Follow along on Twitter (@julianedlow) for any updates — things can always change rapidly when it comes to betting drafts. There’s a chance we add some plays onto what’s been a moving board for a while. Here are my top bets for the 2021 NBA Draft on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Chris Duarte U15.5 (-135)
Duarte has been invited to the Green Room in Brooklyn, and has since seen his draft prop get bet down from 20.5 to 17.5, and then finally to 15.5. Are we getting the best value here? No, but that still doesn’t make this a bad bet. Duarte has worked out for the Warriors multiple times and impressed them, as well as other teams selecting at the back-end of the lottery. Duarte is one of the oldest players in the draft, but would be a huge help to a win-now team, like the Pacers at No. 13 or Warriors at No. 14. He’s a sniper from downtown, and ready to contribute real minutes on the wing in the league.
Jonathan Kuminga O6.5 (-125)
Maybe the safer play is James Bouknight U7.5 (-170), but I think we’re making a similar bet here without all the juice. I don’t hate Kuminga, but he’s a raw prospect that should go later in the top 10, as he just doesn’t have room in the top six anymore. The top three picks seem to be taking form in Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. We think Jalen Suggs will go No. 4, and Scottie Barnes is heavily juiced to go top five — those two should be the fourth and fifth picks in some order. That leaves No. 6, which probably will be Bouknight, who should move to 6.5 by draft night. If it’s not, there are a handful of prospects with just as good of a shot to be selected as Kuminga. There’s simply not enough room for everyone here. If a report comes out that confirms Bouknight in the top seven, then just lay the juice and bet on his under, but for now, this path seems safer.
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Alperen Sengun U12.5 (-125)
I’ll admit, I haven’t seen a ton of Sengun, but he’s rising up boards as an international prospect. We’ve seen movement from 14.5 to 12.5, but this is still a great number given what we know. The former Turkish League MVP has impressed lottery teams, and has a legit chance to be selected anywhere from No. 8 to No. 12. The Kings, Hornets and Spurs should all show serious interest, and are in need of a versatile big with upside. I’m making this a multi-unit play given how strong recent reports have been.
Sharife Cooper O20.5 (-140)
As of Tuesday afternoon, this is my favorite play for the draft. Cooper really helped Auburn when he returned to the lineup as a freshman last season, and I did pretty well backing the Tigers in some of his games. But as the point guard enters the NBA, the measurables and stats aren’t working in his favor. Cooper is an undersized guard that doesn’t have a great jump shot, and he is a massive liability on the defensive end. In a deep draft with very polished prospects, this is the type of player that somebody maybe takes a shot on for upside towards the end of the first-round. There’s potential here for Cooper to even slip to the second-round.
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