What is interesting about the 2021 NBA Draft is that it will occur before free agency, as it takes place on July 29. This could lead many teams to be more active in trading to get their guy. Team movement up and down the draft board can also lead to a headache for NBA betting, as different teams have different needs. Still, there is some clarity on the draft board, and there are prospects that are clearly trending up or down. Let’s take a look at some of the 2021 NBA Draft odds while also giving a few picks and props worth placing now. It is worth noting that you should lock in the picks you like when you see them. Odds can drastically change still, and some props may drop from sportsbooks altogether.
NBA Draft 2021 First Overall Pick Odds
Odds for the first overall pick in the NBA Draft 2021 are taken from BetMGM
|C. Cunningham -5000||J. Green +1200||
E. Mobley +1800
|J. Suggs +2000||J. Kuminga +3500||
S. Barnes +3500
|K. Johnson +4000||J. Johnson +4000||
M. Moody +5000
Looking at these odds, it is clear Cade Cunningham is the runaway favorite. While there are rumors the Pistons could trade this pick away, Cunningham is nearly locked in regardless. So it is not worth getting cute with another prospect for this prop; the NBA betting odds also do not make betting on Cunningham worthwhile.
Second Overall Pick – Jalen Green
Following the selection of Cunningham at first overall, things begin to get more interesting. While the Pistons were rumored to be shopping their first pick, recent news expects them to stay put. This puts the Rockets on the clock next, staring at three worthwhile candidates: Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs.
This past season the Rockets traded for Kevin Porter Jr., who played like an absolute stud for them. Assuming he is in their future plans, this could point to Houston passing on Suggs. The Rockets also saw Christian Wood break out this season in their frontcourt, which could steer them away from Mobley.
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The Rockets have been linked to Green for some time now, and he is the pick to go second overall. He has also become the NBA betting odds favorite. Many forget he was the No. 2 prospect in the 2020 class behind Cunningham before signing to play in the G League. Green is an unbelievable scorer and athlete, which is something the Rockets could use alongside Porter and Wood.
Draft Position – Josh Giddey: Over 11.5
To be clear, over on 11.5, means Giddey would be selected at pick No. 12 or later. He has garnered hype, which makes sense given the recent production from young international players. Still, Giddey will undoubtedly be a project. This season’s lottery picks are interesting in that there are a number of teams who could be one or two players away from competing right now, meaning they may be more willing to pass on a project.
For example, the Warriors competed in the play-in games to make the playoffs this year, yet they have two lottery picks. It seems more likely than not that Giddey will slide on draft night, likely getting selected in the 14 to 18 range.
Draft Position – Kai Jones: Under 15.5
Kai Jones out of Texas is a modern-day big man that is unlikely to slide outside the top 16. He could be drafted as early as No. 9, which is where the Kings pick. After that, the Hornets could take him at 11, the Spurs at 12 or the Wizards at 15. Jones is comparable to Bam Adebayo in terms of his versatility, which is extremely valuable in today’s NBA.
First Player Drafted – Kai Jones or Corey Kispert: Jones
These are two very different players, so it can be a bit difficult to compare them. While Kispert appears to be solid, Jones is more unique and is trending in the right direction right now. If Jones is still on the board for the Wizards at 15, the decision between him and Kispert will be an interesting one to see. Still, the Washington frontcourt was horrendous this past season. There are more players that can do what Kispert does than what Jones provides, which is why Jones should go ahead of him.