2014 NBA Draft Odds and Betting: Who Will Go No. 1?
by George Monroy - 6/11/2014
The 2014 NBA Draft was being talked about before any of the top prospects had even stepped foot on a college basketball court. Andrew Wiggins was supposed to be the next superstar in the league, while Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon were hailed as the second coming of this player or that player. And while each one of those assessment could still come true, a lot has changed since the basketball world was first introduced to these players.
Wiggins, who for a long time was considered the consensus top choice in the draft, has been passed by his teammate and game-changing center, Joel Embiid. The only other player even being considered as a potential candidate for the No.1 pick in the draft would be Duke's dynamic forward, Parker. The real question, however, is not who is the best player in the draft-because that would probably be Embiid-but rather who will the Cleveland Cavaliers draft with the pick?
Let's take a closer look at the odds and figure out who will go No. 1 in the June 26 NBA draft. All odds come from Sportsbook.ag.
2014 NBA Draft Odds
Joel Embiid: -240
Andrew Wiggins: +160
Jabari Parker: +1000
The field (any other player): +2500
Embiid : the young center is a big favorite here, and for a good reason, as he was the best and most talented player for most of the college basketball season. There would be nothing wrong with Cleveland blindly taking him with the No. 1 pick-the kid is simply that good. The trouble with wagering on Embiid to go first overall is that the price is too high for a prospect coming off a back injury. There has already been talk that Cleveland is leaning toward Wiggins because he is a better fit for the roster.
However, the biggest reason the Cavaliers might pass on Embiid is due to the criticism it has received for winning three NBA Drafts in four years and essentially squandering those picks by not putting a quality product on the floor. Cleveland will be under a microscope next season-there is already talk about changing the draft rules-and the team does not have room to make another mistake with the top pick. The trouble for Embiid is that while he may be the most talented player available, he is also one of the most high-risk prospects.
Wiggins : the early NBA Draft odds seem to be based on who should go No.1 rather than who will actually go No. 1. Cleveland does not have any room to gamble with this pick, and the truth of the matter is that Wiggins is a much safer choice than Embiid. And that is not even mentioning how Wiggins is a better fit roster-wise. The Cavaliers still have last year's No. 1 pick, Anthony Bennett, playing center on their roster, and while he was considered a bust during his first year, the former-UNLV standout is only in his second season in the league.
All the value is wagering on Wiggins, especially because he is receiving a positive payout. The NBA is currently in a transition where small ball and athletic rosters rule the day, and a versatile small forward that can play multiple positions-think LeBron James and Kevin Durant-are a sought-after commodity. The old idea of building a contender around a franchise big man is no longer the prevailing thought amongst NBA general mangers and coaches. Wiggins is the safest bet to go No. 1
: the Duke standout is a very good player, and whichever team ends up drafting him may have a franchise star on its hands. There is no value wagering on
Parker to be draft No. 1 however. Wiggins and Parker are similar players, but Wiggins is considered to be the more talented prospect that also has a larger
upside. Taking Parker No. 1 would be a huge gamble, and Cleveland is simply not in a position to take such a risk.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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