Who Will Go No. 1 Overall? NBA Draft Odds, Consensus Mocks

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
NBA draft

While most NBA fans wait to see when the Celtics will wrap up the NBA Finals with their fourth win over the Mavericks, NBA draft odds markets have quietly been posted at online betting sites. Unlike in many years, there’s significant intrigue at the top. Most experts consider the draft wide open, and opinions vary on who will go No. 1 overall.

With a couple of weeks until the draft, let’s look at NBA draft betting odds and compare them to industry mocks.

NBA Mock Drafts

We’ll start with an idea of where industry experts project the top projects. We’ve used mocks from Jonathan Givony (ESPN), Jonathan Wasserman (Bleacher Report), Sam Vecenie (The Athletic), and NBADraft.net. Givony’s is the oldest of the bunch, dated May 31.

A. Sarr22121.75
R. Sheppard33333
S. Castle46444.5
M. Buzelis54554.75
D. Clingan75776.5
D. Knecht976108
R. Holland11911910
Tidjane Salaun81212810

Which Prospect Will Go No. 1 In NBA Draft?

Two horses are considered well ahead of the rest of the field. They both hail from France. Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr will try to follow in the footsteps of Victor Wembanyama as the No. 1 overall pick from that country. Remember that the Hawks surprisingly won the No. 1 overall pick after starting well down the board in the lottery.

Risacher is a wing who brings size and shooting but lacks ball-handling chops. The Hawks have been fruitlessly searching for a player in that mold for years after committing big money to De’Andre Hunter.

Sarr has the higher ceiling of the two as a 7-foot-1 center who can defend all over the court, shoot, and handle the ball.

However, speaking of centers, the market hasn’t yet eliminated Donovan Clingan from contention. In fact, over the weekend, Sarr dropped from about -160 to his current consensus price, while Clingan shortened from the +700 range to +500. He was initially as high as +1200.

The other obvious point of interest is that mock drafters see Risacher as the more likely of the two French ballers to go first overall. That contrasts with the market, which favors Sarr.

Keep in mind that bettors watched a major kerfuffle unfold last season. Shams Charania, who works for FanDuel Sportsbook, fired off a tweet with major market-moving implications. Ultimately, the steam wound up wrong, as Brandon Miller went No. 2 overall rather than Scoot Henderson, whom Charania tweeted was gaining momentum with Charlotte brass. Watch for movement in the coming weeks as reports emerge closer to the draft.

Where Will Bronny James Be Drafted?

Bronny James Draft Position
Over 39.5
Under 39.5
Last Updated on 06.13.2024

Another intriguing storyline revolves around LeBron James Jr., otherwise known as Bronny. Early markets revolve around where the first-born son of the all-time great will go in the draft, 21 years after his father was a shoo-in at 1-1.

Bronny endured somewhat of a lost season at USC. However, it’s important to remember a few things before bettors look at those numbers and rush to smash the over on this prop.

First, there’s precedent for extremely unproductive college players blossoming as pros. Look no further than neighboring school product Peyton Watson. After a freshman season in which Watson averaged fewer than 13 minutes per game, the lanky forward dropped to the 30th pick (Denver) after initially being projected in the lottery. He has since developed into a crucial benchpiece for a title favorite.

Perhaps most critically, Bronny suffered a scary cardiac arrest episode that set his entire season off-kilter. As he gets further from that setback, his play has improved. Most recently, Givony reported that he tested and played well at the NBA combine. Teams have become more comfortable with him as a legitimate prospect. NBA draft odds have taken notice.

Finally, there’s the nebulous possibility that drafting Bronny will help lure LeBron to play his final years in the NBA. LeBron has previously said he wants to finish his career alongside Bronny, who will be an unrestricted free agent after next season.

All of the above mocks have Bronny going anywhere from 52 to 56, with the Lakers holding pick No. 55.

Photo by Associated Press