With the official order of the NBA Draft being decided on lottery night, May 16, we can start making NBA picks with more information. The order for picks 15-30 had already been decided, and filled by the teams that were in the playoffs. That is based on the team’s regular season record, with the worst starting at pick 15.
On lottery night, the first 14 picks are decided by chance. The teams with the worst record getting the best lottery odds of winning the No.1 overall pick. However, because it is still up to chance, that allows for the draft order to change, which complicates having NBA predictions before lottery night.
Sometimes, a team with long odds can jump into the Top-4 picks or get the No.1 selection. That happened in 2019 when the New Orleans Pelicans won the lottery, having a 6% chance of getting the first overall pick, and the Los Angeles Lakers went from pick 11 to 4, with a 2.8% chance of happening.
Nothing exciting happened this lottery night, with picks 6-14 not changing. However, in the Top-5, there were some changes. The San Antonio Spurs jumped up two spots, getting the No.1 pick. The Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers also jumped two spots, coming in second and third. It would be a rough night for the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, falling four spots to five. The Houston Rockets also dropped two spaces to select fourth.
With the Spurs officially winning the lottery, it is pretty clear what they will do with the pick. All NBA expert picks have Victor Wembanyama labeled as the prize of the draft. The French-born player has been the consensus first-overall pick all season, dominating the basketball league in France, LNB Pro A, playing for Metropolitans 92. He is 7-feet-5 and was named the MVP of the LNB Pro A, averaging 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and three blocks per game. Wembanyama is an overwhelming favorite to go first overall, with odds on BetUs set at -20000.
After Wembanyama, it does get more complicated. While the projected next two picks are good, they are not Wembanyama. The first is a point guard that played for the G-League Ignite team, Scoot Henderson, and the second is Brandon Miller, a small forward from Alabama. There is a possibility that team fit becomes important after the first pick.
Both the Hornets and Trail Blazers already have All-Star-level point guards, leading to them both likely looking at Miller. The Pistons and Rockets also do not need a guard that wants the ball in his hands a lot, which could see Henderson fall in the draft, despite his elite talent, unless a trade happens.
After those top three players, there is less consistency on what players might be drafted next. Some believe the Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, are the following options, but their big question is that they played in the newly created Overtime Elite league, with little competition. Next is a mix of players from college, headlined by Jarace Walker, Anthony Black, Cam Whitmore, and Taylor Hendricks. Without a genuine frontrunner between these prospects, what a team feels will be the best fit is going to be important.
Some teams do not have picks in the 2023 Draft, which is happening on June 22. The only lottery team without one is the Chicago Bulls, having traded it to the Orlando Magic, who now have two picks within the first 14 selections. Nine of the playoffs teams also don’t have draft picks, trading them in “win now” moves.
As the excitement of UConn’s March Madness win fades into our rearview mirror, it’s time to shift focus to the NBA Draft. College talent had one last chance to impress scouts during the tournament, and we have a good idea as to which players will be lottery picks on June 22.
The NBA playoffs have just begun, so we don’t yet have an official draft order. But, for those looking to make picks on the draft, BetUS has NBA odds available for several areas. You can bet which team will get the No. 1 pick and who is drafted No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3. When we know the exact draft order, more options will be available for your NBA betting cards.
In the meantime, we can make some educated guesses on each of the four aforementioned NBA Draft betting lines.
At the time of writing, three teams are tied on the NBA odds board to be awarded the 1st pick at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16.
The Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets had awful seasons but have the best NBA odds to earn the No. 1 pick at +550. The Charlotte Hornets (+700) and Portland Trail Blazers (+850) round out the top five and are the only teams with odds of 10/1 or shorter.
While there is no NBA betting favorite to earn the No. 1 pick in the draft, there is an overwhelming favorite to be that first player picked. This is despite not participating in the March Madness tournament.
French phenom Victor Wembanyama is -10000 to be the first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. There are not even any secondary options listed beside “other,” which pays out +2000. While no bet is a sure thing, Wembanyama to go first in the draft is as close as possible to a “lock.”
The 7’2” power forward is 19 and plays for the Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A. He also plays for the French National team, where he is a two-time silver medalist in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup. Wembanyama holds the FIBA record for blocks per game in a single tournament (3.2). He’s being dubbed a once-in-a-generation talent, much like LeBron James. He has incredible agility for his size and can handle the ball like a point guard while being over seven-feet tall.
Scoot Henderson is expected to be the No. 2 pick at -220, with Brandon Miller, the underdog, at +155. Henderson is a star of the G League thanks to his shot-making ability and highly-impressive defensive skill set. Miller makes the list as a potential choice due to Henderson missing the final part of the season due to injury, while Miller had a breakout season in his first and only year as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
If Henderson is picked No. 2, Miller provides a lot of value to be the third pick in the NBA Draft at +105.