Now that the league has crowned its latest champion in the Golden State Warriors, NBA Odds shift to the season ahead. That opens the door for bettors to fully focus on this week’s 2022 NBA Draft, as well as all the prop bets and betting specials associated with it.
This year’s NBA Draft features several potentially franchise-changing prospects at the top of the board. The Orlando Magic hopes their recent run of luck continues as they’ll select first for the fourth time in franchise history. They’ve spent each of the previous three No. 1 overall picks on a big man, and odds favor that happening once again.
Oklahoma City, Houston, Sacramento, and Detroit round out this year’s top-5, and there’s no doubt their selections will affect NBA futures for next season. There’s a very good chance that one or more of these selections gets dealt on draft night, as well, considering several teams are reportedly open to trading their picks.
This year’s NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Here’s a look at some prop bets and betting specials for the 2022 NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Prop Bets: Top-10 Picks
Most draft pundits, and sportsbooks, agree the top-3 of the 2022 NBA Draft looks increasingly like Auburn’s Jabari Smith (-200 at FanDuel) at No. 1, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren (-175 at FanDuel) at No. 2, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero (-1000 at PointsBet) at No. 3.
Purdue’s Jaden Ivey remains the odds-on favorite to be the No. 4 selection (-200 at DraftKings), though whether he’ll be a member of the Sacramento Kings or another franchise remains in question. Iowa’s Keegan Murray also seems like a top-10 lock at this point, with most sportsbooks setting his draft position over/under at 5.5.
The rest of the top-10 currently sees Indiana, Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Washington set to make selections. Rumors continue to swirl that Portland is willing to deal their pick to add help for Damian Lillard, which makes No. 6 overall another pivot point in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Top-10 Pick Odds
Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky
Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite
Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona
Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
Jalen Duren, Memphis
Jeremy Sochan, Baylor
FanDuel places Sharpe, Daniels, and Mathurin as heavy favorites to be top-10 picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Sharpe sports the best odds other than those listed above as a potential top-5 pick, getting +155 odds at PointsBet. Draft pundits place Mathurin’s floor with New Orleans at No. 8, and Daniels’ with San Antonio at No. 9.
The swing pick here could be Portland, who continue to entertain trade talks with other teams. The Atlanta Hawks may move up in hopes of adding Daniels. The Hawks could go higher and trade with the Kings at No. 4.
Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis seems to be a good fit for Washington at No. 10, which is why most sportsbooks set his draft position over/under at 9.5. Caesars gives Davis -260 odds to go “over” 9.5, meaning pick 10 or above. FanDuel, though, lists Davis at -146 to be under 10.5, meaning he’ll be selected by pick 10.
NBA Draft Prop Bets: Freshmen Drafted in the Top-10
NCAA Freshmen Drafted in the Top 10
NBA teams holding the No. 1 overall selection have picked an NCAA freshman in each of the last 12 NBA Drafts. The last time a non-freshman went first overall was when the Los Angeles Clippers selected Blake Griffin as a sophomore out of Oklahoma in 2009.
The last five NBA Drafts have seen a total of 33 freshmen go in the top-10, an average of 6.6 per draft. Over the last two drafts, only five freshmen heard their names called inside the top-10. There hasn’t been a draft with fewer than five freshmen in the top-10 since 2013, when only three one-and-done players were selected.
This year, sportsbooks set the over/under for freshmen selection in the top-10 at 5.5. The first three picks will almost assuredly be freshmen, and Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe, another freshman, is also favored to go inside the top-10. But there are three other freshmen with favorable odds to go within the first 10 picks.
Duke forward AJ Griffin stands out as one of this draft class’s best shooters, but there’s a wide variance in his draft range. Griffin can go anywhere from No. 7 (Portland) to No. 12 (Oklahoma City). New York could be his landing spot at No. 11, but that wouldn’t help this bet. Sportsbooks are fading Griffin’s draft position, with most favoring him over 10.5. Griffin is the son of Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, who played nine seasons in the NBA.
Memphis center Jalen Duren remains a potential swing player for this bet. He’s currently being slotted anywhere from pick No. 9 (San Antonio) to pick No. 13 (Charlotte) in NBA Mock Drafts. Caesars lists his odds for under pick 10.5 at -160.
Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan worked out for a few teams inside the top-10 and met most recently with Washington. Sportsbooks set Sochan’s draft position over/under at 11.5, with most favoring the under.
