While we’re in the midst of the NBA Finals, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the NBA Draft. Betting drafts provides a unique opportunity to bet on information. No 20-point comebacks or backdoor covers here, if your info is good, you can win. I have been putting plays out on Twitter for a few weeks since the NBA Draft Lottery took place, but will be putting some articles together as the draft nears to provide some extra analysis on the plays. While the numbers have moved on some of them (and will continue to move), that’s part of the draft betting markets. Only play what you’re comfortable playing — but when betting drafts I am more comfortable with significant juice if I like the play. Let’s breakdown some betting angles on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
No. 2 Pick: Brandon Miller (+125) — 1.5-units
Bet given out May 16 — currently (-140), but comfortable laying up to -180.
I was excited to see how the lottery played out back on May 16, not just to see where the sensational Victor Wembanyama would land, but also to potentially get some bets in based on the draft order.
While Scoot Henderson of the G-League had long been considered the second-best prospect in this draft class, I wasn’t sold on that. I’d consider Miller a pretty similar talent given his size and versatility on the wing, along with his pure jumper. So it would come down to who landed the No. 2 pick as to which player to bet to fit that team.
Once Charlotte landed the pick, I bet this immediately (and put the play out on Twitter). With LaMelo Ball already in place, Henderson didn’t make sense as a fit. The Hornets also have plenty of need on the wing, and Miller is a perfect fit for them.
I’d be shocked if Miller wasn’t the pick, and many well respect mock drafts agree. Miller will be working out with the Hornets over the weekend, and we could see this price fly if things go well.
Drafted Top-5: Cam Whitmore (+250) — 0.5-units
Bets given out May 23 — currently (-200) to go top-5, wait and see.
Whitmore had a pretty unique freshman year at Villanova, and it might have helped mask his potential of one of the best NBA prospects in this draft. While three superstars are getting the hype at the top of the board, Whitmore very well may be the next-best prospect.
Whitmore was injured to start the season, and then returned to a Villanova squad in disarray. The team was losing in its first year without Jay Wright, and Justin Moore was stile sidelined. Coming back from injury and trying to find a role made it very tough for Whitmore to really show what he can do.
NBA scouts tend to agree, as his draft stock is rising — and so are the prices on his props. Hopefully you were able to play these early, but if you missed them, I’d consider waiting. There are other prospects (like the Thompson twins) that will get some discussion at the top of this draft, and if the odds shift again, maybe you can pounce on a Whitmore under there. You could also play him at plus money to be the No. 4 and/or No. 5 pick in this draft. I think there’s a real shot Houston scoops Whitmore at No. 4.
Drafted Top-5: Taylor Hendricks (+1000) — 0.25-units
Bets given out May 23 — currently U9.5 (-135) and (+2000) to go top-5, you can bet both plays at much better value.
Hendricks was fantastic for UCF last season, showing a ton of versatility as a freshman. He averaged over 15 points and seven boards, while blocking 1.7 shots per game and shooting nearly 40% from downtown. That’s the type of versatility NBA scouts like to see, particularly when paired with youth.
I was pretty surprised to see the market move against me here, but now you can get 20-1 on Hendricks cracking the top-five, and under 9.5 at a very reasonable -135 price tag. If Houston hadn’t used two first round picks on Jabari Smith Jr.and Tari Eason last season, I’d say No. 4 could be a real possibility (and still is an option). But the 5-9 range feels very likely for a prospect like this, particularly with the drop off after the elite talent.
Giving this play out for the first time in this article.
I’m late to the party here, but I think this one could just continue to move, so I’ll take it while I still feel it’s playable. Walker opened at 5.5 a couple of months ago, and was recently +110 at O6.5. But I side with the money that has continued to fly in on the over.
Walker was a nice piece on that Houston squad last season, but I don’t think he showed enough to go this high in the draft. Walker certainly has the NBA frame ready to step into the league, but he grades out as an undersized big that doesn’t have the shooting touch to makeup for his lack of size. Walker is a good rebounder, but at 6’8” you need to be able to step out and shoot it, as well as knock down free throws. He was decent from downtown, but his 66.3% free throw shooting speaks to his ability to shoot the ball. Shooting should lead to a “slide” here for Walker, who still is a fine pick in the 7-14 range.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.