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Sportsbooks now have Paolo Banchero with best odds of going No. 1

Sportsbooks now have Paolo Banchero with best odds of going No. 1

In a shocking turn of events, every major sportsbook now has Paolo Banchero as the favorite to be selected No. 1 overall in Thursday's NBA Draft.

PointsBet, DraftKings, Caesars’s and FanDuel have all moved Banchero's odds to -200. Jabari Smith's odds have been changed to +150. 

In the last 72 hours, Banchero’s odds to be drafted No. 1 moved from +1600 to -200 on DraftKings.

Several days ago, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman was asked whether Banchero worked out for Orlando, and he refused to answer. The team publicized their workouts with Smith and Chet Holmgren, so his secrecy was a bit surprising and fans wondered if he was hiding something. It's also possible that Orlando has a trade in place and some team is trying to move up to take Banchero.

As a freshman at Duke, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.1 threes and 0.9 blocks, while shooting 47.8% from the field, 33.8% from three and 72.9% from the free-throw line.

"At 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, Paolo Banchero is incredibly versatile," said BasketballNews' senior NBA Draft analyst Matt Babcock. "He excels in the post, can create off the dribble and continues to improve as a face-up shooter from deep. He lacks elite athleticism on the defensive end, but has flashed a great feel and discipline to counter that. Players with his build and skill set don't come around very often."

Banchero believes that he should be the first player off the board in the 2022 NBA Draft.

"I feel like I am the best player in the draft," Banchero told reporters during his pre-draft media availability. "I feel like I showed that throughout the year. I feel like I've showed everything, just with my skill set and intangibles."

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