The 2020 NBA Draft will (finally) take place on this Wednesday virtually on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Minnesota Timberwolves still maintain the rights to the No. 1 overall pick despite their efforts to find a trade partner. So it appears the Wolves will hold onto the pick and select between LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards at the top of the draft.
UPDATE: Draft Day, 2:41 p.m. ET — A few hours later and Edwards is up to -210 to go first overall. So the line has moved from -195 around noon. At some point it will reach a peak, but that may not coming until around closer to draft time. Edwards is higher on some other books, so right now the price on DKSB is favorable. Ball is down to +167. He may not become a decent value until the price is around +200, like I alluded to earlier. That may not happen until later and by then we may have more reports giving us a good gauge on the situation.
UPDATE: Draft Day, 12:15 p.m. ET — There has been heavy movement on Edwards to go No. 1 overall in the draft on Wednesday night. Last night, Edwards was still slightly behind Ball and this morning Edwards had retaken the lead at -125. Now, the Georgia SG has shot up to -195 and is gaining steam heading into the draft later. Ball has dropped to +140. There may come a point where we start to see money gravitate toward Ball if he gets down to around 2/1 or so. Until then, most of the action at DKSB and other books is on Edwards to get selected first.
Last week, there was a report of Ball meeting with the Timberwolves for a private workout, his first of the draft process. Ball shot the ball well and everything appeared to go smoothly. As a result of the report and meetings, Ball overtook Edwards as the favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook to go No. 1 overall on Wednesday night.
After the news, Ball moved to -106 to go with the first pick and Edwards dropped to +100. Ball had gotten as high as -205 before things started to trend in the other direction. As of Monday afternoon, Ball is at -180 to go with the first pick to the T-Wolves. Edwards is trending up at +115. It’s clear the market hit a breaking point on Ball and there’s still a lot of uncertainty with how the top of the draft could shake out despite it appearing to be a two-man race. James Wiseman is third in terms of odds at +700, so the books don’t really view anyone other than Ball and Edwards as viable top picks.
I think the way to approach betting is going with how the money is trending. Right now, Edwards will likely get more steam heading into Wednesday until it’s closer to even money between the two of them to go first. I think Edwards makes more sense at this point. He’s a better fit with D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns than Ball, who will likely command the rock more. Edwards is still raw and needs to focus on the defensive end in the NBA and his long-range shot. Those are things the Timberwolves can develop. Ball is more of the home-run play for a team who might be on the fringe of contending. Minnesota is not on the fringe of contending, though the Wolves could maybe join the discussion for the 8-seed if all goes well.
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