The stars of the past season’s Duke Blue Devils team are expected to be in the spotlight in the early stages of this year’s NBA Draft, with the trio of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish favored to be among the top 10 selections at -1000 on the 2019 NBA Draft odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Williamson emerged as a force during his freshman campaign at Duke, racking up 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game to lead the Blue Devils to a 32-6 overall record, and is set as a massive -10000 favorite to go first overall in Thursday night’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center.
Barrett, a 19-year-old from the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ontario, also tallied 22.6 points per game, and played a key role in maintaining the Blue Devils’ momentum while Williamson was sidelined by a late-season injury. Barrett is expected to be off the board third overall on Thursday, while Reddish holds down an OVER/UNDER draft position of 7.5 at sportsbooks.
As winners of this year’s Draft Lottery, the New Orleans Pelicans own the first overall pick. The club also acquired the fourth overall selection in last weekend’s trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that sent superstar Anthony Davis to the west coast. That has fueled speculation that the Pelicans will look to target both Williamson and Barrett, with New Orleans landing both Duke stars paying out at +700 on those NBA odds.
The decision by Williamson, Barrett, and Reddish to declare their eligibility for the NBA Draft continues a trend by budding stars to turn pro after just one season of college basketball, with 38 freshmen available to be selected on Thursday. And the youngsters are expected to have a major impact, with -120 odds of OVER 12.5 freshman being taken in the first round.
Players born in Canada are also expected to make their mark, with -110 odds set for OVER 4.5 players from north of the border going in the first round at betting sites. Meanwhile, the odds of OVER 2.5 international players being selected among the top 30 sits at -155.
And with the NBA Draft taking place in Brooklyn, a large contingent of New York Knicks fans are expected to be on hand. Knicks fans have earned a dubious reputation for booing the team’s first pick, most notably in 2015, when they jeered the selection of Kristaps Porzingis, and again last year, when the team took Kevin Knox.
However, the Knicks faithful are expected to be better behaved this time around, with -190 odds against them booing when the club makes their first pick of the night on Thursday.
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