NBA Draft Props: Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
The NBA Draft is almost here. And the best part of the draft -- aside from the crazy trading action and the silly suits, of course - is the prop bets. To get ready for the draft we are mostly going to look at the most interesting kind of draft prop in my eyes - the draft position totals. The books set a number, and we have to decide if a guy will be selected higher or lower than that number. We'll look at six of those that stand out and then check in on a couple of other interesting props as well.
Draft position totals
Mo Bamba - "Over/Under" 5.5: It seems like Deandre Ayton has become a lock for the top spot, and the Kings are more and more committed to Marvin Bagley III. If Luka Doncic is available for the Hawks picking third then it's tough to imagine them not picking him - he's polished and very talented. And in fourth Jaren Jackson Jr. makes sense for Memphis because he is so young and has such upside. So, the question then is if Bamba makes sense going to Dallas with the fifth pick. And in my eyes he sure does. They have not had luck with Nerlens Noel and need a big guy. And Bamba is a big man with a massive amount of defensive upside - and some competence on offense. He's a guy every team would take, and he feels decidedly like the best player available if things ahead of this pick set up as expected. The over is at -220 here, and that price feels fair.
Trae Young - o/u 7.5: The over is favored here at -130, and I'm just not seeing it. It feels like the shine has come off Young a bit as the draft has neared. There are two problems here. First, unless Orlando takes a point guard at six there isn't likely a team in the top eight that will do so. Second, there is far from any certainty that Young will be the first guy at the point to go. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has a lot of momentum, and Collin Sexton is perhaps a slightly safer pick than Young in the eyes of many. I'm not at all convinced that Young is a Top 10 pick, so the under at +100 is very attractive.
Wendell Carter Jr. - o/u 7.5: The former Duke star is the consolation prize for teams that don't get Ayton, Jackson or Bamba in this ridiculously-talented big man draft. And he's a pretty good consolation prize, too. He is very well rounded, and in my eyes Orlando would be making a pretty big mistake of they left him on the board at sixth. I like the over at -110 here.
Mikal Bridges - o/u 9.5: Porter would fit like an absolute glove in Philly. They need to get younger on the wing, and Bridges is a very talented wing. He doesn't create his own shot as well as he could, but that's far from a bad thing given the talent this roster has. Philly picks 10th, so that makes the under the play here. It's at -205, so a lot of people obviously agree.
Miles Bridges - o/u 11.5: MIles is an NBA small forward who was not at his best playing there in college. He is very athletic, and the talent is real, but he is a bit of a risk because of that transition. He could be a big bargain for the team that takes him, because I think the chances are high he falls out of the Top 12. The 14 spot for Denver feels like a good fit for him. The under is at -200, but it feels like an okay price nonetheless.
Donte DiVincenzo - o/u 18.5: As a Michigan fan I just don't ever want to see DiVincenzo ever again. He torched my boys in the National Championship Game. And he made some real money for himself in the tournament this year. He's versatile and can score, but he's well beyond his 21st birthday, and that hurts his value a little. This is a tough number because the two teams I could most see him on that have a pick in his range are San Antonio at 18 and Minnesota at 20. The Spurs could be focused elsewhere if Kawhi Leonard indeed is serious about leaving, so Minnesota feels more likely. But at -180 there is no value betting there.
Other prop bets
Will Grayson Allen be a first-rounder?: The "no" is the underdog here at +120, and I'm happy to take a shot at that. Allen is a scorer and a disrupter, but he feels more like a guy to come off the bench than a rock-solid starter. And as a senior he'll be almost 23 when the season starts, so teams won't have much time to be patient with him. I think in the lower part of the first-round teams will look for more long-term upside, and Allen will fall into the second round.
Total number of Villanova players picked in first round?: MIkal Bridges should be a Top 10 pick. Donte DiVincenzo is going in the first comfortably, too. So it comes down to Omari Spellman and Jalen Brunson. Both guys are slotted somewhere between about 24th and 45th, so it would be no more surprising if both made the first round than if neither did. Two players is at +100, three at +125 and four or more at +750. I'd pick three if I was forced to take one, but I don't see any betting value in any of it.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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