It's that time of year again when the NBA heats up and punters seek some serious value by taking a punt on the NBA draft. This year's Draft is taking place on June 22, following on from the NBA lottery which was recently held to determine the picking order.
The Draft's been an annual event since 1947, with gamblers betting on it ever since in some shape or form. Our betting preview seeks out the value in one of the most anticipated betting events in US sport!
The main betting markets on offer by online bookies are centred around who will be first drafted, and Under and Over markets for Draft positions (for example, will a player finish Under 3.5 or Over 3.5 on the Draft).
This year's NBA Draft odds are very lop-sided, with a hot contender in the shape of Markelle Fultz, and the others all being relatively big prices as a result. It's worth considering the chance of Fultz and whether it's worth taking him or opting for Under/Over bets where the odds are more favourable.
Markelle Fultz is a short-priced favourite to be number one Draft with online bookmakers, priced at 1/50 with bet365. Coming from Washington, he looks one of the hottest dead-certs seen in the NBA Draft betting for some time.
Standing at 6 feet 4 inches and weighing in at 190 pounds, he's an extremely reliable and dedicated defender and a true team player – one who won't sacrifice the team in pursuit of stardom by looking to shoot hoops.
That said, he showed last season that when the opportunity arises he's a seriously sharp shooter, making nearly 50% of field-shots and nailing over 40% of three-pointers. The other thing that makes Fultz attractive is his humility – he's a down-to-earth guy who isn't going to chase the high-life.
At odds of 1/50 however, you'd need to be a very brave punter to get a decent return. You could toss the coin and take a punt on him not winning number one Draft, with Bet365 offering 18/1 on Fultz Over 1.5 on Draft one position.
Markelle Fultz's very short odds make punts on other players attractive from a value perspective, even though you do have to rely on a Fultz slip-up. The top online bookies have gone so short on Fultz simply because they don't fancy taking a chance on getting burnt by having him at even money or bigger.
Will he rank first Draft? Probably, especially if the rumour mill is right, and first-pick Philadelphia Sixers fancy him. But every punter knows shorties can get turned over – so who are the players worth considering at big odds?
This year's draft does not feature a sure-fire franchise changer like LeBron or MJ but it does feature a ton of players who could end up as the most elite players in the league down the road. Enough about just the top few guys, here are odds the top nine prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft:
When it comes to finding some real betting value within the NBA Draft, punters should turn to two of the draft's elite prospects who might shakeup the draft, maybe for their own good, maybe not so much (as is the case with Lonzo Ball poetically falling outside the top five, an unprecedented move even just a few weeks ago). Punters looking for some value should keep an eye on Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball:
If the rumour mill and betting market are correct, then backing Fultz, Ball and Jackson in some capacity looks the way to go. This is most notable in the basketball Under/Over markets for Ball and Jackson (with potential doubles and trebles based on the three players).
However, what about the prospects of a shock, with the likes of Jayson Tatum, De-Aaron Fox, Jonathan Isaac and Dennis Smith Jr? Well, it's worth considering that the media isn't always right and some of these guys are pretty hot prospects in their own right. Dennis Smith and De-Aaron Fox are two wild cards who could sway teams in their favour, particularly for picks two and three:
The best basketball betting strategy for the 2017 NBA Draft lies in taking a punt against Fultz in the first Draft, but it's a tough basketball bet to be confident of landing. Looking at the Under/Over markets offers more solid betting prospects. To find all these markets and more, head over to bet365's NBA betting portal!