2020 NBA Draft Prop Looks

November 17, 2020

The NBA, after some furious trade action this week, continues its quick offseason turnaround with the NBA Draft on Wednesday night. Unlike many drafts in years past, this draft does not have a clear cut top player, and there are essentially no players locked into slots or teams just a day ahead of the draft.

This piece will deal in what’s most likely to happen and which prop betting plays bring the most value and likelihood. 

1st Pick

Best Play: Edwards -115

It seemed fairly certain recently that Georgia guard Anthony Edwards would be the first overall pick, but there has been a very recent surge on LaMelo Ball of late, and he has surpassed Edwards as the betting favorite by the narrowest of margins. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the betting odds are as follows:

Lamelo Ball -115

Anthony Edwards -112

James Wiseman +900

Wiseman is the only other player with lower than 100:1 odds for the first selection, so it is safe to assume the pick will be one of those three players. I think the selection ultimately boils down to the liabilities of each player, not necessarily their strengths.

Ball is a dynamic offensive player to be sure, but he brings liabilities that simply are not attached to Edwards. Edwards will contribute immediately in all facets and essentially has no real holes in his game. Ball will be an extreme defensive liability in the league for the foreseeable future, and there is no guarantee he ever shores up that portion of his game.

I do not see Ball coexisting with D’angelo Russell in Minnesota, and I think the only path for Ball to go first overall is via trade. With the T-Wolves staying put, it is just logical and probable that Edwards would be the selection. It is also a value to wager on him to be selected first, as it cost north of 2:1 for the same wager just a week ago. 

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2nd Pick

Best Play: James Wiseman -113

The second pick may actually be even more settled than the first overall selection, and there are no shortage of teams after Wiseman. He is the best big man in the draft and it is widely assumed that any team wanting Wiseman will have to get in front of the Hornets, who draft third overall.

This will be advantageous for the Warriors who are playing for the present, and will be happy to deal the high end prospect for win now pieces and contract relief. My best bet is the Spurs are the team to take the trade up plunge for Wiseman, putting Lamarcus Aldridge in a win now situation and giving the Warriors even more of an embarrassment of riches from a scoring perspective. 

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