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NBA Draft Odds: Is Smith a “Slam Dunk” to be the #1 Pick?

Jabari Smith Jr 2022 NBA Draft Top Pick

Most of the players who will be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft won’t be ready. What we mean by that is that they won’t be quite ready to play in the NBA. But that should be an indicator to BetOnline customers as to how the draft has changed over the years.

Experience isn’t something that is necessarily valued. Because of the “one and done” nature of the way top players treat college basketball, it becomes a “developmental” thing. In that way it’s not so much different than what we see in the Major League baseball draft. With the exception of the players at the very top of the list, players aren’t expected to be big contributors right away. And that’s because at age 19 or thereabouts, they’ve hardly gotten their feet wet.

Another thing that’s different these days involves the big men. The NBA has moved so much toward small lineups and stretching out the floor with three-pointers. It is a favorable characteristic for them to be able to hit the outside shot. And if someone can be “position-less” on defense, able to switch in response to pick-and-rolls, that’s a real bonus.

All that having been said, let’s take a look at some of the players expected to be taken very early. And we’ll include the odds on them being the #1 pick at BetOnline. (We also keep in mind that this kind of thing is constantly changing).

NBA Draft Orlando goes first, with OKC to follow

Those changes could include the draft order, as trades always happen. This is what the top ten looks like right now:

  • 1. Orlando
  • 2. Oklahoma City
  • 3. Houston
  • 4. Sacramento
  • 5. Detroit
  • 6. Indiana
  • 7. Portland
  • 8. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
  • 9. San Antonio
  • 10. Washington

Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn freshman

(-400 to go first, +300 to go second)

Smith is a 6-10, 220-pound forward who, we imagine, go play the “five” in a smaller lineup. He came to Auburn as that school’s highest-rated recruit ever. And he delivers something that, as we mentioned, is what NBA teams look for.

That is, to say, he has an educated outside shot. Smith shot 42% from three-point range in his one and only college season. And this obviously makes the defense honest.

There has been some talk about the Orlando Magic already having some people who can play up front. But frankly, when you’re in the position they’re in, you need all the good players you can get.

Paolo Banchero, Duke freshman

(+325 to go first, +500 to go second at BetOnline)

Paolo Banchero may not be a great shooter, but he makes up for that with some nice moves around the basket. Banchero is not necessarily classic pivot man, but at 6-10 and 250 pounds, he would appear to be more capable of dealing out and taking physical punishment on the inside than the aforementioned Smith or Chet Holmgren, who we’ll talk about in a minute.

Banchero came to Duke as the top recruit in the nation, in the eyes of many. And he showed a lot of consistency as a freshman. He had twelve double-doubles, and missed scoring double figures in a game only twice.

His defense has come under question from some scouts. But it’s not likely that the team drafting him (quite possibly Houston) will have to worry much about him getting pushed around.

NBA Draft Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga freshman

(+450 to go first, -300 to go second)

Chet Holmgren is the maybe the most polarizing guy out there. As a 7-footer who can handle the ball and shoot from the outside, he is seen as a “2.0” player by many. He actually shot pretty damn good, no matter where he was, hitting 39% of his triples and a sizzling 73.7% inside the arc.

He is also a premier shot-blocker. In fact, he ranked tenth in the nation in shot-blocking percentage.

But you have to wonder where he fits in. Will he be like Kristaps Porzingis, hanging on the outside and throwing up jumpers? Or can he actually fit into the center role in the NBA? He’s have to fill out to avoid getting pushed around in the pros, as he comes in at around 200 pounds (or less).

This kid runs the floor pretty well, and can make some nice passes out of the pivot. With his skill set, he’s going to have some success. But is he a game-changer for OKC, or Houston, or even Orlando, in the event the Magic takes a leap?

Once you get past that “Big Three,” it really becomes a crap shoot. But then, it usually is.

Place your wagers on the NBA Draft at BetOnline, where they offer you a heck of a lot of props to get you ready for the festivities……. And remember that they make it easier than anyone else when it comes to accessing deposit options, as they accept practically every cryptocurrency that exists.