3 Clear Favorites In 2022 NBA Draft First Overall Pick Odds

Written By Brett Gibbons on May 18, 2022
NBA Draft odds

Wich player will hear his name called first at the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 23? The three frontrunners are Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero, but there’s no consensus No. 1 prospect among NBA media. Below, we’ll look at NBA Draft odds and each of the three players in the mix for the top pick.

2022 NBA Draft odds

Any player not listed has odds longer than 50-1.

(Eastern Time)
Jabari Smith
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Chet Holmgren
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Paolo Banchero
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Who Will Be Picked First Overall?

Forward Jabari Smith Auburn

Auburn forward Jabari Smith is the favorite to be the first overall pick, but by a slim margin. In his lone season playing college hoops, Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and shot 42% from three. He was held to just 10 points in a second-round upset loss to the Miami Hurricanes in the recent NCAA Tournament and CBS ranks Smith fourth in their prospect rankings.

At 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds, Smith’s slimmer frame makes him a versatile, court-stretching power forward. While a good player, he lacked in efficiency ratings this past season, coming in 79th nationally in NBA efficiency (18.47) and 82nd in win score (9.1).

To get Smith at his best price, head to DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can get him at plus money.

Center Chet Holmgren Gonzaga

Since high school Chet Holmgren has been tagged as a top NBA prospect. CBS ranks Holmgren second overall just behind Purdue sophomore Jaden Ivey. True centers have gone by the wayside in college basketball, but Holmgren measures in at 7-foot and has enough range to stretch the floor and will be lined up at the five. The concern could be his frame; he weighs in under 200 pounds and worries exist that he’ll be pushed around by bigger NBA players. However, he showed the toughness and ability to play in the paint with heavier players.

He ranked fifth this season in win score (14.1) and seventh in efficiency (24.19). With other great players around him at Gonzaga like Drew Timme, Holmgren served as a low-volume but high efficiency scorer, shooting 73.7% from inside the arc this past season.

Paolo Banchero, F, Duke

Paolo Banchero’s draft stock rose rapidly during Duke’s tournament run; he was instrumental in wins over Texas Tech and Arkansas, especially late in games. Banchero stands as tall as Smith (6-foot-10), but weighs in at 250 pounds. He’s on the outside looking in as far as the first overall pick odds go, but could be a surprise pick as a true developmental prospect.

Banchero’s efficiency numbers don’t measure up to the other two prospective top picks, but his size coupled with his athletic and scoring ability could make him an intriguing pick to the right team. Both FanDuel Sportsbook (+390, his best price) and DraftKings put his implied probability to be picked first just over 20%.

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NBA Draft Lottery Order

1Orlando Magic
2Oklahoma City Thunder
3Houston Rockets
4Sacramento Kings
5Detroit Pistons
6Indiana Pacers
7Portland Trailblazers
8New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers)
9San Antonio Spurs
10Washington Wizards
11New York Knicks
12Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)
13Charlotte Hornets
14Cleveland Cavaliers

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Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons