I'll never forget how I came so perilously close to losing $20.

In 2022, having only been in Iowa a month, on the night of the 2022 NFL Draft, I went to place a wager on the second overall pick. I thought the Detroit Lions would take a big swing and draft Malik Willis, the quarterback from Liberty University. That was when I found out that betting on the NFL Draft wasn't allowed in the state of Iowa.

It was a blessing in disguise. The Lions took Aidan Hutchinson with the second overall pick. Malik Willis fell all the way to the third round, and was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 86th pick. Not only did I save money, I was spared from being not just wrong, but completely and totally wrong.

The 2024 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. On April 25th, 32 players will see their dreams come true when their names are called on a stage in Detroit having just been selected by an NFL team. In the days following, 200+ more college students will experience the same thrill.

The question that might be on your mind: can you experience your own thrill and bet on the draft? Can you put a little coin on who a specific team might pick, or where a player will ultimately land? Well, finally you can legally bet on the NFL Draft in the state of Iowa. However, there's one big stipulation that isn't present in any other state with legalized sports betting.

You Can Bet on the NFL Draft in Iowa... But There's a Catch:

San Francisco 49ers v Jacksonville Jaguars
Iowa State's Brock Purdy was famously the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Last year, he led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. Photo Credit: Mike Carlson, Getty Images

As of 2024, there are 22 states that permit you to bet on the NFL Draft.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

However, Iowa is the only one with this unique stipulation: you cannot bet on the NFL Draft within 24 hours of it taking place (which is 7pm CST on Thursday, April 25th). Sportsbook both brick and mortar and virtual (via apps like DraftKings, FanDuel, etc) must close off NFL Draft betting 24 hours before it begins and cannot reopen during the three-day event.

Why Does Iowa Have This Caveat?:

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Despite my most diligent efforts, I couldn't find a concrete reason as to why you cannot bet on the NFL Draft on the day it takes place. My assumption is that this prevents insider information from leaking and affecting bets.

It's not uncommon for NFL insiders like Adam Schefter to be tipped off within hours of the draft beginning with knowledge of who a team might select or whether or not they'll attempt to trade up to get the guy they want.

Photo Credit: Nicomenijes, Digital Team
Photo Credit: Nicomenijes, Digital Team

30 states have officially legalized sports betting so far. Being that it's such a newly legalized phenomenon, the parameters and underlying restrictions are still unknown to a large group of people, myself obviously included.

For more information on NFL Draft betting in the state of Iowa, visit Bleacher Nation's website.

Things You Should Never Do In Iowa

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