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NBA Draft 2020 Winners & Losers Create Betting Opportunities

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 7 mins

NBA Draft 2020 Winners & Losers Create Betting Opportunities

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The NBA landscape has changed since Monday, with the trade window opening and the NBA Draft on Wednesday.

The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are still the NBA betting favorite to win the 2020-21 NBA title. But the Los Angeles Clippers are no longer No. 2 on the board. We sift through the whirlwind 72 hours of activity, assess the winners and losers after the NBA Draft, and offer three NBA futures picks showing value – and two that are not.

NBA Value Bets to Back Post-Draft

76ers to Win Eastern Conference +1200 with DraftKings ➜
Tyrese Haliburton to Win
Rookie Of The Year
+2000 at FanDuel ➜
Bucks to Win NBA Title +550 at FOX Bet ➜

NBA odds are current as of publication; check out the latest NBA title odds here

Philadelphia 76ers – Win Eastern Conference (+1200)

The 76ers have had NBA title potential on paper, but on the court have been one of the league’s surprising disappointments the past couple of seasons, thanks in large part to a lack of reliable shooting. So they overhauled things – and are potentially far better for it.

New General Manager Daryl Morey left the Rockets and landed in Philly. In a short time, he has added NBA champion coach Doc Rivers, then over the past few days traded the heavy contracts of underachievers Al Horford and Jason Richardson and added shooters Seth Curry and Danny Green in those trades. The team added another shooter in Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey, drafted on Wednesday at No. 21.

Adding three players who can get the ball in the basket takes a mammoth amount of pressure off Ben Simmons. It won’t hurt Joel Embiid, either.

The 76ers have the sixth-lowest odds to win the Eastern Conference. They shouldn’t. With their NBA title odds at +2000, the value is on the East. The best price for Philly to win the East is at DraftKings.

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Tyrese Haliburton – Rookie of the Year (+1400)

The 6-foot-5 Iowa State product was thought to be a surefire top-10 pick, but he fell to No. 12, where the Sacramento Kings snapped him up. Both the Kings and bettors looking for a terrific value play are winners here.

Haliburton was great for the Cyclones last season, averaging 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 51.5%, including 43.4% on 3-pointers. His game IQ and vision are lauded intangible attributes.

NBA Draft 2020 Winners & Losers Create Betting Opportunities 1

He could be potentially great for the Kings right away, too. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are the backcourt starters, but it’s not out of the realm that Haliburton could back up both of them and play alongside them in a small ball setting.

In a draft class with no sure thing, Haliburton’s diverse game gives him a leg on the competition and he should get minutes. LaMelo Ball is the rightful NBA Rookie of the Year favorite, but Haliburton’s odds have the most value. The best Rookie of the Year odds for Haliburton are at FanDuel.

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Milwaukee Bucks – Win NBA Title +500

For the second straight year, the Bucks earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. And for the second straight year, they were jettisoned out of the playoffs in the second round.

But Eric Bledsoe – a huge culprit of postseason disappearing – is gone, replaced by Jrue Holiday in a big upgrade at point guard. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, that’s a three-player force. And the Bucks still have considerable depth behind the Big Three.

Remember, the Bucks not only were the best team in the regular season, but were so far ahead of the pack that they were on pace for 70 wins. Milwaukee was a bubble bust. With NBA teams back in their own arenas, look for the Bucks to regain their rhythm. Backing the 76ers and Bucks to win the East (or beyond) means we’re fading the Nets for the time being. Find the best Bucks title odds at FOX Bet.

2 NBA Futures To Fade

Anthony Edwards – Rookie of the Year (+450)

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is going to get his chance to contribute right away for the Minnesota Timberwolves. If he’s not the starting shooting guard on opening night, it would be a surprise. However, his game might take time and the offseason is not long enough to hit the ground running. Edwards is considered a supreme athletic talent, but his shot selection was shaky at Georgia and he hit on less than 30% of his 3-point attempts.

If he can’t put up 20 ppg, he won’t have an all-around stat line like some of the other contenders on the board. And his defensive intensity is a work in progress. Perhaps Edwards proves ready right away and is the high-energy scorer Minnesota hopes he is. But there are better values on the board.

NBA Draft 2020 Winners & Losers Create Betting Opportunities 2

Houston Rockets – Win NBA Title (+6000)

The Rockets’ odds to win the NBA Finals have exploded from +2500 on Monday up to +6000 now. One might think there’s suddenly major value at those odds with a team led by Russell Westbrook and James Harden. But don’t waste your bankroll.

Houston made no upgrades during the flurry of activity, made just one late second-round draft selection, and Harden and Westbrook are both looking to be traded over political differences with owner Tilman Fertitta. Harden even turned down a $50 million/year extension. He wants out – the GM and coach already left of their own accord. Each All-Star might be dealt before the season.

Even if Harden and Westbrook are in the lineup for Game 1 of 2020-21, the rest of the roster remains thin, lacking the depth and size to compete with the Lakers, Clippers and even the Jazz and Nuggets in the West. Time to bail on the Rockets.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been estabilshed as one of the nation's premier NFL and MLB handicappers, and his horse racing and PGA picks have produced major winners over the last 12 months.
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