With the NBA Draft right around the corner on July 29, betting markets have opened in select states. While most expect Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham to be the first pick in the NBA Draft, plenty of intrigue still surrounds the event. TheLines will use this space to collect 2021 NBA Draft rumors, news and information that will hopefully aid bettors in making informed choices.
Where To Bet On The 2021 NBA Draft
Remember, not all states offer markets on the 2021 NBA Draft. Here’s where you can bet on them at three prominent books:
- DraftKings Sportsbook: New Jersey, Michigan Indiana and Illinois
- PointsBet Sportsbook: New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado
- BetMGM Sportsbook: Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia
Consensus 2021 NBA Mock Draft Board
Updated as of July 27. Consensus board combines lottery mocks from ESPN, Bleacher Report, The Athletic and NBADraft.
|Player||Consensus Rank||Notable Line|
|Cade Cunningham||1||Picked No. 1 -5000|
|Jalen Green||2||Picked No. 2 -380|
|Evan Mobley||3||Picked No. 3 -200|
|Jalen Suggs||4||Picked No. 4 -160|
|Scottie Barnes||5||Picked No. 4 +450|
|James Bouknight||6||Picked Top 10 -400|
|Jonathan Kuminga||7||Picked No. 5 +250|
|Moses Moody||8||Picked Top 10 +155|
|Franz Wagner||9||Picked Top 10 -170|
|Josh Giddey||10||O/U 10.5 (+145/-185)|
|Corey Kispert||11||O/U 13.5 (-165/+130)|
|Davion Mitchell||12||Picked Top 10 +100|
|Kai Jones||13||O/U 15.5 (+150/-185)|
|Alperen Sengun||14||O/U 12.5 (+105/-130)|
2021 NBA Draft Rumors And News Tracker
All outlets have begun releasing their final mocks and big boards with the draft just a couple of days away. Additionally, rumors have continued to swirl, and many have more substance than ever due to the draft’s proximity making everything more actionable. Here’s a look at some of the major storylines and stock changes over the past week or so.
- Nearly everyone remains convinced Cunningham will go first, but Wojnarowski did report that the Pistons supposedly still consider Green and Mobley as well. Additionally, real offers have come across the phone lines from OKC, but the Pistons have turned them down. That would seem to indicate Cunningham will be the pick, as they could get huge value in a trade if they wanted someone else.
- ESPN reported that some NBA sources consider Green “close to a lock” to go No. 2. His market has moved from slightly plus money to heavily negative, as he sits around -400 now.
- Consensus has also coalesced around picks No. 3 and No. 4, with everyone expecting Mobley and Suggs to occupy those slots, respectively.
- Barnes has appeared to fully pass Kuminga as the consensus fifth prospect. Hollinger even speculated about Barnes going No. 4 to Toronto. The markets have finally responded to the Barnes hype and corresponding Kuminga slide, as the latter moved to plus money after being favored over the field.
- The rise of Bouknight has peaked, as he’s the consensus No. 6 pick and a huge favorite to go top 10. His markets were around pick No. 10 a month ago.
- The other big risers: Moody, Wagner and Sengun. It sounds like Wagner has a promise in the top 10, with Sacramento the likely culprit. His market has responded in kind. However, Moody and Sengun are widely expected to now go top 10 and in the lottery, respectively. Their markets have not adjusted as much, with Moody listed at 11.5 at DK Sportsbook and Sengun at 12.5. Value may still be available.
- By contrast, Keon Johnson and Davion Mitchell have seen their stock take the biggest hits. Once projected in the top 10 with markets to match, DraftKings Sportsbook has moved them to 12.5. Anyone who grabbed the over early has to be feeling great.
- Memphis and New Orleans consummated a trade that has the Grizzlies now picking No. 10. Australian teenager Josh Giddey appears to be the prime target. Once expected to go in the lottery but outside the top 10, he’s now -185 on DK Sportsbook to go top 10.
According to Wasserman, there’s been some indication from teams that they aren’t totally sold on Kuminga as a top-five prospect.
“Teams have questions about his effort, professionalism and chances of maximizing his potential,” Wasserman wrote.
That should concern bettors who circled Kuminga as a big plus-money bet to go fourth or like him to go fifth at DraftKings, where he’s favored over the field at -105.
The next name on many boards, Barnes, appears to be the one in prime position to take advantage of Kuminga’s potential slippage. Teams have talked themselves into Barnes having star potential and he has raised his top-five equity. As this was being written, Barnes went from +150 to +130 on DraftKings to be picked fifth. If you’re on board with the Barnes bandwagon, best to bet it soon before more value gets sucked out.
- The Athletic reported league sources say Houston is “heavily leaning” to Jalen Green at No. 2. Green is -150 to go second on BetMGM. Of potential interest is that some in the organization are reportedly pushing for Suggs, though. He’s +650 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Both Wasserman and Hollinger at The Athletic like Springer as a top-20 prospect. Springer’s line remains in the early 20s.
- Wasserman moved Cameron Thomas way up to 12th on his board after “conversations with scouts.” Thomas also has a line of 23.5 at DraftKings and BetMGM but he may be moving up boards.
- Another name rising on boards: Kispert. “Based on conversations around the league, Kispert could wind up going top 10 in this draft,” Wasserman reported. Kispert’s markets are still at 13.5 (-150 over) on DraftKings and 14.5 (-110 over) on BetMGM.
