Odds and best bets for the 2021 NBA Draft
Now that the NBA Finals are over, it’s time for sports bettors to move onto the next big date in the league: the NBA Draft. It's the event where young ballers' dreams come true, while also changing the trajectory of the franchises they're taken by, and it takes place tomorrow night on July 29.
There’s a growing consensus on who the top three picks in the draft will be. Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, the G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and USC’s Evan Mobley are currently projected to go Nos. 1, 2 and 3 per insiders and the odds offered by sportsbooks.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, Cunningham is the overwhelming favorite to be the top NBA pick in the draft at (-8000) by the Detroit Pistons. Nos. 2 and 3 are currently a toss-up, but the odds say Green is the (-200) favorite to be the No. 2 pick for the Houston Rockets.
Lastly, Mobley leads the way in the odds (-165) to go No. 3 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After the top three picks, the order gets a little hazy. Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs is the favorite at (-160) to go No. 4 to the Toronto Raptors, while FSU’s versatile forward Scottie Barnes is listed at (-120) to be the No. 5 pick by the Orlando Magic.
(Editor's Note: BasketballNews.com Lead NBA Draft Analyst Matt Babcock also has Suggs going No. 4 to the Raptors and Barnes going No. 5 to the Magic in his latest 2021 NBA Mock Draft.)
Let’s now take a look at the NBA Draft bets we like as a team:
Thomas has been one of the country’s best scorers at both the high school and college levels, and his ability to get buckets will transfer over to the NBA. Several teams are interested in him, including the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
OKC is trying to accumulate the best players possible, and he’d be a great fit next to the team's current point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (unless he doesn't stick around, as the Thunder are reportedly not considering him untouchable). As for the Knicks, we all saw how desperately they could’ve used scoring in the playoffs. New York holds two picks -- Nos. 19 and 21 -- and the BetQL team would be hard-pressed seeing Thomas drop further than the Knicks.
Duarte, a knockdown shooter, also has been picking up steam this week in terms of his draft position. The Oregon sniper has the ability to immediately make an impact no matter what roster he is on. The BetQL team can see him going anywhere in the 13-to-16 range. He’d be a good fit with the Indiana Pacers at 13, or would slide in nicely as Klay Thompson’s backup in Golden State if the Warriors hang onto their pick at 14. Duarte has been compared to Thompson in many ways, and that Golden State system would allow him to maximize his potential.
As far as matchup wagers go, one that the BetQL team recommends making a bet on is Cameron Thomas vs. Tre Mann. Thomas is favored at (-120) to be selected before Mann in next week’s draft.
As you can see from the BetQL team's previously-mentioned thoughts above, it feels the LSU guard is going to be selected in the middle-to-early-20s part of the first round, whereas Mann is slated to go more towards the end of the first round. At this price, this wager presents some value.
(Editor's Note: BasketballNews.com Lead NBA Draft Analyst Matt Babcock has Thomas going No. 20 to the Atlanta Hawks and Mann going No. 27 to the Brooklyn Nets in his latest 2021 NBA Mock Draft.)
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