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NBA Draft Props: Anthony Edwards Odds-On Favorite to Go First Overall; LaMelo Ball Favored for Top-3 Selection

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 18, 2021 · 1:20 PM PDT

Anthony Edwards
Is Anthony Edwards still a lock to go #1 overall in the 2020 Draft? Photo from Gamecock Central (Wiki Commons)
  • The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place June 25th in Brooklyn, New York
  • Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards is a heavy favorite to be selected first, while LaMelo Ball has short odds to be drafted in the top-three
  • What’s the best for each of the top-five draft picks?

No one knows if and when professional basketball will return this season, but at least for now, the NBA Draft is still scheduled to take place June 25th in Brooklyn, New York.

With no major North American sports to currently wager on, NBA Draft props are expected to attract plenty of action. Draft day may still be three months away, but you can already wager on who will be selected with each of the top-five picks.

If the season ended today, the Golden State Warriors would have the highest probability to win the Draft lottery and select first, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.

There’s no LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Zion Williamson in this year’s class, but Anthony Edwards is a heck of a player, and is the heavy favorite to be taken first overall for good reason.

NBA Draft 1st-Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds
Anthony Edwards -150
James Wiseman +200
LaMelo Ball +350
Deni Avdija +600
Obi Toppin +600
Cole Anthony +700

All odds taken on March 25th.

Edwards started all 32 games at Georgia as an 18-year-old freshman. He averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, while making over 50% of his two point field goals. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound shooting guard can create his own shot and score at all three levels.

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His length and athleticism should help his defense translate at the next level, and it’s hard to imagine a team passing on his potential. He checks virtually every box a lottery team is looking for and he has the least amount of warts of the top players on the board.

Former Memphis center James Wiseman is widely considered the next best prospect, but betting him to be selected first overall is fool’s gold. The majority of teams projected in the top-five have bigger needs elsewhere, with the exception of the Warriors, but most experts believe Edwards’ ceiling is too high to pass up even for Golden State if they pick first.

Pick: Edwards (-150)

NBA Draft 2nd-Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds
Deni Avdija +125
LaMelo Ball +150
Anthony Edwards +300
James Wiseman +500
Obi Toppin +600

Speaking of Wiseman, his odds to be selected second are far longer than to be taken first, and that’s where things get interesting. If the Warriors lands the second pick, Wiseman would be an incredible value at +500.

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Golden State is already set with a starting four that will ultimately consist of Steph-Klay-Draymond-Wiggins and adding a skilled, athletic 7-footer would make them virtually unstoppable. Betting him to go number two is a leap of faith, but a sharper wager than any of the other four options.

Pick: Wiseman (+500)

NBA Draft 3rd-Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds
LaMelo Ball +150
Deni Avdija +300
James Wiseman +300
Obi Toppin +500
Anthony Edwards +600
Cole Anthony +700

LaMelo Ball is the chalk for pick number three, but it actually makes sense to look elsewhere. Ball is the top point guard option, but each of the teams with the four highest Draft lottery odds appear set for the future at that position. Enter Deni Avdija, a 6-foot-9 small forward out of Israel, whose handle rivals most point guards.

He’s a capable outside shooter, with elite playmaking skills, who attacks the basket relentlessly. His combination of size, speed and skill fits perfectly into today’s NBA.

Pick: Avdija (+300)

NBA Draft 4th-Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds
Obi Toppin +200
James Wiseman +250
Deni Avdija +400
LaMelo Ball +400
Cole Anthony +600
Anthony Edwards +800
Onyeka Okongwu +800

To me, this is the spot where you wager on Ball. If the Knicks or Pistons happen to land at number four than it’s a slam dunk. If not, there’s a good chance one of them or somebody else trades up to grab him.

You’re getting much more favorable odds at +400, and the current top pick in this category, Obi Toppin, doesn’t crack the top seven in most mocks. Ball is a gifted passer, with excellent vision and elite size. He rebounds well and is already a terrific defender with the potential to improve.

Pick: Ball (+400)

NBA Draft 5th-Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds
James Wiseman +200
Obi Toppin +250
Cole Anthony +400
Deni Avdija +600
Onyeka Okongwu +600
LaMelo Ball +800
RJ Hampton +800
Anthony Edwards +800

The last prop bet on the board is my least favorite. That’s because the category is missing both point guard Tyrese Maxey out of Kentucky and forward Isaac Okoro from Auburn. Those two SEC stars have a great chance at being selected at pick number five, but since they’re not available for this wager, we’ll have to look elsewhere.

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Much like the fourth overall pick, the fifth selection is a prime spot to take a point guard. Since Maxey isn’t an option, the next best point guard on the board is RJ Hampton. He spent the past season playing in New Zealand, as opposed to the NCAA, and possesses a versatile offensive game.

He has an explosive first step, is a capable shooter  and can play on or off the ball. His price tag is the biggest selling point at +800, and since we don’t love any of the other selections, we might as well shoot for a bigger payout.

Pick: Hampton (+800)

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