NBA Draft Odds: Who Will Go No. 1 Overall?

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Auburn forward Jabari Smith (10) drives around South Florida forward Sam Hines Jr. (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Jun 22, 2022, 12:15 PM

With the NBA Finals wrapping up late last week, the focus has shifted toward the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft and NBA Draft betting.

Drafting well is an integral part of winning championships in professional sports. Look no further than the most recent championship team, the Golden State Warriors. It’s not always about who is drafted at the top of the class that counts, with Stephen Curry being selected seventh overall out of Davidson in 2009, Klay Thompson 11th overall from Washington State, and Draymond Green 35th overall from Michigan State.

When you have lottery picks, you have to hit on them.

Here are the NBA odds for the No. 1 overall pick as of Wednesday.

Jabari Smith Jr. (-160)

The 6-foot-10 forward out of Auburn is the slight favorite to be the Magic’s choice to start the draft.

There’s still chatter about this pick being traded, but no clear evidence is available now. Even if the pick is traded, Smith is still a candidate to be taken first overall. He’d fit on any roster with his all-around skill set. Smith has size and athleticism to pair with a soft shooting stroke, making him an excellent complimentary player.

He’ll likely play more off the ball until he develops his dribbling and shot creation. The Magic need everything, and Smith would help in quite a few areas of the game from the minute he steps on the court.

Paolo Banchero (+190)

Duke’s Paolo Banchero will get buckets as soon as he steps on the court.

He’ll be a dynamic scoring option that any team would love to have, standing 6-foot-10 and 250lbs while possessing a smooth shooting stroke. Banchero was as high as +1500 to be the first overall selection on Monday, so his odds have been on the move.

Considering he’s garnering only 16.5% of the betting tickets, this line movement is extraordinary and will be the story of the night from a bettor’s perspective. 

Why the move? There’s a lot of chatter about teams targeting a trade-up to the first overall selection. The Houston Rockets traded Christian Woods to Mavericks earlier this week and hold the three-first round selections: the third, 17th, and 26th overall picks.

Given the trade capital at their disposal, this would put the Rockets in a prime position to move up in the draft. It’s not a sure thing that Houston is targeting Banchero, but given his line movement, it’s assumed he’s the potential target. How far will this line drop?

It seems like it will keep moving up until draft day unless the chatter surrounding trades dies down or Smith picks up a favorable report. 

Chet Holmgren (+300)

Chet Holmgren is a safe bet to go early in the draft, but there isn’t a lot connecting him to the Magic or the Rockets.

The 7-foot-tall “unicorn” from Gonzaga possesses game-breaking shot-blocking ability and has flashed potential in all areas of the game. There seems to be a lot of chatter surrounding Holmgren to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have the second and 12th overall picks.

NBA Draft First Overall Pick Odds

PlayerOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Jabari Smith Jr.-105-160
Chet Holmgren+145+190
Paolo Banchero+350+300

NBA Draft Odds at BetMGM

NBA betting doesn’t stop when the NBA Finals are done and a champion is crowned; you can start the offseason by betting on NBA Draft odds at BetMGM.

In the weeks leading up to the draft, you can bet on draft odds, including the No. 1 overall pick. Check out the online sportsbook today to place your draft bets!

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.