The 2022 NFL Draft Is Here, But Iowa Bets Are Stuck In The Legislative Green Room

Written By Russ Mitchell on April 27, 2022
2022 NFL Draft Penning

The 2022 NFL Draft opens Thursday night and each public Division I university in Iowa has a player who could hear their name called in the first round.

But don’t bet on it — literally. It’s not a legal wager in the state of Iowa.

And, prospects don’t look good for the 2023 NFL Draft as the 2022 legislative session draws to a close. Erin Murphy, the Des Moines Bureau Chief for Lee Enterprises tells us any betting changes might be sidelined until next year. That keeps some off-the-field bets away from the betting menus at Iowa sportsbooks.

He tells PlayIA there’s a lack of time and enthusiasm in the current session. Other states allow bets like:

  • “Will a team draft Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning in the top 20?”
  • Or, “Will Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum or Iowa State RB Breece Hall get drafted in the first round?”

HF 2497 is still alive, but …

House File 2497 called for 2023 versions of those NFL Draft bets plus other off-the-field bets like “Who will win the Heisman Trophy” or “Who will win the World Series MVP?”

HF 2497 is currently on the legislative calendar as “unfinished business.” That means the bill is still alive, but it doesn’t mean it will get a vote. Lawmakers are in overtime right now. They have work to do, but their daily stipend for food and lodging has expired.

Murphy said the Iowa Legislature has to nail down the state budget and wrap up debate about private school tuition vouchers before lawmakers go home.

Wes Ehrecke, President and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association offered more optimism Wednesday afternoon.

“The legislative leaders are currently focused on several higher priority level bills to be resolved to break the House and Senate impasse. Until they adjourn, we remain optimistic our omnibus bill can be considered if leadership is supportive of the required bipartisan vote.”

Lawmakers also gave the sports betting industry a big win by allowing customers to sign up for Iowa sportsbooks at home or on a mobile device at the start of 2021.

The sports betting industry embraced the change with enthusiasm. Murphy hears that some Republican lawmakers might be experiencing what he calls gambling legislation fatigue, however.

The 2022 NFL Draft wasn’t going to be a betting option anyway because most Iowa laws don’t take effect until July 1.

How to watch the 2022 NFL Draft

  • What: 2022 NFL Draft
  • When: 7 p.m. Thursday (first round); 6 p.m. Friday (rounds 2-3) and 11 a.m. Saturday (rounds 4-7)
  • Where: Las Vegas
  • TV: ESPN, ABC and NFL Network

Iowa bettors should still keep an eye on the 2022 NFL Draft. But, focus on blockbuster trades involving star veterans as you consider NFL futures odds. Here’s what we mean:

  • A veteran like 49ers star WR Deebo Samuel could change betting odds for San Francisco and for a new team if he’s traded for picks.
  • But, usually, only top-tier quarterbacks alter team futures bets “to win a division,” to win the AFC/NFC” or “to win the Super Bowl.”

The quarterback class is a little thin at the top this year. The best options, based on mock drafts, are Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. They aren’t likely to rattle NFL odds much for the upcoming 2022 season.

Photo by Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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