What better way to make the NBA Draft a little more exciting than some bets on the picks
There are few things I love to bet on more than NBA Draft.
It is fleeting. It’s random. And the odds change drastically in the days leading up to it. Last year when news broke that Orlando Magic suddenly staggered over Jabari Smith Jr. and considering Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick, the odds changed a crazy amount.
There’s money to be made here, and if you’re a nut like me, it’s a fun way to win (or even lose) a few bucks.
We know the Detroit Pistons pick No. 5, and we’ll take a stab at that later, but we also have other places to find value.
A little background if you’re new here: these bets will be described in “units”, which are a fixed amount you’re willing to put down on a single game. If a unit is $10 to you, then half of a unit would be $5. Often bets with longer odds (ie those that are less likely to happen) will be described as 0.5 or 0.25 unit bets.
It just means you bet less because of the higher risk/reward. Last year if you left my draft bets you would have been up 5.0 units – or $50 if you were a $10 per. unit.
Anyway, let’s get to the fun stuff:
TOP 10 RESULTS
THE COMMITTEE: Dereck Lively (+210 on FanDuel; 1.0 unit)
While I’m not a huge fan of Lively’s game… I see the potential. Teams like the Mavericks or Hawks (in a trade situation) are rumored to crush him hard. He’s huge, he’s athletic and he’s from Duke. Add in the fact that he has reportedly shot the ball well from deep in practice and I can see him going in the 9-10 range.
THE 5TH COMMON COMMITTEE
THE COMMITTEE: Ausar Thompson (+380 on FanDuel; 1.0 units)
The Pistons pick was more fun to play with last year because the Kings’ pick at No. 4 (Keegan Murray) directly correlated with Jaden Ivey falling to Detroit at No. 5. I think the best bet for the Pistons in year isn’t Jarace Walker or Cam Whitmore – it’s Ausar Thompson. The odds are good, the fit makes sense from a sense on and off the pitch. He’s probably not the guy I’d pick, but I think at these odds, he’s the guy to bet on.
BEING A FIRST ROUND CHOICE
THE COMMITTEE: Andre Jackson Jr. (+500 on DraftKings; 0.5 unit)
Jackson might be the worst shooter in the draft, but he’s so damn good at everything else that I think a smart team doesn’t. need If he plays a lot as a rookie, he’ll take a stab at him late and really spend time helping him develop his jumper. He was the best playmaker on the national champion UConn Huskies and he has good size at 6-foot-6. There is definitely some risk here, but it will be fun to sweat late in the first round.
TO BE A TOP 20 PICK
THE COMMITTEE: Jaime Jaquez Jr. (+600 on FanDuel; 0.5 units)
Not only that Jaime Jaquez Jr. earned a green room invite this week — a sign of real momentum — he’s the type of college veteran that playoff teams crave. He is a ready-made role player. Recently, I’ve seen him mocked to the Grizzlies at No. 25, but contending as Lakers, Heat are Warriors picks from 17-19. That’s the sweet spot for this to hit.
TOP FIVE CHOICES EXACT ROW
THE COMMITTEE: V. Wembanyama, B. Miller, S. Henderson, Am. Thompson, Au. Thompson (+700 on DraftKings; 0.5 units)
Full transparency: Before the Woj news late last night, I had Top Three Picks Exact Order of Vic, Miller and Scoot on here for +170… but it’s now -300 so it’s not playable. BUT even though this has gone from long shot to normal game, I still dig it. Now, if you don’t like betting Ausar on the Pistons, don’t bet this. If you do, bet on this. I think Amen at No. 4 is a sure thing, and I think Ausar lands here. It will also be a great TV moment on the broadcast. The only way it gets lopsided is if Charlotte takes Scoot. However, this looks doable at 14-1 odds.
A LONG SHOT
These are fun, but unlikely to hit. With that said, don’t go crazy. Hell, if you don’t like these, show them off. They are just two choices that have a coherent value and I think are fun.
THE 5TH COMMON COMMITTEE: Anthony Black (+2600 on FanDuel; 0.25 units)
THE 9TH COMMON COMMITTEE: Taylor Hendricks (+400 at BetMGM; 0.25 units)
*These last two picks are correlated, so if you decide to bet one, bet the other.*
Welcome to the “Pistons Trade” scenario. While I think they stand pat on No. 5, I’m just trying to connect the dots on rumors. Jazz wants black and the idea of trading the No. 9 and No. 16 picks to Detroit for the No. 5 makes sense… if the Pistons really like Hendricks and don’t want to reach for him at No. 5.
If you wanted to get really seasoned, you could take Cam Whitmore at No. 9 overall at +900 on FanDuel. I might throw 0.25 units on it just for the vibe.
All draft odds accurate as of Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 11:00 PM and offered in the state of Michigan.