NBA Draft Prop Bets: G League and Overtime Elite Players
G League Players Drafted in First Round
Last year’s first crop of G League talent landed two top-10 selections (Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga), as well as a second-round pick (Isaiah Todd). Seven players from the G League Ignite and Overtime Elite clubs participated in this year’s NBA scouting combine, making them eligible to fit this specific NBA Draft prop bet. The highest rated prospect in that group is Dyson Daniels, an Australian who will almost certainly be a top-10 selection.
G League also sees MarJon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy as potential first-rounders. Beauchamp, a 6-foot-6 guard, sees his draft position over/under set at 26.5 by PointsBet, who favors the over -165. Hardy, a 6-foot-4 guard, sees his draft position over/under set at 23.5 by DraftKings, who lists the over at -120 and the under at -110. Both players have been consistently mocked as first round selections.
Number of total players drafted in any round from the G League Ignite and Overtime Elite Academy combined
The G League Ignite team also has a pair of lengthy 19-year-olds in this year’s draft class. Michael Foster Jr. and Fanbo Zeng are both forwards who need further development. It’s possible both go undrafted then land training camp deals with teams. Foster was a 2021 McDonald’s All-American, while Zeng moved to the U.S. from China to play high school ball in Phoenix.
The Overtime Elite Academy emerged as an alternative to the G League Ignite for certain players, and it could have two or three players drafted this year. Jean Montero, from the Dominican Republic, is a 6-foot-2 18-year-old point guard with upside as a shooter. He’s the highest rated Overtime Elite prospect this year and could be a second round pick this year.
Dominick Barlow is a 6-foot-9 power forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan. At 19-years-old he has plenty of time to develop, but he needs it. Kok Yat, a 19-year-old 6-foot-8 forward, likely will not be drafted., though a team can sign him and send him to the G League for development.
Next year, Overtime Elite could see two top-10 picks from their program, Amen and Ausar Thompson.
For this NBA Draft prop bet, it’s important to note that the 2022 NBA Draft has only 58 picks instead of the normal 60. Two teams, the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, forfeited their second-round selections following violations of the league’s tampering rules around free agency.
NBA Draft Prop Bets: International Players
This NBA Draft prop bet sports a specific designation, because for betting purposes, not all players from outside the U.S. are considered “international” at sportsbooks. Players qualify for this distinction if they registered for the NBA scouting combine under their international club, something only eight players did in 2022.
First International Player Drafted
Ousmane Dieng, France
Nikola Jovic, Serbia
Ismael Kamagate, France
While this year’s draft class features a number of talented players born outside the U.S., only a select few of those come to the NBA Draft directly from their international clubs. Of those, Ousmane Dieng, originally from France but who played most recently in New Zealand, looks to be the odds-on favorite as the first international player off the board.
Dieng, who played with the New Zealand Breakers, was the first European-born player to join the NBL’s Next Stars program. In recent years, that program helped develop LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey into first-round NBA Draft talent. DraftKings favors Dieng (-185) to be drafted ahead of Kansas forward Ochai Agjabi (+150).
UniBet set Dieng’s draft position over/under at 13.5, favoring him to go under that slot (-177). Jovic, who played for Mega Basket in Serbia, saw his draft position over/under set at 20.5 by Caesars, who favors him to go under that slot (-140). Dieng seems to fit with the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 12 overall. Jovic, meanwhile, could go off the board to San Antonio at No. 20, though the Spurs do also have pick No. 9 if they covet Jovic and don’t think he falls that far.
Players from International Club Draft in First Round
Interestingly, like NCAA freshmen, a recent NBA Draft trend seems to fade the number of international club players selected in the first round. The over/under for this 2022 NBA Draft prop bet stands at 2.5. Last year, three players from international clubs went in the first round. In 2019, four players from international clubs went in the first.
Dieng and Jovic seem like the only two international locks for the first round this year, hence BetRivers favoring the Under 2.5 with -112 odds. But several other international prospects sport a high second round rating, which means it wouldn’t be a surprise if a team at the tail end of the first round, especially one with multiple first-round picks, takes a flyer on one of these players.
France’s Ismael Kamagate is a 6-foot-11 center with athleticism and length, though he lacks a three-point stroke. Gabriele Procida, a 6-foot-7 SG/SF from Italy, has a nice combination of size, shooting and athleticism. Both of these players have been consistently mocked in the 30s range of the draft, so a team could reach for one of them and hit the over for this NBA Draft betting special. Hugo Besson, a speedy 6-5 combo guard from France who played in New Zealand, should go in the second round but could fit for a team in the late first as well.