I’ve always been an absolute draft nerd, and I LOVE nights like this. There’s something special about it…the team-building process, the player evaluation, the drama, the new beginnings for downtrodden teams, the hope the draft night provides. Yes, Shaq, I can dig it.
Time: 8:00 pm. ET | TV: ESPN/ABC | Arena: Barclays Center
Why You Should Watch
The 2022 NBA Draft appears to have solidified at the top, with the Big 3 of Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paulo Banchero going 1-2-3 (maybe?). Banchero is the likely third pick despite his meteoric rise on the draft betting odds, which made things interesting at the top earlier in the week and again late last night.
While that trio has sucked up much of the pre-draft hype, the talent doesn’t stop there, with Purdue’s Jaden Ivey possessing no shortage of supporters who would put him in their top three. Ivey is the best guard in this class and arguably the most electric player to hear his name called tonight.
Other prospects competing to go in the top five include Canadians Shaedon Sharpe and Bennedict Mathurin, and the favorite to go fifth, Iowa product Keegan Murray, an offensive juggernaut.
Among the storylines to follow will be how many Dukies are drafted tonight? Likely, A.J. Griffin, Mark Williams, Trevor Keels, and Wendell Moore will join Banchero. It’s a lock that Coach K’s final draft class will be his fifth in the past eight years to feature multiple first-round picks. Could all five go in the first round?
Draft night is about familiar faces like the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Ochai Agbaji, out of Kansas. As well as familiar names: will Ron Harper Jr. or Scottie Pippen Jr. be drafted tonight? Unfortunately, the Chicago Bulls don’t currently own a second-round choice.
Draft night is also about players you’ve never seen, like Aussie Dyson Daniels and MarJon Beauchamp, who both played for the G League’s Ignite. Or players you’ve never even heard of, such as France’s Ousmane Dieng, who played for the New Zealand Breakers last season.
What draft night shouldn’t be about is spoiling the drama by tweeting out the pick moments before Adam Silver is about to read out the selection. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Woj. Let us have our fun.
SportsGrid Best Bet
Smith, Holmgren, Banchero, Ivey Picked In Exact Order (-120)
After settling the odds in the top three and the Grant trade (we think), this feels like a number that will only get worse. You are still seeing a solid price at -120 on something that feels locked into place barring anything catastrophic on the night of the draft. This bet feels worthy of a wager before things may get a bit more complicated following the fourth overall pick.
Over/Under Position Props
Bennedict Mathurin 6.5 (O+280, U-420)
There’s a good chance that two Canadian prospects are selected in the top ten, and Bennedict Mathurin has a chance of going inside the top six. Mathurin is the odds-on favorite to be taken sixth overall by the Indiana Pacers. With that fit making sense and him being a big favorite, you should likely avoid this prop.
AJ Griffin 11.5 (O-158, U+118)
This spot is where things could get interesting. AJ Griffin is a talent that bodes top ten consideration, but there’s also a world where he falls outside that range. That said, the New York Knicks are a prime landing spot for him at 11, meaning you should side with the plus-money value you’re getting and take the under 11.5 here.
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