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C.J. Stroud rockets to top of the first-pick betting odds

Mike Florio and Chris Simms sift through the Panthers move to trade two first-round picks, two second-round picks and D.J. Moore for the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and weigh in on who they’ll take.

The rising Panthers draft tide has lifted C.J. Stroud’s betting boat.

With Carolina moving from No. 9 to No. 1 in the 2023 NFL draft, the Ohio State quarterback has jumped to the favorite to be the first player drafted.

A week ago, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young held the top spot at -240, with Florida’s Anthony Richardson leapfrogging Stroud at +380.

Now, multiple sports books have Stroud at -300, with Young at +300 and Richardson at +450.

The inescapable conclusion is that the bookies believe Stroud is Carolina’s guy. That he’s the one they traded up to get. That he’s the one they’ll select.

Of course, they could still trade down with a team that takes someone else. At this point, the folks who are paid to get the projections right are pointing to the Panthers picking Stroud.