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2022 NBA Draft 1st Overall Pick Odds: Smith Favorite, Banchero Climbing

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 7 mins

2022 NBA Draft 1st Overall Pick Odds: Smith Favorite, Banchero Climbing

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The Lottery balls fell in the right order for the Orlando Magic, which earned the top pick for the fourth time in franchise history. Interestingly enough, Orlando has used its top picks all on big men, and pretty successful ones at that: Dwight Howard (2004), Chris Webber (1993), and Shaquille O’Neal (1992).

NBA betting on the draft is now a pretty big deal, and there's several markets available at DraftKings, including First Overall Pick Odds.

Here’s where the Magic could be looking with that top pick on June 23:

NBA Draft 2022 First Overall Pick Odds

NBA futures odds via DraftKings and accurate as of publication.

PlayerOdds
Jabari Smith -275
Paolo Banchero +275
Chet Holmgren +400
Jaden Ivey +10000
Shaedon Sharpe +15000

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Jabari Smith, PF (-275)

Smith was the odds-on favorite two months ago and saw a massive improvement in his NBA odds in early June, vaulting to the top of this list at -430 odds. He's since settled back down to -275 but it’s not difficult to see why he remains the presumptive first pick. He’s one of the youngest players in the class, he’s an elite shooter at 6-foot-10, and has outstanding defensive versatility.

As far as his fit in Orlando, he’d pair perfectly next to Wendell Carter ($50 million extension) and Mo Bamba, who should still be seen as a core piece. With Jonathan Isaac needing to overcome some serious injuries (he hasn’t played since January 2020), there’s a need on the wing and it's one that Smith would fill with ease. At this point, it’d be a shock if Smith wasn’t the top pick.

2022 NBA Draft 1st Overall Pick Odds: Smith Favorite, Banchero Climbing 1

Paolo Banchero, PF (+275)

There was a time when Paolo Banchero was a serious candidate to go first overall. The freshman All-American is the top playmaker in the class, can score at all three levels, and has an NBA-ready body. He’s everything teams are looking for in a franchise player, though there are question marks about his defense, and his upside perhaps isn’t as high as Smith and Holmgren.

Though the Magic are in desperate need of a player with Banchero’s skillset (Orlando was 20th in assists and 29th in points), Smith offers much more upside for a franchise that needs it. The recent draft buzz around Banchero has improved his odds from +1800 all the way up to +275, vaulting him above Holmgren, but it would still be a significant shock to see him taken before Smith at No. 1.

Chet Holmgren, C (+400)

We know it’s become commonplace during NBA Draft season to say it, but there truly hasn’t even been a prospect quite like Chet Holmgren before. He can handle the rock at 7-feet tall, he’s already an elite defender, and he shot 39% from beyond the arc. Size is the obvious issue here (he’s listed at 190 pounds) but the talent is rare and it’s evident.

He’s somewhat similar to Bamba, though Orlando can’t really worry about positional needs after missing out on the postseason for the 8th time in 10 seasons. Holmgren is a polarizing prospect with the highest range of outcomes, which may make him too risky a selection at the top. His odds have dropped from +330 in early June to +400 on the eve of the Draft.


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The Field

There was the slightest of chances that a wacky Lottery shake-up could have made one of the guards a potential top pick, but that didn’t happen.

No matter how much you like Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe or Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, there’s no value in wagering on them to go first on betting sites. It’ll be one of the three aforementioned players without a doubt.

Our Pick For 1st Overall Selection

Jabari Smith

We really feel like Holmgren’s upside should make him the first overall pick, but the smoke around Smith is heavy. The Magic need shooters, and they have some potential inside (that Holmgren could fill) with Carter and Bamba. There isn’t much value with Smith on the best betting apps at this point, but he’s a safe bet at -275.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.