Sure, there might be an NBA Finals game going on tonight. But if you really need a sportswriter to tell you to bet a 73-win team that’s going off as an underdog, well, we haven’t imparted as much wisdom on you as I thought. What a shame!
With the NBA season inevitably ending very soon, the next big event will be the draft (June 23). Since you’re such a dumb-dumb when it comes to basketball betting, it seems like a good time to go over some of your options for wagering on the upcoming NBA Draft. More and more props will come available as the event approaches, but for now, we have a few plays that are worth investing in.
Ben Simmons spent the last three years being told by everyone around him he would be the no. 1 overall pick. Perhaps his people should’ve told him to develop a jump shot instead?
In the build-up to the draft, Simmons won’t even work out for teams. It’s a power move by the 19-year-old, but it could backfire. While he’s the greatest physical specimen in the draft, the 76ers already have a ton of projects in the front court. They’re supposedly shopping Jahlil Okafor around; if they can’t find a suitable return, don’t be shocked if Philly takes the small forward who was actually game to work out for the team: Brandon Ingram.
Of course, if Philadelphia ultimately gets a trade done, either dealing one of their bigs or trading the no. 1 pick, then Simmons is the choice. You may want to hold off on betting this one until the eleventh hour.
The international player that goes really high in the draft was a dying trend before Kristaps Porzingis revived the craze last year. Now Dragan Bender could ride that European goodwill to a top-five pick. Okay, the kid didn’t just get here on coattails; his game isn’t even similar to Porzingis’.
However, a guy who was slotted in the top-four for most of the year may now be in jeopardy of sliding out, thanks in part to the rise of Marquese Chriss on most draft boards. Bender’s fate could rely on what the Boston Celtics do with the third overall pick. The team is aggressively shopping the pick, but if they do hang on to it, a pure scorer like Buddy Hield fills their needs more than a perimeter big. That would just leave the Suns at four, and I’ll take decent odds that they pass on him.
Why is taking the best player in college such a scary proposition? It took a long time for Buddy to even climb his way up to top-five conversations, but he’s finally there, and I doubt he’ll fall out. Even if the Celtics trade the no. 3 pick to a squad that needs a big, Hield shouldn’t slide past a Timberwolves team that’s trending upwards and needs players who can make an immediate impact.
So much of drafting is based of a players’ potential, and apparently the 19-year-old highschooler is oozing that top-level potential. He’s got a crazy wingspan, outrageous athleticism, and all those other qualities that cause teams to fall in love with a player they know practically nothing about.
Even if teams aren’t sure that he can play right away, there’s no way he’ll get past a team like the Warriors, i.e. one that doesn’t need an impact player next year and can groom the kid on their own time.
(Photo Credit: ChristopherM01 (Buddy Hield) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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