Odds The Top Three Players Favored to Go No. 1 in NBA Draft
Oddsmakers and draft analysts have been aligned when it comes to who will be the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Each group has it down to three candidates: Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
Here’s an odds breakdown of each of the top three prospects and if there’s any betting value on them for Thursday.
Jabari Smith: – 150 FanDuel Sportsbook
Smith has emerged as the favorite to go No. 1 to the Orlando Magic as the draft has neared. In April he was favored at longer odds at +105 but Orlando must be impressed by his size and versatility for him to become the favorite at FanDuel.
Smith has only worked out for the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have the No. 2 pick. At 6-foot-10 he is one of the most versatile prospects in the draft.
He averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and converted 42% of his 3-point attempts to make him one of the top shooters available while also featuring a unique combination of size and athleticism that makes him one of the more solid top-tier draft prospects in recent history.
Paolo Banchero: +210 DraftKings Sportsbook
Banchero is the one player who has gained some steam as the potential No. 1 selection. He was +270 in April and is now at +210 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Out of the entire draft pool, Banchero has one of the most NBA-ready bodies and offensive games. He is 6-10, a solid 250 pounds and led Duke to the Final Four by averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and making 33.8% of his 3-point attempts.
He displayed one of the most complete offensive repertoires while at Duke, whether it was bullying smaller defenders in the post, overpowering his way to the basket on drives, catch-and-shoot 3s or pull-up jumpers, Banchero displayed one of the most polished offensive games last year.
Given his skill set, he’s one of the top candidates to lead the rookie class in scoring next season.
Chet Holmgren: +300 FanDuel Sportsbook
If the Magic take Holmgren, they are relying on his unique potential. At 7 feet tall, Holmgren has guard-like skills and is also a premier rim protector on the defensive end.
Last season at Gonzaga, he made 39% of his attempts from 3 and had more blocks (117) than missed shots (110) while converting at a 61% rate from the field.
While Holmgren might have the most potential of the top three, he is a raw talent compared to the more accomplished offensive players in Smith and Banchero.
But Holmgren's size and length make him a unique prospect on both ends of the floor, and it is possible he thrives more in the wide-open NBA with more spacing and better shooters around him compared to college.
There is also the interesting dynamic of him joining up with Magic point guard Jalen Suggs, who was Holmgren’s teammate from childhood up through high school. Both players also attended Gonzaga.
Rest of the Field
Any other player is the epitome of a longshot to go No. 1.
The Magic did work out Purdue’s Jaden Ivey (+12000), Iowa’s Keegan Murray (+20000) and Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe (+20000), but it would be a shock to see any of them go No. 1.
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