The NBA Finals are in the rearview mirror now, but there’s a quick turnaround before Thursday’s 2022 NBA Draft. The lottery is loaded with polished college talent. The top of the class is so deep that there is plenty of debate on who could go No. 1 overall. Odds have changed drastically over the last few days and even more speculation has been created. With just hours until the first name is called, let’s look at the odds and see who’s name it may be.
2022 NBA Draft Lottery Results
The lottery, which determines the order of the first 14 picks, was held May 17. The results of it swung some of the odds as the Magic hold the first overall pick, and oddsmakers feel they know who the best fit will be. Below is the official order determined by the lottery.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers)
San Antonio Spurs
New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)
The results of the lottery swayed the odds for the No. 1 overall pick, as prior to it, everyone on the board was plus money. One man became the clear favorite, but in the last 48 hours, we've seen a switch at the top. DraftKings Sportsbook gives us a look at who may go No. 1 with their odds that are listed below.
Jabari Smith Jr.
Should Jabari Smith Jr. Be the Favorite to Go No. 1 in NBA Draft Odds?
Smith entered his freshman season with lottery hype surrounding him, but it was evident when he stepped on the court that he was an elite talent. The 6-foot-10 forward showed that he could do it all as he led the Auburn Tigers to the top of the college basketball world.
Smith is a supremely athletic big man who possess range beyond the three-point line and a smooth package of moves to score on the low block. Overall, Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 42% from three in his season at Auburn. His length makes him an excellent defender as he’s agile enough to guard all five positions.
Should Chet Holmgren Go No. 1 in the NBA Draft?
After the results of the lottery, oddsmakers and NBA pundits rushed to project their fresh thoughts of who will go first in the draft. There is a bit of disagreement between the two groups. NBA.com released a mock draft that was a consensus draft made from 12 of the best mock drafts around the internet. Surprisingly, six of them had Chet Holmgren going first overall, while five had Jabari Smith and one had Paolo Banchero.
Holmgren certainly deserves consideration to go first overall. “The Unicorn” proved he was indeed a rare talent during his time at Gonzaga. He has a lanky build but is supremely athletic. Holmgren used his height and wingspan to become a force on both ends of the floor. In the end, Holmgren averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks as a freshman for Gonzaga. The only concern surrounding him is his skinny frame, as he’s only listed at 195 pounds. While he could get pushed around inside against NBA big men, he has the most upside in the class.
Paolo Banchero’s Late Steam
Just three days ago, Paolo Banchero’s odds to be the first overall pick in the draft jumped from 18-1 to 4-1 on DraftKings. Then Wednesday night, he vaulted past Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith to have the best odds on the board. His steam is unprecedented, but so is his talent and the market has now taken their stance with just hours to go before the first name is called.
It has been reported that Holmgren would prefer to play for Oklahoma City, and he also did not provide medicals to many teams while not participating in the NBA’s heart screening at the Draft Combine.
This has led to an increase in Banchero’s odds as it has become a consensus opinion that Banchero is the best overall player in this draft class. While that does not always translate to draft capital, the uncertainty surrounding Orlando’s pick created a great deal of value on Banchero.
How to Bet on NBA Draft odds
Step 1: Set up a sports betting account
Setting up a sportsbook account is a simple process, and it would be wise to do so on as many as possible. All they need is some basic information, and then you'll be ready to place your first wager in no time. It is essential to have multiple accounts to shop for odds and take advantage of all the free money books like to hand out to new users.
Step 2: Deposit money into your account
Essentially every book will have some kind of deposit bonus for you after you sign up. So be sure to weigh your options once your account is made.
Step 3: Make an NBA Draft Futures Bet
NBA Draft odds are sure to fluctuate in the weeks leading up to the draft, so it is ideal to get them while the value is at its highest, if you have your eye on a certain player. So say you like Chet Holmgren to be taken first overall. A winning bet placed now would line your pocket nicely as it would turn $100 into $250.