- DraftKings opened some additional over/under markets. One name to watch: Turkish C Alperen Sengun. He’s way up at fifth on Hollinger’s board and he’s 17th for Wasserman, with a DraftKings market of 13.5, juiced to the over at -145.
ESPN reported that Cunningham is “not any kind of lock at No. 1.” While previous reports painted them as interested in Green, the latest reports link them to Mobley. More of a finesse big man, Mobley would make an intriguing fit next to the bruising Isaiah Stewart. At least four teams have begun exploring what it would take to move up to No. 1. Keep in mind that any trade would almost certainly lock in Cunningham to go first.
ESPN also reiterated that Barnes remains the top dark horse candidate to break into the top few picks. Another name to watch: Bouknight.
Bleacher Report also released an updated mock draft. The BR team seems more confident in Cunningham getting selected No. 1. However, there was still some fairly major movement in the rest of the board.
Notable risers: Green (fourth to second), Bouknight (13th to seventh), Kai Jones (16th to 9th) and Jaden Springer (up to 18th). Mobley remains just a hair ahead of Green on the consensus board, but the gap has become as narrow as possible. Springer has a market on DraftKings at 23.5 and had previously been projected in the late 20s. Jones jumps into the consensus board while Johnson falls out of the top 14. He has a market at 13.5 on DraftKings.
Notable slides: Franz Wagner (seventh to 12th), Jalen Johnson (ninth to 15th).
Tim Daniels at Bleacher Report reported the Cavs have several potential trade partners for the No. 3 pick. If indeed Mobley is the top player on the board at No. 3, some have questioned his fit in Cleveland. He may have to play power forward next to Jarrett Allen there. Most believe his long-term fit to be at center.
Again, keep an eye out for trade buzz as more 2021 NBA Draft rumors leak. If someone makes a deal to move up, expect them to take Mobley. Otherwise, they’d likely look to deal with the Raptors at No. 4 to take their player of choice for a lesser price.
Bleacher Report‘s Jonathan Wasserman reported that Detroit staff were informed the team plans to select Cunningham. That may solidify the idea that the draft starts at No. 2 with Houston. Wasserman reported Cunningham won’t work out or interview with anyone besides the Pistons.
Like others, he targeted Green as the only player with a small chance to unseat Cunningham, but he noted the Pistons would likely explore trading down if they liked Green. Watch for a trade here because anyone moving up to No. 1 will do so to select Cunningham.
- Keon Johnson likely won’t go higher than No. 8 even with the excellent combine showing.
- Most scouts rate Suggs behind Green and Mobley.
ESPN released a second mock draft. The most notable mover with a betting market: James Bouknight. The UConn product jumped from 14th to eighth on the back of an “absolutely incredible” shooting performance in workouts. Notably, that would move him from over his line of 10.5 at DraftKings to under.
The ESPN team also seconded Hollinger’s assessment that Barnes possesses real top-four potential. They mocked him fifth this time around, going to Orlando.
John Hollinger of The Athletic reported the while Cunningham remains a big favorite to go No. 1, he’s no lock. According to Hollinger and another staffer, the Pistons are “intrigued” by Green.
A selection of Green over Cunningham would cause huge dog money to pay off. He’s +1200 on BetMGM to be the No. 1 pick.
Hollinger also reported that Houston and Cleveland will very likely hang onto picks No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. That means bettors can start exploring the best fits there without fear of a trade disrupting their guesses.
- Florida State’s Scottie Barnes could be a dark horse top-five pick. BetMGM lists him +800 to go both third and fourth.
- Moses Moody measured with an elite wingspan. He has a line of 11.5, balanced on the juice at DraftKings but shaded to the over (-140) at BetMGM.
- Corey Kispert “probably cemented” himself into the lottery. BetMGM lines him at 13.5 with DraftKings at 14.5, evenly juiced on both sites.
The same night that the draft lottery happened — the Detroit Pistons draw the No. 1 pick — ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released his first post-lottery mock.
No surprise at the top with Cunningham projected first. Of note, his projected order for the “big three” tier that follows: Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs. As of July 6, DraftKings offers matching odds, with each player slightly but not overwhelmingly favored in those respective spots.
Notable names projected by Givony five or more spots away from their DraftKings over/unders:
- Jaden Springer 29th (o/u 23.5)
- Ziaire Williams 23rd (o/u 18.5)
- Moses Moody 18th (o/u 11.5)
BetMGM Sportsbook listed Mobley, Green and Suggs as the favorites for No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.
The NBA Draft Combine took place on these dates. Invitees went through a variety of testing and scrimmages in hopes of boosting draft stock. As far as actionable betting information, not too much emerged. Per usual, top prospects faded the scrimmages and much of the testing.
Of note, Tennessee wing Keon Johnson produced some excellent numbers in the testing. He ranks at the top of both the standing vertical and max vertical, far ahead of second place. He also tied for third in the three-quarter court spring. Clearly a premium athlete, some believe Johnson may sneak into the top few spots. Bettors can buy Johnson at long odds as high as +15000 to break up the favored picks at the top.
Bleacher Report‘s Jonathan Wasserman reported G League prospect Jonathan Kuminga held a strong workout in which he shot the ball well. Kuminga is priced as the top “outside” candidate to break into the top four, at +250 on BetMGM to go fourth.