The Orlando Magic selected Duke’s Paolo Banchero No. 1 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, and bettors saw a massive change in odds just minutes before the pick was made.
Going into Thursday, Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. was the favorite to be selected by the Magic at No. 1 at -625 odds, at one point, on DraftKings Sportsbook. Banchero was behind him at +250 odds, again, at one point during the day where odds continued to shift with every passing news bit or Adrian Wojnarowski tweet.
It was Wojnarowsi himself during ESPN’s telecast of the NBA Draft and a tweet just minutes before the NBA Draft began that shifted the odds again; Banchero jumped to a -200 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook to be selected No. 1 overall.
One lucky bettor had the odds at +2000, and after a $2,000 bet made on June 19, the total payout was $42,000 — showing why it’s important to be on top of the odds as early as possible to get the best price you can.
Banchero is the fourth Duke player to be selected at No. 1 overall since 1966 (Elton Brand in 1999, Kyrie Irving in 2011 and Zion Williamson in 2019), and he joins Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway (via Chris Webber trade) and Dwight Howard as Magic players selected No. 1 overall. Banchero was the third Duke player to average 15 points and 10 rebounds in their NCAA Tournament debut during the Mike Krzyzewski era (R.J. Barrett and Jayson Tatum).
The rest of the top three went as follows — Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren at No. 2 to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Smith to the Houston Rockets at the No. 3 pick.