NBA Draft Betting

The NBA season lasts 82 games and the NBA playoffs stretch nearly two more months but that leaves all summer without any basketball action. What is a basketball fan to do after the champions have been crowned? The answer is simple: NBA draft betting.

NBA fans no longer have to drop their betting prowess for the summer as many online sportsbooks in New Jersey now allow you to bet on NBA draft picks and win real money. Betting on the NBA draft begins long before the draft itself. The NBA Draft Lottery, which determines the early draft order, is held in May so you will know well in advance which teams are picking in the top 14. The remaining draft slots are determined by the order of elimination in the playoffs.

NBA draft betting combines a unique set of skills: an obsessive knowledge of college basketball players and metrics as well as a well-rounded knowledge of NBA teams, their needs, and their history of decision making. Here is a quick primer on NBA draft odds and the types of bets you can place.

NBA Draft Odds

There are numerous NBA draft betting opportunities, and these begin with the NBA Draft Lottery. Sportsbooks will allow you to wager on which team will get the first pick and subsequent picks, although there is little skill involved since everything is mostly left to chance. Instead we will focus on betting on the picks themselves. Here is an example of NBA draft odds you may find at online sportsbooks:

Will Zion Williamson be the No. 1 overall pick?
Yes -1000
No +500

Each player’s odds of being drafted in a certain pick are denoted by a moneyline, which is the ratio between your bet and the payout. In this case, Williamson is heavily favored to be drafted first overall, so you would have to bet a whopping $1000 to win $100. If, somehow, he isn’t drafted first, your $100 “No” bet would win you $500.

Most draft odds will not be so lopsided. For example:

Will Carsen Edwards be drafted in the first round?
Yes +120
No -160

This means your $100 bet would win $120 if Edwards is drafted in the first round while you would have to bet $160 to win $100 if he isn’t.

How to Bet on NBA Draft

Along with NBA draft lottery and player picks, many online sportsbooks offer a wide range of NBA draft betting options.

You can wager on how many players from one college team will be drafted in the first round, you can bet whetfher a player will go in the top 5 picks or lower, you can bet on how many international players will be drafted in the first round, you can bet whether a certain player will be drafted higher or lower than another specific player, you can bet whether a certain player will be drafted at all or how many draft day trades there will be.

There are also futures bets, allowing you to bet on things like whether Zion Williamson will start as a rookie or whether he will make the All-Star game as a rookie.

As you can see, the NBA draft offers extensive betting opportunities, many of which can stretch into the following season. So NBA fans don’t need to log off their favorite online sportsbook just because the season is in the books.