NBA Draft Betting Guide

Odds, Mock Draft, And Strategy

The NBA season will resume in isolation at Orlando’s Disney World in late July and conclude by Oct. 13 at the latest. Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA Draft will take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday, Oct. 16, beginning the quick turnaround towards the 2020-21 season starting in December. In this article, we look at the favorites to be selected first overall and provide a first round NBA Mock Draft below to help you gain an idea of the landscape for when more futures markets become available.

While the NBA Draft Lottery takes place on Aug. 25, we know which teams have the best chances at earning a top pick with the standings frozen as of March 11.

DraftKings Sportsbook currently has a market on the first overall pick, as does PointsBet.

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NBA Draft lottery odds

There are three teams ahead of the pack with an equal 14% chance to win the draft lottery in August, which is a new strategy employed by the NBA to deter tanking. The Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavs, and Minnesota Wolves are all listed with +550 odds to earn the last ping pong ball.

Those teams are followed by the Atlanta Hawks (+650), Detroit Pistons (+750), New York Knicks (+900), Chicago Bulls (+1000), and Charlotte Hornets (+1400).

There is an outside chance that one of the six teams that are headed to Orlando but are currently out of the playoffs (Washington, Phoenix, San Antonio, Sacramento, New Orleans, and Portland) could get lucky enough to earn the No. 1 pick, as the Pelicans did last year despite holding a 6% chance heading into the lottery.

The draft order will certainly play a critical role in which player is drafted first, based on team needs and other factors. Betting on NBA Draft Futures prior to the lottery drawing takes a certain amount of projecting, but it can also afford bettors an advantage if the team that wins the lottery clearly aligns with the prospect they backed to go No. 1 overall.

NBA Draft first overall pick odds

No. 1 Pick

Game
10/16/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Anthony Edwards
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-110
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+100
James Wiseman
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+175
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+180
LaMelo Ball
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+250
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+300
Obi Toppin
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+1000
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+600
Deni Avdija
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+1500
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+525
Killian Hayes
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+1500
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+2000
RJ Hampton
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+2000
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+3000
Onyeka Okongwu
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+3000
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+2000
Isaac Okoro
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+4000
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+4500
Cole Anthony
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+5000
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+1800
Tyrese Maxey
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+5000
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+5000
Tyrese Haliburton
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+5000
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+1400

The favorites

Anthony Edwards

In early January, Edwards trailed James Wiseman as the second favorite to be taken 1st overall. But while Wiseman was suspended, the 6-foot-4 combo guard moved ahead by averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game during his freshman season at Georgia.

Yet Edwards, a relatively raw prospect who grew up concentrating on football, shot an inefficient 40.2% from the floor and a rough 29.4% from 3-point range in college. He’s demonstrated a natural ability as a passer, but the Warriors likely won’t be interested in another ball-handler if they land the first pick. The Cavs could be interested if they’re not committed to Darius Garland and Collin Sexton as their future backcourt, and the Wolves could definitely target Edwards to pair with D’Angelo Russell.

James Wiseman

If the Warriors win the draft lottery, the consensus opinion is that they will take Wiseman. He’s a new age 7-footer with a 7-6 wingspan and great ball skills, who would pair perfectly with the Splash Brothers. Defensively, he’s a rim protector who can switch and wreak havoc alongside Draymond Green.

Wiseman saw his draft odds dip slightly when he was suspended for 12 games as a freshman at Memphis and elected to sit out the entire year. Still, he remained close behind Edwards throughout the spring and is a great gamble to consider at his current odds. There aren’t many NBA teams that couldn’t use a game-changing defender with the potential to become an All-NBA center.

LaMelo Ball

While his older brother, Lonzo, has struggled with his shot, LaMelo Ball is an elite shooter. Think of Trae Young with a 6-foot-8 frame and deft finishing ability in the paint. That’s his potential ceiling and teams will certainly consider him in the Top 3 if they can get past the distractions created by his background and sideshow father.

Ball was listed with +500 odds in January, then slowly worked his way under +300 to his current standing. Scouts love his playmaking ability and court vision, drawing some comparisons to Luka Doncic as well. Defenses have to respect his range and that will allow him to drive and dish at will, so basically any lottery team other than the Warriors or Hawks would have to consider taking him first overall.

The longshots

Obi Toppin

The late bloomer out of Dayton may be one of the safer picks of the draft, but probably lacks the upside to go first overall. While Toppin is 6-foot-9 with a 7-2 wingspan and decent footspeed, he doesn’t create much offense. He’s a decent 3-point shooter and should be a great stretch four at the next level.

Killian Hayes

The French point guard entered the Futures market in late April and is now likely to go in the lottery. Hayes is not considered an elite athlete, but his basketball IQ is off the charts and he will likely slot right into a steady role as a floor general for a team in need.

Onyeka Okongwu

Glossing over a few prospects we don’t feel have any legitimate shot at being taking first, Okongwu has emerged as a potential top choice for teams in need of a big man that are wary of Wiseman’s baggage. A 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward out of USC, Okongwu projects as a dominant roll man with good defensive chops similar to Montrez Harrell. That skill set could be very appealing for the Cavs or Pistons as they move on from their older PFs, or even for the Warriors or Wolves if they sour on Wiseman for any reason.

TheLines NBA Mock Draft (June 2020)

PickTeamPlayer
1Detroit PistonsLaMelo Ball (Illawarra, NBL)
2Minnesota WolvesAnthony Edwards (Georgia)
3Golden State WarriorsJames Wiseman (Memphis)
4Atlanta HawksDeni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel BSL)
5Cleveland CavaliersOnyeka Okongwu (USC)
6Chicago BullsObi Toppin (Dayton)
7New York KnicksCole Anthony (UNC)
8Phoenix Suns
Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm ULM, German BBL)
9Washington WizardsTyrese Haliburton (Iowa State)
10San Antonio SpursRJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers)
11Charlotte HornetsIsaac Okoro (Auburn)
12Sacramento KingsDevin Vassell (Florida State)
13Portland Trail BlazersPatrick Williams (Florida State)
14Boston Celtics (via Memphis)Precious Achiuwa (Memphis)
15New Orleans Pelicans Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky)
16Orlando MagicDevon Dotson (Kansas)
17Minnesota Wolves (via Brooklyn)Saddiq Bey (Villanova)
18Dallas MavericksCassius Stanley (Duke)
19Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana)Theo Maledon (ASVEL, Jeep Elite)
20Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia)Vernon Carey (Duke)
21Denver Nuggets (via Houston)Desmond Bane (TCU)
22Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City)Grant Riller (Charleston)
23Utah JazzKira Lewis (Alabama)
24Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver)Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt)
25Miami HeatJared Butler (Baylor)
26Boston CelticsJahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech)
27Toronto RaptorsJosh Green (Arizona)
28New York Knicks (via LA Clippers)Jaden McDaniels (Washington)
29Los Angeles LakersNico Mannion (Arizona)
30Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee)Jalen Smith (Maryland)