This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
The countdown to the NBA Draft continues, as we’re now just 10 days away from the big night. The draft process – which for some teams has spanned more than eight months – has been a grueling one, but there’s still plenty of uncertainty, especially at the top.
That uncertainty is reflected in the betting odds at the DraftKings Sportsbook, which offers a variety of props based around the Nov. 18 draft. Let’s take a look at the market and analyze some of the most appealing numbers.
First Overall Pick
Anderson: I don’t think there’s any value to betting on any of the longshots (guys outside the top three). While I think Edwards has the best chance to go No. 1, simply because he isn’t a point guard (D’Angelo Russell) or a center (Karl-Anthony Towns), I don’t like the value at -215 because of the uncertainty surrounding the top of the draft. Similarly, +171 isn’t good enough value for me to bet on Ball going No. 1. If the Timberwolves were to trade down or out, my bet would be that Wiseman goes No. 1, but even so, +750 on the off chance they trade down isn’t overly appealing to me either. I think the best move is to stay away from the No. 1 overall pick bets.
Whalen: This is probably a stay-away for me. But I am at least mildly intrigued by Wiseman’s odds. It’s very possible that Minnesota could move the pick before – or on – draft night, and there’s a good chance that any team vaulting up to No. 1 could have its eye on Wiseman. Outside of the top three, there’s no obvious longshot, though if I had to pick a name it would probably be Killian Hayes.
Player Draft Position
Note: “Over” refers to pick being after the listed draft position. “Under” refers to pick being before the listed draft position
Over 2.5: +180
Under 2.5: -225
Anderson: I’m staying away at these odds. I could see Ball going anywhere from 1-4, and don’t have a good enough read on where he’ll go to bet it.
Whalen: The number is in line with the belief that Ball is the favorite at No. 2, but I’m not sure I buy that – especially if Golden State hangs on to the pick. The bigger concern for me would be Minnesota taking him at one. Even so, I think it’s more likely that Ball slips to three or four, so I’d be comfortable taking the over at +180.
Over 2.5: -225
Under 2.5: +180
Anderson: I would HAMMER the the under 2.5 at +180 with Wiseman. I think it’s basically a lock that he’ll go No. 2 if the draft order stays as is, and if anyone trades up to 1 or 2, I think they’ll be trading up to take Wiseman
Whalen: I’m taking the under. Ball or Edwards could go No. 1, but it feels like things are trending toward Wiseman coming off the board at two – whether that pick is made by the Warriors or ultimately traded. Getting plus money on Wiseman – even if it’s only +180 – is a nice value.
Over 1.5: +172
Under 1.5: -215
Anderson: I don’t mind the idea of betting over 1.5 at +172, because Edwards is so far down my personal board, this would just be a bet on common sense prevailing, but I still don’t love it since he is my predicted No. 1 pick.
Whalen: He’s the heavy favorite to go No. 1 for a reason, but there are enough holes in his profile that it wouldn’t be surprising if Edwards fell to two or three. At those numbers, both sides are a stay-away for me, but it does feel like he’ll be the No. 1 pick if Minnesota holds onto it.
Over 4.5: -182
Under 4.5: +149
Anderson: I LOVE the over 4.5 with Toppin. Players his age (22) almost never go in the top four. I could definitely see Dan Gilbert making the executive decision to take Toppin at 5, but I’d be pretty surprised if he went higher than that.
Whalen: This is a pretty easy under. There’s a chance Chicago takes Toppin at No. 4, but it’s far more likely that he comes off the board in the five-through-eight range. This would be a much more difficult choice if the line were set at 5.5 to include Cleveland.
Number of Freshmen Drafted in Top 10
Over 4.5: +200
Under 4.5: -250
Anderson: I think it basically comes down to whether Patrick Williams goes top 10 — Wiseman, Edwards, Onyeka Okongwu and Isaac Okoro seem like near locks to go top 10. I think Williams should come off the board with a top-10 pick, so I don’t hate betting the over 4.5 at +250, since I view it as close to a 50/50 proposition.
Whalen: As things currently stand, it would be a surprise if all four of Wiseman, Edwards, Isaac Okoro and Onyeka Okongwu don’t go in the top 10. So if you’re taking the over, it’s essentially a bet that Patrick Williams sneaks into the top 10. At +250, I think it’s worth a shot. Plus, there’s an outside chance a player like Tyrese Maxey or Precious Achiuwa could make a late climb up draft boards.
Number of International Players Drafted in Top 10
Over 3.5: +400
Under 3.5: -560
Anderson: I like the under at -560, but those odds obviously aren’t great. Ball, Deni Avdija and Killian Hayes seem like locks to go top 10, so it comes down to whether Aleksej Pokusevski or RJ Hampton go top 10. I doubt one of them does.
Whalen: Similar to the freshmen bet, this one will likely come down to a single player. Ball, Hayes and Deni Avdija are near-locks for the top 10, so it’s a question of whether a team likes R.J. Hampton enough to pull the trigger – or swing a trade – around picks 9 and 10. Some teams may have their eye on Aleksej Pokusevski, as well, but it’s tough for me to imagine him working his way into the top 10.
Player Selected With the Xth Overall Pick
Anderson: If you’re looking for a long shot, I really like Obi Toppin going 8th overall at +2500. He is repped by CAA, which is where Leon Rose worked before he became Knicks president. The Knicks love big names and are always in a rush to win, so I could see them going for an older prospect with name value like Toppin. I think his defensive woes could scare enough teams away for him to fall to 8.
Whalen: I think Toppin is probably off the board before No. 8, but I like that call at 25/1. If he makes it that far, the Knicks would have a hard time passing. I would also think about sprinkling some cash on Devin Vassell at +600.
At the 14h pick, I would lean toward R.J. Hampton. While there’s a decent chance he’s off the board, I don’t see Boston passing if Hampton is still available. Tyrell Terry (+1600) is another name to watch, particularly if a team in the 10-to-13 range snaps up Hampton.