The 2021 NBA Draft is the first draft in years where it feels like the top has already somewhat sorted itself out, which makes for an intriguing set of NBA draft odds at BetRivers.com. Longtime college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Podcast Network is here to break down the NBA Draft odds and the best bets worth a wager at BetRivers.com for Thursday, July 29.
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Cade Cunningham is going No. 1. I think we all know that, and the odds on anyone other than the Oklahoma State superstar getting taken with the first pick reflect that.
Jalen Green is too obvious as the No. 2 overall pick. The Rockets need a superstar. Green is the closest thing we have to that after Cade. Cleveland picks third, and they already have Collin Sexton and Darius Garland on their roster. Are they really going to add Jalen Suggs to that mix? They should. They probably won’t, and will end up with Evan Mobley. That leaves Toronto picking fourth, and if they go anywhere other than Suggs with that pick, it will be time to test the THC levels of the Raptor front office.
The fifth pick is when the draft is supposed to get weird, but most in the industry think that’s where Scottie Barnes end up getting picked. The same can be said about James Bouknight at No. 6 and Jonathan Kuminga at No. 7. Hell, the mock drafts for both The Athletic and ESPN have the same players in the same order for the top 15 picks.
Trades are going to throw that all for a loop, but the way the order currently stands, there are obvious and sensible picks that line up for the first half of the first round. I can’t remember a draft where it was so cut and dry.
Click here for the full list of NBA Draft Odds for the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday, July 29.
NBA Draft Odds: Top 5 Picks
No. 1 Overall Pick: Cade Cunningham (-10000), Jalen Green (+1500), Evan Mobley (+2000), Jalen Suggs (+3000), Scottie Barnes (+10000)
No. 2 Overall Pick: Jalen Green (-400), Evan Mobley (+300), Jalen Suggs (+1000), Scottie Barnes (+2500), Cade Cunningham (+3000)
No. 3 Overall Pick: Evan Mobley (-265), Jalen Suggs (+350), Jalen Green (+400), Scottie Barnes (+1500), Jonathan Kuminga (+1800)
No. 4 Overall Pick: Jalen Suggs (-205), Evan Mobley (+300), Scottie Barnes (+400), Jonathan Kuminga (+1000), Jalen Green (+1500)
No. 5 Overall Pick: Scottie Barnes (-230), Jonathan Kuminga (+250), Jalen Suggs (+400), James Bouknight (+1000), Davion Mitchell (+1100)
Cade Cunningham: No. 1 (-10000), No. 2 (+3000), No. 3 (+20000), No. 4 (+20000), No. 5 (+20000)
Jalen Green: No. 1 (+1500), No. 2 (-400), No. 3 (+400), No. 4 (+1500), No. 5 (+2000)
Evan Mobley: No. 1 (+2000), No. 2 (+300), No. 3 (-265), No. 4 (+300), No. 5 (+1500)
Jalen Suggs: No. 1 (+3000), No. 2 (+1000), No. 3 (+350), No. 4 (-205), No. 5 (+400)
Scottie Barnes: No. 1 (+1000), No. 2 (+2500), No. 3 (+1500), No. 4 (+400), No. 5 (-230)
Anyway, what that means is that the real value can be found in the portion of the draft after the lottery. Here are the places where I think we can profit off of that on Bet Rivers:
NOTE: Under means picked before, over means picked after. If I like the under on 10.5, it means I think the player will be a top ten pick.
TREY MURPHY under 19.5 (-125)
This is my favorite value currently on the board in the first round. Murphy has been rocketing up draft boards in recent weeks. He’s a monster athlete and a top-five shooter in this draft at 6-foot-9 with a year of Tony Bennett’s defensive coaching under his belt. A late-bloomer — he didn’t hit 6-foot-9 until his senior year in high school — Murphy seems like a lock to get picked in the top 20, and I just can’t see him slipping past Washington at No. 15. They desperately need shooting, and I can’t see either Kispert or Chris Duarte lasting until this spot.
