With the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers expected to make Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram the first two players selected at Thursday’s NBA Draft, speculation is now focused on who will be taken at No. 3. Providence’s Kris Dunn has emerged as the -120 betting favorite to be selected in that slot at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The two-time Big East Player of the Year led the Friars to their third straight appearance at the NCAA Tournament this past season, and their first win at the Big Dance since 1997. Dunn is widely considered the top point guard available in Thursday night’s draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Boston Celtics enter the day in possession of the third overall selection in the draft, but they reportedly have been shopping the pick in an effort to add a quality veteran. That has added an element of intrigue to this year’s draft.
California Golden Bears shooting guard Jaylen Brown follows Dunn on the odds to be selected at No. 3, with the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year sporting +325 odds. Standout Israeli power forward Dragan Bender and Oklahoma Sooners star Buddy Hield are at +400 and +600, respectively, on that betting prop at the sportsbooks.
Along with Simmons, a native of Australia, and Hield, who hails from the Bahamas, Bender is part of a sizable class of international prospects that will likely shape the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft. Oddsmakers have set the total number of international players selected in the first round at 13, with the over and the under both listed at a betting line of -115.
Marquese Chriss, a freshman power forward with the Washington Huskies, sits as strong -205 chalk to get the call at No. 4 — a pick owned by the Phoenix Suns — well ahead of Bender, who sits at +350, and Canadian Jamal Murray, who spent his freshman campaign with the Kentucky Wildcats, at +450. Brown trails at +500.
Murray is a -300 favorite to be picked before Hield, a +240 underdog on the head-to-head props. Brown is set as the -130 favorite to be selected ahead of Bender, who trails at +100.
Hield’s draft position is pegged at 5.5 at the sportsbooks, with the odds of this year’s Naismith College Player of the Year going in the top five listed at +145. The 22-year-old is pegged as a -175 bet to fall to at least the sixth pick in the draft Thursday night.
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