2022 NBA Draft Updated Betting Guide: Who will go No. 1? Best Bets for Top Picks, Player Draft Position Props, and Top 10 Odds

Time flies when you’re watching playoff hoops! Amazingly, the 2022 NBA Draft is just one week away, set to air next Thursday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. EST in Brooklyn. We’ve already seen one major trade involving a draft pick: Dallas sent their first-rounder (No. 26) and a handful of players to Houston for big man Christian Wood on Wednesday. What does this and other pieces of news mean come draft day? Today we’ll discuss various betting developments, updated draft odds, specific draft selection props, top 10 odds, and more for the 76th annual NBA Draft.

Two dozen prospects withdrew from the draft on Wednesday – 22 of them international players – joining the 111 early-entry candidates who already dropped out on June 1. That leaves a talent pool of 135 players from U.S. colleges and 14 international prospects. We’ll see 58 of those 149 young men drafted to NBA teams next Thursday (two squads, Milwaukee and Miami, had to forfeit second-round picks due to tampering infractions).

The biggest questions surrounding the draft remain: who will go No. 1? Will a team like the Knicks trade into the lottery? What can we expect from the notoriously-unpredictable front offices of OKC, Sacramento, and Detroit? And who will take the most hyped mystery man in the draft class, Mr. Shaedon Sharpe?

We’ve got a ton of information to dissect, odds to discuss, and props to bet. Let’s get to it!

All odds listed are from DraftKings.

 

2022 NBA Draft Betting Guide: Best Bets for Top Picks, Draft Position Props, and Top 10 Odds

No. 1 Pick (Orlando Magic): Jabari Smith, PF/C, Auburn (-145)

What a difference a week makes! Last week, Smith was -450 to be selected first overall by the Magic. At that time, Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren was +425 to go No. 1. Now Smith’s odds have slimmed considerably, while Holmgren has rocketed all the way up to +115.

Smith remains the favorite, but oddsmakers must be starting to get nervous having not heard much from the Magic camp. He did have a light workout and interview in Orlando this week, but so did a few others. Chitter-chatter among the socials suggests that NBA execs overwhelmingly expect Smith to be donning Magic pinstripes this fall.

MORE: Kyle Irving’s NBA Mock Draft | Scouting Report on Jabari Smith 

I tend to agree, so I’m sticking with Smith here – he’s the best pure shooter (42% from three last season), he has defensive versatility, and he possesses NBA-ready size and strength. I love that we’re getting $47 more on a $100 bet than we would have with last week’s odds.

Other possibilities: Chet Holmgren +115

No. 2 Pick (Oklahoma City Thunder): Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga (-145)

With Smith’s changing odds obviously comes fluctuations to Holmgren and the No. 2 pick. Holmgren was -350 to go No. 2 at this time last week, but OKC has worked out a handful of prospects since then. The Thunder need a shot-blocker and rim-runner, though, and Holmgren’s unicorn offensive abilities push him into consensus No. 2 territory. He can handle the ball, pass intelligently, and shoot from distance (39% 3PT), which almost seems unfair for a guy with a 7-6 wingspan.

MORE: Chet Holmgren Scouting Report 

I said last week that the Thunder will probably not let Holmgren slip to No. 3. At worst, he’s a poor man’s Evan Mobley (provided his body holds up). At best, he could tap into peak Kristaps Porzingis territory. He makes everyone around him better, and he won’t feel too much pressure joining a franchise that just finished 24-58. If he can handle the physicality of the NBA game, Holmgren will shine. Take advantage of the -145 odds here.

Other possibilities: Paolo Banchero +350, Smith +130

No. 3 Pick (Houston Rockets): Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (-550)

One pick that has become increasingly more certain is Banchero at No. 3. The Rockets had him in their gym yesterday, and hours later finalized the deal that sent Wood to Dallas. They certainly seem content with drafting the 6-10, 250-pound Duke forward who scores with ease. His odds moved from -500 last week to -550 today.

Banchero could easily end up the best player of this draft class. He possesses elite scoring and playmaking ability, natural intelligence and feel for the game, and NBA-ready size and strength. If he can continue to improve his defense and three-point shooting, he could be a superstar.

MORE: Is Paulo Banchero the Safest Superstar Draft Prospect of this Class? 

You won’t get much value betting a prop at -550 individually. However, if you can find a site that features specific pick parlays, it would be prudent to bet an exact order parlay 1-2-3. Parlaying Smith -145 at No. 1, Holmgren -145 at No. 2, and Banchero -550 at No. 3 would fetch you +237 in total parlay odds.

Other possibilities: Holmgren -700, Jaden Ivey -750

No. 4 Pick (Sacramento Kings): Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (+175)

Hopefully you got in on Murray at No. 4 last week when his odds sat at +500. Now it’s barely worth taking the risk given the minimal reward and the Kings’ unpredictability. General manager Monte McNair has made it clear he wants Sac-Town competing from the jump this season – that could translate to Murray, Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, or it could mean a trade-down if the Knicks or Wizards want to give them a proven asset to move up from their draft positions in the low double-digits.

