A major swing occurred overnight in sportsbooks across the country, according to Matt Moore of Action Network, who tweets that every book with odds available for the No. 1 overall pick now lists Duke’s Paolo Banchero as the favorite to come off the board first.
It’s a fascinating turn of events with the draft just hours away, though it’s hard to ascertain what exactly it means. Do those oddsmakers know something about the Magic‘s plans that the general public doesn’t? Did some bettors swing the odds by placing significant wagers on Banchero, either because they have inside info or because they want to create more favorable odds for subsequent bets on Jabari Smith? Could a trade involving the top pick be in the works?
Most NBA reporters and draft experts have stated for weeks that it would be a surprise for anyone besides Smith to go to Orlando at No. 1. However, he’s far from the lock that recent first overall picks like Cade Cunningham and Zion Williamson have been. This 11th-hour swing in betting odds only adds more intrigue to the top of tonight’s draft.
Here’s more on the 2022 NBA draft:
- The Pacers, Jazz, Celtics, and Pistons are among the teams believed to be looking into acquiring a pick in the back half of the first round, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Boston seems open to discussing young rotation players like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard in those talks, Fischer adds.
- The latest round-up of draft-related intel from Jeremy Woo of SI.com includes notes on Shaedon Sharpe, who continues to be linked to the Trail Blazers at No. 7; the Sixers‘ No. 23 pick, which rival teams believe will be dealt; and the list of teams thought to have interest in acquiring a second-round pick, which includes the Lakers, Jazz, Mavericks, Suns, Nets, and Heat.
- Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said on Wednesday his team is “super open” to trading the No. 19 overall pick, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We’ve had countless conversations about using that pick to add a more quickly impactful piece,” Connelly said. “But 99% of these conversations are just theoretical.”