Luka Doncic

Juan Carlos Garcia Mate/USA Today Sports

Ostrowski: Finding Value In NBA Draft Prop Bets

Mystery surrounds Luka Doncic and Michael Porter Jr.

Joe Ostrowski
June 20, 2018 - 6:31 pm
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By Joe Ostrowski--

(670 The Score) Drafts are fun. Whether it's a fantasy football draft, a mock draft for any league, a radio show draft or the real event, they represent hope. They can also provide an opportunity to mock your friends' horrible picks.

The NBA Draft, which takes place Thursday evening, is even more enjoyable if you bet on it. This draft also appears to be wide open, meaning there could be some nice value spots. We just have to find them. But even if gambling isn’t your thing, taking a dive into the prop bets can provide information. 

With that in mind, let’s see if these numbers courtesy of Bovava give us more insight than Mock Draft 42.7.

Editor's note: In the over-under terminology, "under" here represents the smaller numerical figure/higher draft slot, as in under 2.5 means that player will go No. 1 or No. 2 overall. 

Who will be the first overall pick?

DeAndre Ayton: -2500

The second favorite is Luka Doncic at +1500. Betting $2,500 to win a Benjamin Franklin on Ayton getting called first implies a 96.2 percent probability.

Luka Doncic draft slot 

Over 2.5: -320 
Under 2.5: +210

Many offshore sites didn’t put a number on Doncic because his draft position seems to be a mystery. The books don’t believe he’ll go second, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Atlanta is taking a hard look at Doncic with the third pick.

Marvin Bagley draft slot

Over 3.5: +325 
Under 3.5: -550

This under implies an 84.6 percent chance the Duke product goes in the top three. Most have Bagley second to Sacramento.

Jaren Jackson Jr. draft slot

Over 3.5: -250
Under 3.5: +170

Of all the names at the top, there seems to be the least amount of chatter about Jackson. This line suggests he’ll go after No. 3.

Mo Bamba draft slot

Over 5.5: +175
Under 5.5: -260

There's a 72.2 percent shot that this large specimen is a top-five pick? The Bulls might move up to No. 3 or No. 4 to nab Bamba, the Tribune has reported.

Michael Porter Jr. draft slot

Over 6.5: -120
Under 6.5: -120

Did I say Doncic was a mystery? Porter is too, and he's the ultimate boom-or-bust pick. 

Trae Young draft slot

Over 7.5: -125
Under 7.5: -115

Young is regarded by many as the most polarizing lottery pick. Some sites set the over/under at 6.5. There's no value here.

Wendell Carter Jr. draft slot

Over 7.5: -120
Under 7.5: -120

Carter is viewed as a safe selection. This is pretty much a "Bulls or not the Bulls" bet, as they own the No. 7 pick.

Mikal Bridges draft slot

Over 9.5: -160
Under 9.5: +120

The consensus seems to be that Bridges goes No. 9 to the Knicks or No. 10 to the 76ers, so the number makes perfect sense.

If you’re looking for more entertainment, you can wager on draft spots for players like Grayson Allen or Stevenson product Jalen Brunson. You can also take a shot on the number of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors or international players selected in the first round. 

A bit of advice is to wait on more information, unless you’re worried about losing a great number. I wouldn’t go too deep into the first round, unless you don’t mind betting on the flip of a coin. Once there’s movement with trades, good luck with your projections.

Joe Ostrowski co-hosts Hit & Run with Barry Rozner on Sundays at 9 a.m. and is 670 The Score's weekday morning update anchor. Here's a link to his weekly sports betting podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeO670.​