Speaking of Duarte …
CHRIS DUARTE under 14.5 (-113)
So here’s the tough thing about where this line is set: I think that the Golden State Warriors at No. 14 is the ceiling for where Duarte gets picked. I also think that the Warriors would be foolish if they let Duarte get past them. They need players of his ilk that can contribute immediately on a team with some aging superstars. Duarte can shoot it, he can score off the bounce, he’s decent at creating for himself, he’s 6-foot-6 with a long wingspan and he’s 24 years old. Right now, he is a guy that is in his prime and is probably worth $10-12 million. The Warriors would lock him in for four years at about $3.3 million per. It’s almost too obvious.
And speaking of Kispert …
COREY KISPERT under 13.5 (-108)
The Charlotte Hornets desperately need shooting. They need someone that is going to create space for LaMelo Ball. They need players that are going to thrive in a role, catching and making the open looks that Melo gets them. Kispert is the best shooter in this year’s draft, he’s 6-foot-7 and he’s a sneaky athlete. I think he ends up in Charlotte, and if he doesn’t, Indiana would be an excellent fit for him as well.
But Charlotte is my guess. Michael Jordan loves drafting college stars. Frank Kaminsky, Miles Bridges, Kemba Walker, Devonte’s Graham, Cody Zeller, P.J. Washington. Corey Kispert fits that mold to a T.
KAI JONES over 14.5 (-118)
There has been some buzz about Jones potentially ending up with the Hornets at No. 11, but I am much more inclined to believe that he ends up slipping in a draft where the teams at the back end of the lottery are all looking to add pieces that will make them better immediately. Jones is a long-term play, a guy with tremendous physical tools and skills for a 6-foot-11 human that is still learning how, exactly, to play basketball. He’s one of the guys that I think can end up dropping in this draft.
DAVION MITCHELL over 12.5 (-125)
I also think that we see Mitchell slide in this year’s draft. Mitchell is not a guy that is built for the workout circuit. What makes him special pops on film, and it’s now been four months of some of the most physically gifted prospects dominating in 1-on-0 settings since we saw Mitchell torched everyone that he came across in college basketball.
Whoever gets him is going to be getting a steal. But the more time passes, the more likely it is that teams become enamored with the upside of less proven players.
TRE MANN under 25.5 (+105)
I’m only mentioning this because I’ve heard and read a few times that the Lakers would be interested in taking him at No. 22.
NBA Draft Odds: Player Draft Position
Click here for the full list of 2021 player draft position odds
James Bouknight: O/U 7.5
Franz Wagner: O/U 9.5
Josh Giddey: O/U 10.5
Moses Moody: O/U 11.5
Keon Johnson: O/U 12.5
Davion Mitchell: O/U 12.5
Alperen Senguin: O/U 12.5
Jalen Johnson: O/U 14.5
Usman Garuba: O/U 16.5
Isaiah Jackson: O/U 18.5
Ziaire Williams: O/U 18.5
Jared Butler: O/U 21.5
Cam Thomas: O/U 21.5
Sharife Cooper: O/U 22.5
Jaden Springer: O/U 22.5
Ayo Dosunmu: O/U 27.5
Nah’Shon Hyland: O/U 27.5
Joshua Primo: O/U 27.5
Miles McBride: O/U 28.5
J.T. Thor: O/U 31.5
Quentin Grimes: O/U 32.5
Josh Christopher: O/U 33.5
Isaiah Todd: O/U 37.5
BJ Boston: O/U 38.5
Day’Ron Sharpe: O/U 38.5
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: O/U 39.5
Joel Ayayi: O/U 40.5
Jason Preston: O/U 41.5
Herbert Jones: O/U 42.5
Joe Wieskamp: O/U 42.5
Rokas Jokubaitis: O/U 43.5
Juhann Begarin: O/U 44.5
Kessler Edwards: O/U 44.5
Aaron Henry: O/U 44.5
Charles Bassey: O/U 45.5
Greg Brown: O/U 45.5
Austin Reaves: O/U 47.5
Jericho Sims: O/U 47.5
Neemias Queta: O/U 48.5
Filip Petrusev: O/U 49.5
Isaiah Livers: O/U 52.5
Matthew Hurt: O/U 53.5
Luka Garza: O/U 55.5
RaiQuan Gray: O/U 56.5
Sam Hauser: O/U 57.5
Jay Huff: O/U 58.5
McKinley Wright IV: O/U 58.5