While a ton of draft analysts and mock-drafters – including Sporting News’ own Kyle Irving – have Ivey headed to Cali’s capital, we have heard rumblings about the Purdue product deeming Sacramento a less-than-ideal destination. It would be surprising if McNair picked a guard who wants nothing to do with his organization, especially considering his fairly-concrete backcourt duo of All-Star De’Aaron Fox and 2021 first-round pick Davion Mitchell.

Sacramento needs someone at the four to lessen the load on Domantas Sabonis, the Kings’ coveted trade-deadline acquisition who serves as the franchise’s No. 2 man. At 6-8, 215, and with a ton of talent on both ends, Murray can be that special someone.

Other possibilities: Jaden Ivey -220, Shaedon Sharpe +600

No. 5 (Detroit Pistons): Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (+200)

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I like Ivey next to 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham this season and for the foreseeable future. Cade can’t do it all himself, and Jerami Grant’s future in Motown seems uncertain at best. Ivey would provide the Pistons with a second playmaker with explosive athleticism and scoring chops. Nothing seems certain here, but Ivey’s certainly the best player available.

Other possibilities: Shaedon Sharpe +550, Dyson Daniels +800

 

Player Draft Position Props

Keegan Murray UNDER 5.5 (-160)

Like I said, I’m sticking to Murray at No. 4. But even if Sac-town doesn’t spring for the talented power forward, he could very well go at No. 5 to Detroit (especially if Grant gets dealt). He fits a positional need for them, improves them on Day 1 on both sides of the floor, and makes life easier for Sabonis. Murray’s ceiling might not be as high as a lot of the wings who will be drafted around him, but he’s a difference maker with far fewer question marks than most.

Shaedon Sharpe UNDER 7.5 (-125)

If he gets by the Kings and Pistons, I think Sharpe will be Indiana-bound. The Pacers have a good young backcourt, and will most likely lose small forward T.J. Warren to free agency this summer. They could use a potential star with insane athleticism and tremendous upside like Sharpe. However, even if Indy passes on him and goes with Bennedict Mathurin, Sharpe will probably go to Portland (he worked out with them recently). These are squads who need a big boom, and this draft is often referred to as filled with busts. Nothing around this player seems definitive, but it sure feels tempting to make the Sharpe bet.

Johnny Davis OVER 9.5 (-210)

A lot of people hype Davis because of his scoring ability at the NCAA level – Hell, he’s even making commercials already – but I don’t like him to crack the top ten. New York might be interested in his playmaking ability at No. 11, but he could slip to the teens if the Knicks don’t bite.

Keep your eyes open for: Jaden Ivey UNDER 6.5

It’s not currently listed, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see a draft position prop for him. Ivey would be a tremendous complement to Cade Cunningham in Detroit. But if the Pistons don’t pick him at No. 5, Indy will absolutely grab him at No. 6. Many teams will be picking “best available” in this draft, and Ivey might be best available anywhere after No. 3. He has been widely considered a high-lottery pick since January, and I’d be shocked if he slips past No. 6.

 

Pairings 1 vs. 1 – First to be Drafted

A.J. Griffin (+130) over Johnny Davis (-160)

This works great, as I have A.J. Griffin cracking the top 10 and Johnny Davis falling to 11 or later. Griffin would instantly benefit the Pelicans (No. 8), Blazers (No. 7), Spurs (No. 9), or Wizards (No. 10). He’s a smart, pure-shooting wing (45% 3PT) with an unfathomable 7-foot wingspan.

See also: Team’s First Pick – Davis to Knicks (+750), Cleveland (+1200)

E.J. Liddell (+120) over Nikola Jovic (-150)

I love the plus odds we’re getting for Liddell here, especially considering I have him going to Chicago and Jovic going to San Antonio. Liddell recently worked out for the Bulls, and the rumblings are that they would insta-draft him if he was still available at No. 18. Jovic is a classic Popovich guy – he’ll get scooped right up by the Spurs at No. 20 if he’s still around.

See also: Team’s First Pick – Liddell to Chicago (+1000)

 

Best Value Bets to be Picked Top 10

Shaedon Sharpe and Dyson Daniels (both -2500)

Top 10 locks from two completely different paths. Sharpe hasn’t played an NCAA or G-league game, Daniels worked his butt off last year in the G-league. I like both to be difference-makers for an NBA squad.

Bennedict Mathurin (+800)

Benny could mess around and end up the face of this draft class – he’s that good. He plays multiple positions, he has a high basketball IQ, and he can score with the best. He has been highly regarded in just about every facet of the pre-draft workouts. He’ll crack the top 10.

Other strong considerations to go top 10: A.J. Griffin (+175), Jeremy Sochan (+200)

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