NBA Draft: First round mock draft betting picks 2.0

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

June 22, 2023 01:53 AM


The NBA Draft is finally here, and after burning the midnight oil I have prepared my final mock draft. In here I try to tie as much information as possible to the selections in order to find draft bets to make. It’s been a wild couple days in the news cycle, so buckle up for some big changes in this second mock draft.

1. San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama (F, Metropolitans 92)

It was reported the other day that DraftKings took a $60,000 bet on Wembanyama to go first overall. The bet would only net $300 but it's a risk-free wager for whoever placed it, as it is a foregone conclusion that Wembanyama will hear his name called first tonight. It’s honestly surprising this is still up at this price as of Wednesday night.

Bet: Victor Wembanyama First Overall Pick (-20000)

2. Charlotte Hornets

Brandon Miller (F, Alabama)

Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski have been reporting since Monday night that Miller has solidified his spot as the second overall pick, so there is no need to go in a different direction here. Sure, we can point to last season’s madness with the first overall pick, but Wojnarowski has a strong track record of reporting accurate intel and the market seems willing to give him a second chance.

Bet: Brandon Miller Second Overall Pick (-500)

3. Portland Trail Blazers

Scoot Henderson (G, G-League Ignite)

There is still a chance that Portland is not the ultimate destination for Henderson, but it seems almost certain that he will be the selection here. Wojnarowski has reported that the Trail Blazers think highly of Henderson, and that they are fine with selecting either Miller or Henderson in this spot. 

Bet: Top Three Exacta: Wembanyama, Miller, Henderson (-450)

4. Houston Rockets

Amen Thompson (G, Overtime Elite)

Givony has reported that “all signs point to Thompson” being the selection here for Houston. It seems that the rumors of the Rockets reunion with James Harden are quieting down, and if that is the case it would make even more sense to grab Thompson here. He is a good lead guard prospect who will pair nicely with Jalen Green.

Bet: Amen Thompson Fourth Overall (-350)

5. Detroit Pistons

Ausar Thompson (F, Overtime Elite)

This is where we start to see some real changes from the mock draft posted on Monday morning. James Edwards of The Athletic was the first to report Detroit’s love for Ausar, and both Givony and Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer have followed suit. It cannot be ignored that multiple reports are giving us the same information, so it would be smart to jump on Ausar now before the market really starts to swing in his direction.

Bet: Ausar Thompson Fifth Overall (+150)

6. Orlando Magic

Anthony Black (G, Arkansas)

Sam Vecenie has reported in his latest mock that Black’s name has come up frequently with Orlando in this spot, and Givony reported that either Black or Ausar Thompson are the top two candidates. Seeing as Thompson is off the board in this mock Black gets the nod. Black is +300 to go in this specific spot, but the safer bet is to go with his draft matchup against Taylor Hendricks who he is almost certainly going ahead of if the intel out there is accurate.

Bet: Anthony Black (-265) over Taylor Hendricks

7. Indiana Pacers

Jarace Walker (F, Houston)

There is no true intel that ties Walker to Indiana, but he is the most frequently mocked player in this spot. He is a good defensive oriented forward who will help improve a team which finished 26th in non-garbage time defensive efficiency. In reality, the Pacers are going to have their pick of Walker, Cam Whitmore or Hendricks here, any of which could be the selection.

Bet: Jarace Walker Draft Position OVER 6.5 (-130)

8. Washington Wizards

Cam Whitmore (F, Villanova)

On Wednesday night Washington acquired Tyus Jones via trade, and while he might not be part of the big picture, he does give the Wizards some flexibility in this spot. Add on that Whitmore has fallen this far and it makes sense that Washington would take a value selection with the Villanova forward. Like Walker in the previous pick, there is no specific intel that ties Whitmore here, but given the way the board projects to fall it's hard to see him not get snatched up.

Bet: Cam Whitmore Eighth Overall (+600)

9. Utah Jazz

Bilal Couliably (F, Metropolitans 92)

Like in the previous mock draft, Coulibaly is going to Utah in this one. Rafael Barlowe from NBA Big Board has reported that Utah is looking to select Coulibaly with this pick, and there is no reason to believe that will not be the case. He has also been tied to Dallas, so a safer bet could be his draft position prop, as it gives bettors some wiggle room should the intel be incorrect on the Jazz.

