NBA Draft odds drama: Jabari Smith back as favorite to go No. 1

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

June 22, 2022 02:40 PM
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Paolo Banchero moved to -200 as the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft after his odds were 20-1 a recently as Saturday.

The 2022 NBA Draft is tonight (8 p.m. ET, ABC), but the action started around 1:15 a.m ET. this morning when Duke's Paolo Banchero became the favorite at sportsbooks across the United States to be selected No. 1 overall.

With the Orlando Magic having the top pick, Auburn's Jabari Smith has been a heavy favorite and was at -500 as of Wednesday evening. The huge shift happened within an hour as Banchero, who was 20-1 on Saturday and + 250 earlier Wednesday, steamed toward -200 (at DraftKings Sportsbook) by 2:15 a.m. ET.

On Thursday morning, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the first three picks were looking "increasingly firm," with Smith at No. 1, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren at No. 2 and Banchero at No. 3. The tweet caused sportsbooks to take the odds for the No. 1 market completely off the board.

"The first pick market has been the biggest market of all the NBA draft markets we put up, same as the NFL draft," DraftKings Sportsbook director Johnny Avello said on VSiN on Thursday afternoon. "It's 30-35% of the NFL draft in terms of handle, but still significant money coming in."

FanDuel re-opened Smith as the massive favorite to go No. 1 at -10000 odds, with Banchero at %plussign 900. Over the next few hours, Smith's odds shrunk all the way to -135, with Banchero at + 100, before reversing as more money came in on Smith. Smith is currently a -390 favorite at DraftKings, with Banchero at + 250.

Stay tuned to VSiN all day for coverage of the NBA Draft markets.

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