We are officially one day away from the 2023 NBA Draft, and it’s clearer than ever who are the favorites to go 1-2-3 Thursday. French Super Star Victor Wembanyama has been seen riding the subway in New York City, as the league awaits the #1 selection. In addition to throwing out the 1st ceremonial pitch at the New York Yankees Game Tuesday night, there’s still speculation and much confidence he will be the first overall pick in the draft. Although anything can happen, it’s looking very promising Alabama Forward Brandon Miller, and G-league sensation Scoot Henderson will follow 2-3 in the draft.
Additionally, we’ve seen some incredible, iconic drafts in the history of the NBA. This includes the 1984 draft class that included Michael Jordon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Hakeem Olajuwon. In 1996, we saw some of the greatest basketball of all time drafted. That class included the late Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, and Derek Fisher. The 2003 draft class was one of the most iconic, which included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, David West, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony. Can this year’s draft top those iconic years? The odds have changed from our let’s article. Let’s break down the NBA odds and analysis.
1st Overall Pick Odds
San Antonio Spurs hold the #1 Pick.
*Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook*
The San Antonio Spurs still currently hold the #1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, after finishing 22-60 last season. The Spurs, led by longtime coach Greg Popovich, haven’t won an NBA Championship since the 2013-2014 season. In fact, the last time San Antonio had the #1 pick was in 2007 when they drafted NBA Legend Tim Duncan. From 1997-2001, the Spurs additionally drafted NBA greats Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who’s also from France. Will San Antonio follow in the footsteps of Tony Parker, and draft the biggest sensation from France?
Victor Wembanyama is the biggest prospect since the arrival of LeBron James, and the Spurs already have talent in Devin Vassell, Tre Jones, and Keldon Johnson. According to LP Ellis of Spurs Talk, "two different league sources I've spoken to say the Spurs are one of the most active teams in trade talks heading into the draft. I still stay Arkansas sensation Anthony Blacks projection is lower, and the Spurs could target him.
Reported by Bleacher report, the Spurs are telling teams their preference is to trade for another first-round pick." It seems as if San Antonio is committed to the #1 pick, although we cannot specifically say Wembanyama at this time. The good news is that Victor Wembanyama would certainly embrace his role with the San Antonio Spurs. According to Bleacher Report, Wembanyama told reporters, “To me, San Antonio is synonymous with winning.” The 19-year-old prospect also quoted, he felt “lucky” considering the general structure the Spurs have put in place over the years that helped their players thrive.
It's important to note, the San Antonio Spurs have won 5 NBA Championships under Head Coach Greg Popovich, from 1998-2013. The odds of drafting Victor are very high at -20000. For betting purposes, I would stay away from that line, as you would gain very little return on investment. Unless you have thousands of dollars for your bank roll.
2nd Overall Pick Odds
The Charlotte Hornets hold the #2 Pick.
*Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook*
The Charlotte Hornets currently hold the #2 pick in the NBA Draft, after going 27-55 last season. The Hornets most recently drafted LaMelo Ball #3 in the 2020 draft, and their last #2 pick was Center Alonzo Mourning in the 1992 draft. Also, the decision for Michael Jordon to sell his ownership in the Hornets leaves the organization with many questions surrounding ownership. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony, even though Jordan sold his stake in the franchise, Michael Jordon is expected to be in attendance when the Hornets plan to “conduct a second round of workouts and interviews” with Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller.
Last week the odds were completely different, and guard Scoot Henderson was projected to go #2 to the Hornets. Woj also stated that both Miller and Henderson prefer Charlotte due to their southern roots, and the “Hornets are reportedly planning to select Brandon Miller at #2 in the NBA Draft.
The Hornets have their franchise guard LaMelo Ball, and it seems that Miller would be a better selection to play alongside Ball. However, this may not always be the case. Last year, the Magic selected Paolo Banchero out Duke, while Jabari Smith was the projected #1 pick. With Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington left as restricted free agents, there’s a possibility the Hornets will be very thin at the forward position. If this is the case, Brandon Miller would make the most sense. The odds for Brandon Miller are -400, however the Hornets can still trade the pick, or perhaps select Scoot after all. The odds at -400 is a risky bet, considering there is still a chance Henderson could be drafted here.
Odds: Top 3 Exact Order.
Since the legalization of sports betting came about in 2018, the opportunities have expanded. For example, not only can some states bet on the draft, but you can also bet on different scenarios. In the 2023 NBA Draft, certain states can bet on the top 3 exact order of the NBA Draft. As of right now, the projected top three include Victor Wembanyama, Brandon Miller, and Scoot Henderson. Let’s break down the odds and discuss the Portland Trailblazers #3 pick.
Top 3 Exact Order Odds
*Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook*
All these odds are contingent on Victor Wembanyama going first overall in the Draft. If for some reason, Wembanyama is NOT selected #1 overall, none of these scenarios would work. I would like to point out Villanova's Cam Whitmore, Arkansas Guard Anthony Black, and Houston Forward Jarace Walker are three players that COULD end up in the top three, and many teams are looking to trade up for. As mentioned previously, the odds have significantly changed since there have been reports the Charlotte could take Brandon Miller at #2.
Pick #3: Portland Trail Blazers
There has been news swirling about the #3 pick held by the Portland Trailblazers and whether they will keep or trade away the pick. According to Bleacher Report, the Pelicans have expressed interest in G-League Ignite Guard Scoot Henderson. However, the Pelicans have not made a formal offer to our knowledge, and the draft is just one day away. The reports come days after it was reported Zion Williamson does not have a relationship with the Pelicans organization.
It’s no secret All-Star Damian Lillard has remained faithful with the Trailblazers and expressed his desire to win an NBA Championship. Lillard recently signed a 2-year $122 million extension, which would keep him in Portland until the 2026-2027 season. In fact, Lillard liked a tweet involving a potential move for the Trail Blazers to acquire Zion Williamson this week, along with the desire to not get involved in the draft process.
What will Portland do with the pick?
Portland hasn’t won a championship since the 1976-1977 season, and Lillard has been to the playoffs 8 times. However, the Portland Trailblazers have never been able to get over the hump and make it to the NBA Finals.
With the #3 Pick, the Trail Blazers have an incentive to trade the pick for a start to pair with Lillard. Additionally, there have been several reports that the Blazers expressed interest in trading for Miami Heat’s big Man Bam Adebayo.
According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Portland Trail Blazers are “planning on keeping” the #3 overall pick. If Brandon Miller is selected #2 overall to the Hornets, Scoot Henderson might be a nice fit with Lillard. If this is the case, I would imagine Anfernee Simons would be put on the trade block. Players such as Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, and even Keegan Murray have been huge contributors to their teams. There could be a possibility the #3 pick could be that guy next to Lillard.
Stay tuned for more NBA Draft articles. Click here for more NBA betting strategies.
For More NBA Betting Info & Game Predictions, Follow us at @BallislifeBets.
Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Kick/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.
NATIONAL PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE
The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network. The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 contact centers that provide resources and referrals for all 50 states and US territories. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.