Bet: Bilal Coulibaly Draft Position UNDER 11.5 (+100)

10. Dallas Mavericks

Taylor Hendricks (F, UCF)

It is extremely unlikely that Dallas will keep this selection, but either way it makes sense for Hendricks to go here if this is how the draft shakes out. Wing prospects like Hendricks are extremely valuable, and there will be a team willing to take this pick if he is available here. Hendricks’ draft position would be the way to go from a betting perspective, because laying -2000 for him to be in the top 10 when it seems that 10th is his floor is a dangerous game.

Bet: Taylor Hendricks Draft Position OVER 8.5 (-135)

11. Orlando Magic

Gradey Dick (G/F, Kansas)

Death, taxes and Gradey Dick being mocked to the Orlando Magic at this pick. There is no intel here, but almost every mock draft in existence has Dick going to Orlando. If he is not the pick bettors can rest easy in betting his draft position over, as there has been almost no indication that he is a danger to find himself inside the first 10 selections tonight.

Bet: Gradey Dick Draft Position OVER 10.5 (-425)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

Kobe Bufkin (G, Michigan)

Despite previous reports from Jonathan Givony that Oklahoma City didn’t have medicals on Bufkin the rest of the NBA community seems certain this is the spot for him to land. Sam Vecenie has reported that Bufkin, along with Coulibaly and Dereck Lively are the names he hears the most frequently for this selection. In this mock Coulibaly is off the board, and Lively doesn’t necessarily fit from a basketball standpoint, so Bufkin is the pick.

Bet: Kobe Bufkin Draft Position UNDER 12.5 (-200)

13. Toronto Raptors

Jalen Hood-Schifino (G, Indiana)

There is no specific name that has been tied to Toronto in this process, but guard has been mentioned as the position of focus for the front office. This could be any one of Bufkin, Hood-Schifino, Keyonte George or Cason Wallace, but Hood-Schifino has more respect among NBA scouts it seems, so the Raptors will take him in this mock draft.

Bet: Jalen Hood-Schifino Draft Position UNDER 14.5 (-160)

14. New Orleans Pelicans

Keyonte George (G, Baylor)

New Orleans wants to move up and grab Scoot Henderson, but that seems unlikely to happen as of early Thursday morning. If that is the case then guard makes the most sense, and Keyonte George has been reportedly solidifying his spot inside the late lottery after being projected as a late first round selection initially.

Bet: Keyonte George over Jordan Hawkins (+155)

15. Atlanta Hawks

Cason Wallace (G, Kentucky)

Apparently some of the guards projected to go in this area of the draft have been having trouble getting guards in the building because of the glut of bodies at the position on the roster. However, Wallace is a pick that makes sense if Atlanta is making the selection, as they need another guard on the floor when staggering Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Dereck Lively has been mentioned as a possibility here as well.

Bet: Cason Wallace Draft Position OVER 14.5 (-130)

16. Utah Jazz

Jordan Hawkins (G, UConn)

Utah reportedly covets Keyonte George here, but seeing as he is off the board Hawkins is the mock selection. However, do not be surprised to see the Jazz move off this pick later tonight. They have three first round picks, and they could move up to get George during the draft.

Bet: Jordan Hawkins Draft Position OVER 15.5 (-135)

17. Los Angeles Lakers

Jett Howard (G, Michigan)

Four players have been reported to be of interest for Los Angeles here: Howard, Dereck Lively, Nick Smith and Noah Clowney. For the purpose of this mock I went with Howard, as his ability to shoot off movement and knock down shots from distance mens he’s a great fit for Los Angeles. Do not forget that Nick Smith is a Klutch Sports client, which is always something to keep in mind when the Lakers are involved.

Bet: Jett Howard (-140) over Leonard Miller

18. Miami Heat

Olivier-Maxence Prosper (F, Marquette)

Prosper is one of the late risers in the pre-draft process, and his ceiling is somewhere in this area. He has not been tied to Miami with an outright report, but they need more help along the wing and Prosper’s profile as a high IQ defender fits perfectly with Heat Culture.

Bet: Olivier-Maxence Prosper Draft Position UNDER 21.5 (-120)

19. Golden State Warriors

Dereck Lively (C, Duke)

The only other center beside Kevon Looney listed on Golden State’s depth chart as of now is JaMychal Green. This team needs depth at the position, and Lively provides that. When fully developed he can also stretch the floor which fits in nicely with a team that shoots as much as the Warriors do.

