Latest NBA Draft No. 1 Pick Odds & Best Bet On Who It Will Be
There is no rest for the NBA weary. Barely one month after LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, the 2020-21 season is just around the corner. It begins on Wednesday with the 2020 NBA Draft.
The annual draft not only offers hope for immediate-impact players for the teams, it has become an event worth keeping an eye on for NBA betting enthusiasts. Sportsbooks now utilize the one-day event as a huge opportunity for props.
Odds To Be No. 1 Pick in 2020 NBA Draft
NBA odds current as of publication but subject to change.
LaMelo Ball The Favorite
The three players at the top of the board are there for a reason, but none can be considered a slam dunk. Not even the favorite.
LaMelo Ball is from a basketball family — his older brother Lonzo Ball is the point guard for the Pelicans, another brother LiAngelo Ball is in the G League and father LaVar Ball is the enigmatic CEO of Big Baller Brand. LaMelo Ball was the NBL Rooke of the Year in Australia last winter, averaging 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.
The smooth 6-7 point guard might have as much upside as James Wiseman. But will his high profile, history and notable family dynamic deter the team with the top pick?
It doesn’t sound like it. Ball’s prospects to be No. 1 have only increased since the Timberwolves secured the No. 1 pick. Point guard isn’t necessarily the top concern for Minnesota – D’Angelo Russell meshed well with Karl-Anthony Towns in that role this past season – but the talent-starved Wolves may be content taking the “best player available” and figuring it out from there.
Georgia SG In the Running
Some believe there is a better option for Minnesota that can pay off immediately.
Georgia’s 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Anthony Edwards, is a unique athletic specimen. He’s a natural scorer, a long-range shooter and up-close finisher who has been compared favorably to future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade.
What Edwards wasn’t, at least at Georgia, was very selective. He averaged a robust 19.1 points per game but on just 40.2% shooting, including 29.4% on 3-pointers. The Wolves’ starting SG, Malik Beasley, managed just 11.2 ppg on 42.5% shooting. It’s not hard to imagine Edwards being an immediate upgrade.
Memphis C Offers Huge Upside
Wiseman, on the other hand, is a 7-1, 235-pound athlete out of Memphis with a 7-6 wingspan, a nice offensive touch and a shot-blocking defensive mentality. His stats were great, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks while shooting a crazy 76.9%.
But there’s one massive caveat with Wiseman: He managed just three games in college before being declared ineligible. With no scouting combine this year, scouts will have to take a leap of faith on this high-risk, high-reward prospect.
A Towns and Wiseman frontcourt may be an impressive start to something big in Minnesota. Each can defend down low and spread a defense. If Minnesota is content with Russell at PG, Wiseman could be the guy.
Other blue-chippers that were top-pick contenders in August are out of the running.
The odds for No. 1 overall pick were sliced in half over the summer on Onyeka Okongwu, a 6-9, 240-pounder from USC. He averaged 16.2 ppg on 61.6% shooting and was known as a strong defensive post presence. He’s the No. 2 frontcourt player on most draft boards, after Wiseman.
Obi Toppin, a 6-9 PF from Dayton, might be the most NBA-ready guy in the top 10, but his odds have skyrocketed over the last two months for No. 1. He crushed it at Dayton, averaging 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.8 apg while shooting 66.6% in only 26.5 minutes. But his speed and footwork need work, and he wasn’t the overpowering rebounder that some might have hoped for against Atlantic-10 competition.
Deni Avdija, 19, is a supremely talented small forward (6-8) from Israel, one of the most decorated players on the European circuit in decades. He was the MVP of the FIBA U20 European Championships when he was just 18 and led Israel to the Euro championship when he was 17.
Killian Hayes, a 6-5 PG from France, was MVP of the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championships and has been playing professionally ever since. Hayes, 19, was averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.2 apg in Germany’s top league before play was halted due to the coronavirus.
Who Will Go No. 1 In NBA Draft?
This is one of the more unpredictable NBA Drafts in recent memory. There is no slam dunk at No. 1, and for that, we are going to fade the favorite.
The Timberwolves own the pick – but they could move back for additional help. For picking sake, we have to assume they keep the pick. One could argue they’re set at two positions – point guard and center – and can find an immediate upgrade at the other three spots on the court.
From that perspective, Edwards and Wiseman fill team needs better than Ball. Edwards is a Day 1 starting SG. Wiseman can take the C slot and let Towns move to PF, where Juan Hernangomez (6.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 40.5% FG) current holds the starting role.
There is a lot of value on Wiseman at +550. In a draft full of potential standouts at guard and small forward, Wiseman is the top post player.
But the best pick right now is on Edwards. His athletic explosiveness and offensive mentality are on a unique level compared to the other players atop the board. He brings energy and enthusiasm to a team that could use some.
Take Edwards at a solid +155 price with Unibet.
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