Unlike in 2021, when Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham was regarded as a heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft and did, there is at least some intrigue atop the 2022 draft class. While Auburn forward Jabari Smith is the betting favorite for the top spot, he’s got some competition for the honor with Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero. All three players shined as freshmen in college basketball last season and are part of strong top portion of the 2022 NBA Draft class that will be taking in the festivities in person at the Barclays Center in New York on Thursday night.
Weeks and months of predictions and speculation over how the draft will unfold can lead to widely held assumptions that don’t always translate to reality. As the draft creeps closer, new information can emerge on players, and a particularly good individual workout or interview — held outside the public’s purview — can dramatically improve a player’s stock behind closed doors.
On the flip side, a piece of negative information on a player — be it about their medical history, character or something else — can have a negative impact that doesn’t become clear until they are slipping on draft night. Throw in the certainty of draft trades and we’re sure to have some drama on Thursday.
If you feel like testing your luck and riding the waves that are sure to come during the NBA Draft, here is a look at the odds for who will go No. 1 overall, along with a few prop bets to contemplate that are available through Caesars Sportsbook.
Odds to go No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft
|Jabari Smith Jr.||-280|
Jaden Ivey draft position prop
- Over 4.5 (+130)
- Under 4.5 (-160)
Ivey landed at No. 4 on the final CBS Sports NBA Big Board and comes in at No. 4 in several of our recent expert mock drafts. Outside of Smith, Holmgren and Banchero, he is widely regarded as the player with the highest upside in the draft pool. While he might not be the most natural fit with De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento, Ivey would be hard for the Kings to pass on. If they trade the pick, then Ivey’s odds of going at No. 4 would likely only increase.
Keegan Murray draft position prop
- Over 5.5 (+210)
- Under 5.5 (-260)
After the presumed top three, there’s a chance that two players from the trio of Jaden Ivey, Dyson Daniels and Benedict Mathurin will go at No. 4 and No. 5. If it happens, then Murray will wind up at No. 6 or lower. With lucrative odds on the possibility, it could be worth a flyer.
AJ Griffin draft position prop
- Over 11.5 (-180)
- Under 11.5 (+150)
The attractive odds on Griffin slipping to No. 12 or lower in this draft are likely a reflection of concern over his health since the one-and-done Duke wing has already gone through a couple of notable knee injuries. But if you take that away and look at everything else, such as talent, upside, size and pedigree, it’s obvious he should be a top-10 pick. The bet here is that someone before No. 12 is willing to take the risk with his health in order to get a steal.