The NBA Draft is always unpredictable, and with "Lying Season" in full swing, it's hard to sift through what rumor might have some truth to it, and what is thrown out there to manipulate the process as Thursday approaches.
Whether it's the sudden line movement of Duke's Paolo Banchero going from around 18-1 (depending on the book) to +210 to go No. 1 overall on DraftKings after a bunch of bets came in, or who the always head-scratching Sacramento Kings at No. 4 and whether they even plan to keep the pick, we're looking for every edge we can find at this point.
So what's the best approach to betting on this draft? Well, let's try and maximize the value given the uncertainty.
It starts with the Top-3 picks, which have still in most cases come out with Auburn's Jabari Smith at No. 1 (-155), Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren No. 2 (also -155), and Duke's Paolo Banchero No. 3 (-320). The oddsmakers see it that way, and most insiders do as well. Of course, that doesn't rule out the fact that the Magic may not be totally settled on where they want to go just yet.
So, if we take that into consideration, given the lack of value on those prices just pointed out above, it could be worth looking at some of the plus money odds in the first couple of picks. Holmgren going No. 1 is now +230, and if you see that script playing out, it's most likely a Smith to OKC situation then at +145, and a bet on both makes sense.
Banchero has pretty much no shot at falling past the Rockets at No. 3, with him being a perfect fit on that roster, but if you want to tail some of the sudden sharp money on him, it's not crazy to consider Banchero at No. 1 given his talent.
I know, it's a little confusing.
The reality here still stands with a Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero Top-3 in that order, but there's enough smoke to make a value bet worth taking given that we've still never truly had a clear-cut top overall pick this year in a deep draft.
If you're willing to take on a little risk for a better return, go in that direction. The NBA offseason as we know though is full of surprises, and it starts with the draft.
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