NBA Draft Odds, Who Will Be the No. 1 Pick?
With the NCAA Tournament completed, FanDuel Sportsbook is already setting odds for which of the elite prospects will go No. 1 in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Between now, the end of the regular season and the draft lottery set to take place on May 17, the odds will likely shift depending on what team receives the No. 1 pick and what needs it needs to address.
Here’s a breakdown of who is topping FanDuel’s odds board.
1. Jabari Smith, Auburn +105
Smith failed to impress in the second-round loss to Miami, converting on just 3 of 16 shot attempts. But combine his 6-foot-10 frame and athleticism with his offensive skill set, and he might have the most upside out of any prospect in the draft.
Smith averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and made 42% of his 3-pointers. He’s skilled enough to break down defenders on the perimeter and elevate from outside while also being a stellar finisher around the rim.
He would make sense to go to the Detroit Pistons, who drafted Cade Cunningham No. 1 last year, or the Houston Rockets where No. 2 pick Jalen Green is starting to thrive, having scored 30 points in five straight games.
2. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga +240
Dubbed a unicorn for his guard-like skills at 7-foot, Holmgren is one of the more unique prospects in recent history. He shot 39% from 3-point range (41 of 105) and had more blocks (117) than missed shots (110), making 61% of his field goals.
Holmgren showed flashes of dominance and put together numerous highlight-reel-worthy plays where he blocked a shot at one end, led the break and finished with a dunk at the other. But he might thrive more in the NBA where he will have more space to operate.
Better shooters will also surround him, allowing him to operate in more one-and-one situations. Holmgren is also a lethal pick-and-roll option with the ability to pop out and knock down jumpers.
An interesting possibility is Holmgren landing with the Orlando Magic, where he would be paired up again with fellow former Gonzaga guard and high school teammate, Jalen Suggs. The duo has played together since middle school, and it was Suggs’ dad who had a hand in developing Holmgren’s guard skills at a young age.
Of course, Holmgren has still yet to enter the NBA Draft. Expect that to change eventually.
3. Paolo Banchero, Duke +270
Banchero was an offensive force for the Blue Devils all season. Out of all the prospects, he has the most NBA-ready body at 6-10, 250 pounds. He displayed the ability to overpower defenders on the block or on the drive and made 33.8% of his 3-pointers.
The Final Four loss to North Carolina showcased all of Banchero’s abilities, with him exploiting the Tar Heels in the post and also making two 3s in semi-transition off the catch.
But out of the three top prospects, while Banchero may be the most polished offensively, he is the worst defender. It’s enough of a weakness for teams with the No. 1 pick to take into serious consideration.
How the Rest of the Field Measures Up
No one else should have any money wagered on them to go No. 1 overall. Purdue’s Jaden Ivey is next on the board at +3500, then the odds jump to +13000 with Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis and Keegan Murray.
All fine players, and the other prospects further down the list are, too. But none of them are going No. 1 over the top three and do not deserve your money.
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