Could the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night start off with a terrific result?
Ever since the Orlando Magic won the draft lottery on May 17, it has seemed like a two-man race between Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren for the top overall pick.
But just hours before the Magic was officially launched, Duke’s Paolo Banchero unexpectedly overtook Smith and Holmgren to become the clear favorite for the No. 1 pick. according to our partner, PointsBet. Banchero is listed with a -223 odds of hearing his name first, ahead of Smith at +130 and Holmgren at +850.
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Holmgren has the best chance of finishing second behind the Oklahoma City Thunder at -150, followed by Smith (+100) and Bunchero (+600). Smith is the #3 pick in the Houston Rockets draft with +130.
Despite Banchero becoming the betting favorite, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning that Smith heading to Orlando, Holmgren heading to OKC and Banchero heading to Houston are “getting harder and harder.”
So what’s the magic Indeed Do they have a surprise up their sleeve, whether it’s Banchero’s draft plan or even a potential pick trade with a team that wants the Duke up front? Or will Orlando just start the draft as expected with Smith?
We are only a few hours away from having the answer.
Editor’s note: All odds are provided by our Partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our official sports betting partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking on our links.