but that has done nothing to cloud the picture at #1 overall — where the Chicago Bears will be selecting on Thursday, April 25.

Williams is a massive -10000 favorite to be the top pick next week. Nobody else has better than +2000 odds (Daniels).

2024 NFL Draft #1 pick odds

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

  • Caleb Williams (-10000)
  • Jayden Daniels +2000)
  • Drake Maye (+3000)
  • Marvin Harrison Jr. (+4000)
  • J.J. McCarthy (+5000)
  • Bo Nix (+10000)
  • Michael Penix Jr. (+10000)

Caleb Williams NFL Draft odds

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

  • Caleb Williams #1 pick (-10000)
  • Caleb Williams #2 pick (+5000)
  • Caleb Williams #3 pick (+10000)
  • Caleb Williams #4 pick (+15000)
  • Caleb Williams #5 pick (+15000)

Caleb Williams NFL Draft best bet

Parlay: 1) Caleb Williams, 2) Jayden Daniels, 3) Drake Maye (-140)

Obviously, there isn’t any value on backing Williams to go #1 overall — not when his odds are -10000. You can get him at +5000 to be the 2nd pick, and even at those huge odds you are really just throwing away money at that point.

Instead, a smart play involving Williams would be to parlay him with Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye to go 1, 2 and 3 in that order. A -140 price isn’t too steep for that option. It is true that things will get interesting after the Bears select Williams, but chances are good that the 2nd and 3rd picks will also go according to plan. Daniels is coming off a historic season at LSU and his dual-threat athleticism make him too good to pass up for the Washington Commanders at #2. That would leave Maye for the New England Patriots at #3. Although J.J. McCarthy has been shooting up draft boards in recent weeks, he isn’t at Maye’s level and the Pats really can’t afford another potential Mac Jones situation. They can’t even risk it — and McCarthy would be a bigger risk than Maye.

With Williams’ odds basically rendering him useless as an individual in the NFL Draft betting market, consider this 3-pick parlay as an enticing play.

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