Movement on the first three picks of the NBA Draft has moved swiftly, and bettors are doing their best to get the best odds possible.
Jabari Smith Jr. is the favorite to be selected No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic. The former Auburn forward sits at -750 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, but smart bettors have been able to find plus money at the right time.
PointsBet had Smith as a -240 favorite to be selected No. 1 overall, and they reported the bet to have earned 47.8 percent of the plays along with 79.6 percent of the handle. Paolo Banchero is the second-most bet person to be selected first earning 22.1 percent of the bets and 13.9 percent of the handle. DraftKings Sportsbook has reported the same order with Smith earning most of the bets (39 percent, 51 percent handle), Banchero second and Chet Holmgren third-most bet to be the No. 1 overall pick — 13.6 percent bets and 5.2 percent handle on PointsBet and 20 percent bets and 16 percent handle on DraftKings.
In the lead up to the NBA Draft, the odds have grown to -625, especially after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the first three selections are set in the order of Smith, Holmgren and Banchero.
Holmgren has received 41.6 percent of bets with 78.7 percent handle to be drafted No. 2 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder at -425 odds — that number has grown to -651 on PointsBet.
Jaden Ivey is a name growing to be a top three selection. The former Purdue guard is the second-most bet player on PointsBet to be selected at No. 2 overall earning 24.7 percent of bets on 9.5 percent handle at +10000 odds. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the Kings selecting Ivey with the No. 4 pick in his latest mock draft, though Ivey has voiced his disinterest in playing in Sacramento.
There is much closer action for the No. 3 pick, owned by the Houston Rockets. Banchero is the favorite on PointsBet with -476 odds, and he earned 35.5 percent of bets on 42.9 percent handle at -200 odds. But Smith is the second-most bet player to be selected third earning 33.5 percent of bets and the most handle at 43.6 percent.
Holmgren being selected first overall would throw a wrench in odds, and it would move Smith down a peg with Banchero likely being the Thunder’s choice at No. 2, not Smith.
The focus on the 2022 NBA Draft has been at the top three, specifically Smith, Holmgren and Banchero, since there doesn’t appear to be that many appealing names outside of those three prospects, which is why teams are trying to trade out of the draft entirely.
However, uncertainty is where potential profit can be made, and if there is indeed a shakeup in the 2022 NBA Draft, bettors will be the most enticed to see what happens.