A Look at Betting on the 2021 NBA Draft
The 75th edition of the NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, July 29 in Brooklyn, New York at the recently built Barclays Center. As young talents enter the league, bettors around the world place wagers predicting a specific time in the 2021 NBA draft a certain player will hear their name called.
This is a direct result of the massive impact sports gambling has on the current state of the world. People will gamble on anything these days from shows like American Idol, The Bachelor, Shark Tank, and many others. If there’s an event involving a winner, then there must be a way to bet on it.
2021 NBA Draft Betting Options
Prior to the NBA Draft, gamblers worldwide check the sportsbooks for what’s available to place wagers on. There may be a variety of options for the bettor on draft night. Let’s look at what a potential bettor may see on a sportsbook the night of the draft.
The most popular category to bet on is the odds to be the number one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. From there, it really opens up to anything. Picking the exact order of who will get drafted in slots 1-5, or guessing the exact number of centers taken in the first round, and predicting which college produces the most draft picks are all options a gambler may see on a sportsbook.
2021 NBA Draft No.1 Pick Odds
- Cade Cunningham (-500)
- Jalen Suggs (+800)
- Evan Mobley (+800)
- Jalen Green (+1000)
- Jonathan Kuminga (+1000)
Following the 2021 March Madness Tournament, Jalen Suggs was on every NBA team’s radar. Especially, after nailing a halfcourt buzzerbeater to punch Gonzaga’s ticket into the finals against a hot UCLA team he became the story of the tournament.
Cade Cunningham came out of the shadows and put on a great display of 3-point shooting for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. His stepback jumper was pretty much unguardable as he constantly beat his opponents off the dribble. Making a name for himself leading up to the NCAA Tournament and while competing in it gave Cunningham the slight edge over Suggs as the top potential pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Betting on the potential number one overall pick can cause some financial problems as the NBA Draft doesn’t always produce the greatest returns since the top prospect has been predetermined prior to the draft taking place. In 2019, Zion Williamson closed as a -2500 favorite and bettors wagering $100 on him being drafted first overall would have won 40-cents in return.
The best bet of the night will be selecting Cade Cunningham to be drafted first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. It’s been a long time since the favorite was not selected first, so I don’t expect much to change in this coming year. Let’s take a look at the most recent NBA Drafts and who was selected first overall along with their odds at the time.
NBA Number 1 Draft History Odds
- 2020 – Anthony Edwards (-125)
- 2019 – Zion Williamson (-2500)
- 2018 – Deandre Ayton (-2500)
- 2017 – Markelle Fultz (-750)
- 2016 – Ben Simmons (-650)
- 2015 – Karl-Anthony Towns (-200)
- 2014 – Andrew Wiggins (-250)
- 2013 – Anthony Bennett (+500)
We have to travel back to the year of 2013 in order to find the last time an underdog was taken over a potential favorite as the number one overall pick.
Although Cunningham isn’t attached to the best odds at (-500) he presents the most upside in gambling for the 2021 NBA Draft. Placing $500 will earn you $100, whereas risking $1000 will grant you $200 in return.
The top two picks of this year’s draft will be lucky enough to have either Cunningham or Suggs as a part of their roster for the upcoming season. Both have been able to show that they belong at the next level. July 29 will be the day that decides where these two future stars end up, and I, along with many others will be watching closely as the names are announced by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver.