How Does The 2020 NBA Draft Work?
While it doesn’t carry the hype of the annual NFL Draft – it’s Christmas Eve for fans of the NBA. Following the longest season in history – the NBA Draft Lottery was held on August 20, 2020. The 14 teams that missed the 2019-20 NBA playoffs had an opportunity to earn one of the first four picks in the draft. This year's draft will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 20, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET
Minnesota, Golden State and Cleveland each had a 14% chance of earning the first overall pick. The Timberwolves ended up with the first pick, the Warriors were awarded the second pick while the Cavaliers were unlucky and slipped to the fifth pick. The Charlotte Hornets, who entered the lottery with a 6.00% chance of earning the top pick, jumped from No. 8 spot to the third pick. Chicago moved up from No. 7 to round out the top four picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The remaining 10 non-playoff teams were sorted based on where they finished during the 2019-20 NBA regular season. The 16 playoff teams were then sorted by their regular season records to complete the draft order. The NBA Draft is a quick one as there are only two rounds. Let’s get to the prop betting options available at DraftKings Sportsbook.
First Overall Pick in 2020 NBA Draft
Unlike the 2019 NBA Draft, when Zion Williamson was an overwhelming (-10000) favorite to be the first pick overall, the top two have been swapping positions leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft. The odds appear to be locked in now, as LaMelo Ball (-115) is top chalk, Anthony Edwards (-106) is second and James Wiseman (+900) is third. A large gap follows as Deni Avdija and Obi Toppin (+20000) round out the top five favorites. I am rolling with chalk and betting on Ball.
Bookmakers at DraftKings have posted odds on 56 players being the first pick and bettors can check the full list here. While this has been a strange year, it’s highly unlikely that any player outside the top three favorites will be selected first overall. With that in mind, here are the current top favorites:
Anthony Edwards -106 to be the First Overall Pick
This is a very interesting market as Georgia guard Anthony Edwards was priced at -215 a little over a week ago. Now this week, LaMelo Ball has climbed up to the top at -115. I will stick with Edwards who is currently -106 to be the top pick in the draft.
VALUE PLAY: James Wiseman +900 to be the First Overall Pick
The Minnesota Timberwolves are likely going to stick with the top pick in the draft. If they do trade the pick, I would think the team involved is looking to get ahead of the Warriors to select Wiseman. I definitely think it's worth a sprinkle at the +900 moneyline price.
NBA 2020 Draft Position
As part of their prop betting package, DraftKings has listed the possible landing spot for 22 players in the draft. It’s a broad range that begins with Anthony Edwards’ 1.5 Over/Under odds and extends through to Cassius Stanley who is listed with a 40.5 line. SI NBA Draft analyst Jeremy Woo has Edwards as the No. 1 pick which makes his UNDER 1.5 (+110) odds an attractive betting option. Here is the full list of players on the DraftKings Draft Position Over/Under prop.
LaMelo Ball OVER 2.5 (+190)
If Ball is not selected first overall he will likely slide to the fifth pick of the draft.
James Wiseman – UNDER 2.5 (-110)
This number is moving in the right direction, last week Wiseman was +185 on this same bet.
Top 10 Specials NBA 2020 Draft
NBA Draft specials include how many freshman and international players will be selected in the top 10. The NBA.com top 100 prospects list includes 19 freshmen and four of them are in top 10 on the first overall pick list at DraftKings. The prospect list includes 22 international players and four of them are on the first overall pick list. That points to betting UNDER on the freshmen players and taking a gamble on the OVER longshot odds on international players.
NBA 2020 Draft Conference Specials
Bragging rights are on the line as each NCAA basketball conference will be looking to boast having the most players selected in the 2020 NBA Draft. The Atlantic Coast Conference led the way last year as 13 ACC players were selected overall and 10 of them were first round picks. We won’t see that kind of domination this year as the ACC, SEC and PAC-12 share the highest Over/Under total at 5.5 players. I like UNDER on the PAC-12 prop betting odds.