Welcome to NBA Draft Week! The Draft takes place this Thursday, July 29th, and the event presents a good opportunity for savvy bettors to capitalize on.
When it comes to the first three picks of the Draft, per the odds, it looks like it will be Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and Evan Mobley, in some order.
Let's take a deeper look at the odds and a couple of best bets below:
1st Pick: Cade Cunningham -5000
The Oklahoma State star is a huge -5000 favorite on BetMGM to be the No. 1 selection by the Detroit Pistons. His implied probability to be selected first is 98%. Cunningham has the ability to come in right away and make an impact in the NBA. Considering he also has highest floor out of this group, I don't see him falling out of the No. 1 spot. Now if a team like the OKC Thunder offer up a plethora of picks to Detroit, then maybe. Otherwise, look for the Pistons to call Cunningham's name come Thursday.
2nd Pick: Jalen Green -200
The No. 2 and 3 spots are toss-ups between Green and Mobley. Green spent a year with the G-League Ignite team, showing flashes of elite athleticism. He currently sits at -200 to be the No. 2 pick by the Houston Rockets. His game reminds me a lot of Zach LaVine's, and he'd be able to help Houston offensively from the jump.
3rd Pick: Evan Mobley -175
USC’s Mobley is a two-way, versatile big man that stands at seven feet tall. He's currently at -175 to be the No. 3 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mobley had a big year in college, capped by USC's deep March Madness run. The Cavs are in the middle of a rebuild and trying to acquire as many talented pieces as possible, so they'll be happy with either Mobley or Green at No. 3.
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4th Pick: Jalen Suggs -160
Suggs is the consensus pick to go fourth across most sportsbooks at -160. The young guard put on a show during his freshmen year at Gonzaga, leading the team all the way to the NCAA Finals in his first year. The 20-year old looks like the perfect fit for the Toronto Raptors, who are picking fourth. If Kyle Lowry leaves the Raptors as expected, Suggs would be an ideal replacement who can come in and help Toronto get back to their winning ways.
5th Pick: Scottie Barnes -135
Barnes has shot up draft boards over the last few weeks and is now the favorite (-135) to be selected fifth by the Orlando Magic. The versatile FSU big man is only 19 years old. Teams like Barnes' motor and project him to have a high ceiling. He'd be perfect on a team like Orlando, who is trying to swing for the fences at five.
As for betting purposes, Barnes has now become a betting liability for several sportsbooks.
"Barnes is our most bet/ most handle/ biggest liability for the 5th overall pick," said Michael Korn, Sports Analyst at PointsBet Sportsbook "We opened his odds to go No. 5 at +180 and now its all the way into -130."
The pair have been invited to the Green Room and are shooting up draft boards. Thomas has been one of the country’s best scorers at both the High School and College levels, and his ability to get buckets will transfer over to the NBA. Several teams are interested in him including the Knicks and the Thunder.
OKC is trying to accumulate the best players possible and he’d be a great fit next to their PG Shai Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. As for the Knicks, we all saw how desperately they could’ve used scoring in the playoffs. New York holds the 19th and 21st picks, and I don't see him getting past the Knicks.
The knockdown shooter Duarte also has been picking up steam recently in terms of his draft position. The Oregon shooter has the ability to immediately make an impact no matter what roster he is on. I can see him going anywhere in the 13-16 range. He’d be a good fit to the Indiana Pacers at 13, or would slide in nicely as Klay Thompson’s backup in Golden State if they hang onto their pick at 14. Duarte has been compared to Thompson in many ways, and that Golden State system would allow him to maximize his potential.
Thomas is favored at -120 to be selected before Mann in next week’s draft. I like the LSU guard to be selected in the first part of the first round, whereas Mann is slated to go more towards the end of the first round. At this price at multiple books, this wager presents some betting value to take advantage of.
* Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet, and BetMGM.
* The markets are fluid, so make sure you shop around.