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Banchero Causing Stir in NBA Draft Betting

Late Odds Drama Unfolding for No. 1 Overall Pick

It was seemingly set in stone that Jabari Smith Jr. would be selected first by the Orlando Magic, but there has been serious late money for Paulo Banchero.

The Duke star’s appeal had taken a downward trend, so most thought Smith had the top overall pick in the bag. However, Bachero’s odds to be selected first have tumbled to +175 after sitting around +900 just 48 hours ago.

Duke forward Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero | AP Photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez

NBA Draft odds haven’t moved much with the exception of Banchero, so it has created a stir.

  • Banchero Worthy of No. 1 Pick

The power forward looks NBA-ready and we believe Banchero will have a big impact on the floor no matter which team takes him.

Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Duke. The numbers are there and bettors have rallied behind the projected third pick.

There is still a high chance he gets selected third by the Houston Rockets, but the amount of money coming for him made us think twice about where he’s going. Oklahoma City looks set to take Chet Holmgren at No. 2, but perhaps Smith isn’t heading to Orlando after all.

Banchero would make a good fit with the Magic and CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander put him at No. 1 in his mock draft.

Banchero was the best freshman in college hoops last season, he led his team to the Final Four, he has an NBA-ready body, he has a litany of skills and is one of the best passing bigs in this year’s draft,” Norlander summarized.

There has never been a moment over the past three-plus years where his skills didn’t translate/project to be a wonderful combination of old-school mobile big and modern play-thru power forward. He is the most NBA-ready player in this draft.

It has added interest to the NBA Draft and it will be interesting to see where Banchero’s odds fall on draft night. Banchero’s odd moved back to +122 with NBA betting online markets, so he could be worth a play for the top pick.

  • Holmgren: Lock for OKC?

Chet Holmgren is close to being called a lock to go second in the NBA Draft. He has expressed interest in playing with Australian Josh Giddey, which looks like an excellent fit.

There are concerns about the long-term health of Holmgren due to his slight framed. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder have their eyes on the former Gonzaga Bulldog, who impressed mightily in college.

Holmgren is -225 at the sportsbook to be taken second, but there is some interest with Smith. He has firmed into +200 to be taken No. 2 on the back of his chances of going first dwindling. The Thunder could opt to take the higher profile player in Smith, with the potential to trade.

However, we think they’ll stick to the status quo. Holmgren is a quality player and he’s a dynamic big, which the Thunder are sorely lacking.

Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs slam dunks the ball against the BYU Cougars
Chet Holmgren | Chris Gardner/Getty Images/AFP
  • Value with Ochai Agbaji

There is a value pick going under the radar and it’s Ochai Agbaji, who starred for Kansas.

The 22-year-old Milwaukee native was voted the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and he’s +250 to be taken in the first round. We believe he could add value to any team and he could be a surprise pick on Thursday.

Our only concern is his recent workout with the Thunder, who also have the 12th pick from the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re likely to take Agbaji, but we see the likes of Portland and Detroit looking to secure a player of his type.

There is enough value for bettors to snap up and his odds could shorten on draft night.

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