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2020 NBA Draft Preview and Bet Guide

Written by Matlack

November 17, 2020

The 2020 NBA draft is one of the most intriguing drafts in recent memory.

Generally when the draft rolls around each June there is a consensus on who the top player is. In recent drafts we had Zion Williamson, DeAndre Ayton, and of course, my guy, Markelle Fultz all being confirmed as the number one pick days before the commissioner announced their names. Say what you want about Markelle and his broken jumper but like the two others he was the clear cut, will be drafted number one overall guy.

This year, due to a variety of factors, there is no conclusive number one pick and depending on what podcast/content you listen to you will hear different things; Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo think LaMelo Ball will potentially slide out of the top three picks – looking more favorably at Anthony Edwards as the top guy, meanwhile Jonathon Givony of ESPN has LaMelo as his top rated prospect and could see teams potentially trading up with the Timberwolves or Warriors to get him.

LaMelo Ball via Freep

If trades, COVID, outspoken fathers, and a lack of general talent in the this year’s draft compared to next years wasn’t enough to muddy the waters there are also a number of other players that will be in the mix for the top selection. Killian Hayes is Kevin O’Conners top overall prospect, James Wiseman is a very talented big man – the T-Wolves didn’t work him out but someone could trade into the top 2 spots to get him – and Patrick Williams and Onyeka Okongwu have been rising in recent mock drafts.

Now let me get to the point, the lines! For FanDuel there are a few main categories; over/under draft position for players, who will be selected at what pick, and parlays on who the top 4 will be. There is so much to consider when looking things over but I have come up with my 5 best bets when looking over the options for this year’s draft:

Jan 4, 2020; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards (5) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Lester Quinones (11) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
  1. 1. Anthony Edwards under pick 1.5 (-106)

Although Edwards is not the unanimous top player in the draft he has been the unanimous top selection in all of the mock drafts I have looked over. At 6’4″ with decent shooting, strong defense, and insane athleticism he has the frame to be able to contribute immediately. Weird to say but he is the “safe” pick at number 1 and at -106 is good odds to consider a bet.

2. LaMelo Ball over pick 2.5(+198)

Where LaMelo goes is a mystery that involves a wide variety of factors, some on the court and some off. The Timberwolves have been working him out but when looking at a bet that could double your money I’d take my chances with the Warriors staying put and taking Wiseman who fits their system rather than reaching on LaMelo at 2. Admittedly this is not a lock especially when the Warriors and Pistons have been linked in trade rumors but at +198 it is a good value bet.

3. Onyeka Okongwu under pick 6.5(-134)

Okongwu is a very intriguing prospect at 6’9″ with great touch around the basket. He is currently getting some Bam Adebayo comparisons which is a plus when thinking about how well Bam has developed as a prospect and how basketball is looking towards slightly smaller, more versatile bigs as the future. Right now O’Conner has him going 3 and ESPN’s Givony has him at 6 to the Hawks so this is a nice value at -134 for a very talented and modern prospect.

4. Patrick Williams under pick 8.5(-142)

What is fun about draft night is stupid teams make stupid decisions that will haunt them for years to come. What I mean by that is guys like Donavon Mitchell and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander get drafted behind guys like Zach Collins and Kevin Knox because of “size” and “fit” reasons. In this draft there are 5 teams who I think will make similar mistakes (T-Wolves, Hornets, Hawks, Pistons, and Knicks) and Patrick Williams is the equivalent to a QB with big hands. Sure, he could be great but it’s not the fact that he was getting buckets in college that have him rising on draft boards(he averaged 9 points off the bench), it is the fact he is 6’8″ and “looks like an NBA player”. The Pistons are linked to this kid at 7 if they stay put so this is a good line at -142.

5. Cole Anthony over pick 20.5(-138)

Cole Anthony was one of the most exciting players in the NCAA last year before he injured his knee. The knee injury will certainly be a concern for teams who don’t have quite the access to players and mock drafts have him going anywhere between 19-24 with one even taking him to the 76ers at 21. It will be interesting to see where he does end up but I think the injury will scare teams and makes it worth looking at the over for a bet.

Good luck to everyone and god bless the Sixers.

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