The 2020 NBA Draft is set for November 18th and DraftKings is offering a special on how many players from certain conferences are selected in the first round. The SEC, ACC, and PAC-12 are expected to lead the way when it comes to first-round picks. It’s unclear which conference will send off the most players in the first round, but we’ve broken down the over/unders of the conferences with the most promising NBA talent.
SEC: Over. 5.5 (-106), Under (-114)
The SEC has been an elite pipeline for NBA stars in recent years so it’s no surprise that there’s another talented crop ready to enter the league. There’s usually sizable group of SEC players who are sure to be selected in the top 15, but this year is a little different. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards is considered to be the top prospect coming out of college while Auburn’s Isaac Okoro appears to be the only other SEC player that seems like a lock to be selected inside the top 10. Young pros like LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija, and Killian Hayes could push Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith and Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey outside of the top 10. Alabama’s Kira Lewis Jr. is likely to be the fourth SEC player off the board, but things get shaky after him. Kentucky players are known to get a boost on draft day because of how successful they tend to be in the league, but I wouldn’t count on two more SEC players jumping into the first round with so many international prospects projected to go later in the first round. The under looks promising here.
ACC: Over 5.5 (+550), Under (-835)
While there are no clear ACC prospects that seem bound for stardom, there’s plenty of solid players can be significant contributors as rookies. UNC’s Cole Anthony isn’t close to being the No. 1 pick he was once projected to be but could be the only prospect who played college ball in North Carolina selected in the first round. Trey Jones is on the fringe while Vernon Carey appears to have slipped out of the conversation altogether. Florida State wings Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell have leapfrogged their ACC peers. Things get foggy after those three, so I’d pound the under on the ACC option.
PAC-12: Over 5.5 (-103), Under (-118)
The PAC-12 is the conference with the best shot at hitting the over. USC’s Onyeka Okongwu leads the way as the second-best center prospect in the class and he’s trailed by a slew of other players with first-round potential. Arizona’s duo of Josh Green and Nico Mannion seem poised to be selected outside the top 20, but so are Washington State’s twin towers — Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart. Other first-round hopefuls include Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, Arizona’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Zeke Nnaji, and Colorado’s Tyler Bey. Other conferences don’t have nearly as many borderline first-rounders, so the over seems like a favorable bet.
Big 12: Over 2.5 (+180), Under (-225)
Iowa States’s Tyrese Haliburton is the only Big-12 player who is guaranteed a first-round selection. Behind him are Kansas’s Udoka Azubuike and Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey. Udoka has gained ground in recent weeks because of his outlandish length and explosiveness while Ramsey has slid because of how guard-heavy this class is. These three are the only players with a shot at the first round, and the limited options make me think the under is a safe bet. A significant number of reputable mock drafts project Azubuike and Ramsey going in the second round. The under seems likely here.
Big 10: Over 1.5 (+205), Under (-265)
Maryland’s Jalen Smith is the Big 10’s only clear first-round prospect. Michigan State’s Cassius Stanley and Xavier Tillman could sneak into the first round. Winston is one of the most experienced players in the draft, and that could make him a target for contenders looking to shore the backup point guard spot. Teams typically want high-upside in the first round though, so he could be a tough sell. This one could go either way, but I’d lean toward the over if teams with late firs-round picks are linked to Winston or Tillman ahead of the draft. If there’s not much talk about either, bet on the under.
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