2023 NBA Draft Betting Preview
The NBA will hold its annual players draft on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, home of the Nets. But perhaps the more important date is May 16, when the NBA will hold its Draft Lottery.
Drawings will be conducted to determine the first four picks in the NBA Draft. The other lottery teams would then select in positions five through 14 in inverse order of their 2022-23 regular-season records.
The huge prize at the top of everyone’s draft board is French center Victor Wembanyama.
Wembanyama is just 19 years old, stands 7-foot-2, and he’s been playing professionally in France since 2019. He has won two silver medals with the French national basketball team, and in the 2021 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup, he led all scorers in the final against the United States with 22 points. He also had eight rebounds and eight blocked shots in that game, and set the FIBA record for blocked shots per game in a single tournament.
That team from the United States featured Kenneth Lofton Jr., now with the Memphis Grizzlies, and Jaden Ivey, who was the fifth pick of the Detroit Pistons in last year’s draft.
Wembanyama is the most anticipated draft prospect in years, and BetUs.com has him at -10000 to be the first pick in June’s draft. In 2019, Zion Williamson also was at -10000 to be the No. 1 overall pick of the New Orleans Pelicans.
NBA Draft Lottery Odds
We know that Wembanyama will likely be the first player selected. What we don’t yet know is which team will get to pick him.
Three teams have a 14% chance of winning, according to the NBA’s lottery formula, and BetOnline.ag has each of those teams at +600 to win the No. 1 overall pick. They are the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs.
A tie-breaker coin flip was conducted this week between the Rockets and Spurs, and the Rockets won, giving them the official second-worst record this past season. It does not affect either team’s odds to get the first overall pick. But it means that Houston will draft no lower than sixth, and San Antonio will draft no lower than seventh.
The rest of the teams that have a chance to land the first overall pick lay out like this on the betting board:
Charlotte Hornets (+700)
Portland Trail Blazers (+850)
Orlando Magic (+1000)
Indiana Pacers (+1400)
Washington Wizards (+1400)
Utah Jazz (+2200)
Dallas Mavericks (+3300)
Chicago Bulls (+5500)
Oklahoma City Thunder (+6000)
Toronto Raptors (+10000)
New Orleans Pelicans (+20000)
Second Overall Pick Odds
Since there will be very little drama when Wembanyama’s name is announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in June, most of the betting has been focused on who will be picked second.
BetUS.com has Scoot Henderson as the favorite at -220, with Brandon Miller just behind him at +155. The Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, are +3300 and +5000, respectively. No one else makes the board.
Henderson is a point guard who has spent the last two seasons playing in the NBA G League, and Miller was the SEC Player of the Year as a freshman last year with Alabama.
Third Overall Pick Odds
With Henderson favored to be the second overall pick in the draft, he and Miller switch places when it comes to the odds for the third overall pick. The 6-foot-9 wing from Alabama is paying +105 to be picked third, and the 6-foot-2 point guard is at +145.
Amen Thompson is paying +450 to be the third overall pick, and his brother Ausar Thompson is at +900.
New Draft Guidelines for 2024
This will be the final year that the NBA Draft Combine, a pre-draft showcase to be held in Chicago from May 18-20, will not feature all of the top draft prospects. In order to combat the growing number of players who skip the combine, the NBA adopted new guidelines this week that will require anyone who wants to be drafted to attend the multi-day event.
The new rules state that all players who are invited to the combine must attend and participate, or they will be declared ineligible to be drafted for that year. Participation includes medical examinations, the sharing of medical history, agility testing, shooting drills, body measurements, and team and media interviews. Participation in 5-on-5 scrimmages will not be required.