Bet: Dereck Lively Draft Position OVER 10.5 (-250)

20. Houston Rockets

Noah Clowney (F, Alabama)

At this point of the draft these teams are going with the best player available, and the argument could be made that here it is Clowney. He was invited to the green room for the draft tonight, so Clowney should be comfortably inside the first round, it is just unknown where that might be. Houston is also said to be shopping this pick, so it's anyone’s guess as to who the selection will be here.

Bet: N/A

21. Brooklyn Nets

Brandin Podziemski (G, Santa Clara)

It’s rare to have information about a team’s thoughts on a player this late in the draft, but Sam Vecenie reported in his latest mock that Podziemski has been connected to Brooklyn. It could be with either of this first round picks, but at least one writer has made a specific connection here.

Bet: Brandin Podziemski First Round Pick (-1000)

22. Brooklyn Nets

Leonard Miller (F, G-League Ignite)

Once again we do not have any information about Miller actually going to Brooklyn, but at the very least we can know he will be a first round selection. This is right where his draft position prop is, but there is hardly any sound information to act on and any bet would be a gamble. For the sake of this exercise we’ll go over his draft position, but it is hardly a bet worth making.

Bet: Leonard Miller Draft Position OVER 21.5 (-110)

23. Portland Trail Blazers

James Nnaji (C, Barcelona)

The only thing that we can really count on is teams’ tendencies when it comes to drafting players. Portland tends to like taking younger guys, and Nnaji fits the bill at just under 19 years old. This pick could be in play to get traded to a contender looking to get into the first, but the takeaway here is that Nnaji does seem to be a solid play to be a first round pick.

Bet: James Nnaji First Round Pick (-200)

24. Sacramento Kings

Rayan Rupert (G/F, NZ Breakers)

Rupert has seen some real movement in his odds to be a first round pick, and rightfully so. Most mocks have him in the mid-20s and the NBA invited him to the green room on Thursday night. The price is gone on Rupert to be selected in the first, but the somewhat random matchup between him and Gregory Jackson is still playable.

Bet: Rayan Rupert (-300) over Gregory Jackson

25. Boston Celtics

Nick Smith Jr. (G, Arkansas)

Boston acquired this selection on Wednesday night, and given the departure of Marcus Smart in the trade it’s safe to assume a guard will be the target. Smith is a good scoring guard who can create his own look which is something the Celtics struggled to get from its franchise cornerstones this last postseason.

Bet: Nick Smith Draft Position OVER 18.5 (-170)

26. Indiana Pacers

Dariq Whitehead (G, Duke)

There are quite a few reports out there that Indiana is not done wheeling and dealing at the end of the first round. If they keep the pick then it might be worth it to take a flyer on Whitehead, who is supposed to be ready for camps when they begin. Whitehead is pretty fascinating, as he has a big price to be a first round pick, but no real indication that that is a given. 

Bet: Dariq Whitehead First Round Pick (-1000)

27. Charlotte Hornets

Kris Murray (F, Iowa)

Charlotte needs some more wing depth, and what better way to grab than with a 3-and-D prospect like Murray? One should expect a contender to get this pick before the night is through. Murray is an interesting prospect in that perhaps the skill his brother had for Sacramento will push teams to take him somewhat earlier than he should go.

Bet: N/A

28. Utah Jazz

Ben Sheppard (F, Belmont)

Sheppard slipped out of a couple mock drafts this week, but there still seems to be enough buzz around him that he could slip into the end of the first round. Denver has been a team named to have interest in him, but -250 is a steep price for a dude who might not have much wiggle room in the first round. It’s not a bet I would recommend.

Bet: Ben Sheppard First Round Pick (-250)

29. Denver Nuggets

Maxwell Lewis (F, Pepperdine)

This week is the first time we are starting to see Maxwell Lewis’ name start to appear at the backend of the first round. Bruce Brown has declined his player option and is now a free agent, so the Nuggets need a potential replacement for him. Lewis could be the perfect option at this point of the draft.

Bet: Maxwell Lewis First Round Pick (-330)

30. Los Angeles Clippers

Jaime Jaquez (F, UCLA)

The connection here is obvious with UCLA, but Los Angeles also loves itself some wings like Jaquez. His range is all over the place, but it is surprising to see such faith that he will be in the high 20s as a selection. This might be my favorite late first round prop bet of the NBA Draft menu.

Bet: Jaime Jaquez Draft Position OVER 23.5 (+230)

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