Jabari Smith Favorite For First Overall Pick in 2022 NBA Draft

  • Date & Location: Thursday, June 23 @ Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ABC (1st round only), ESPN

With the 2021-22 NCAA Basketball season in the rearview mirror and the Kansas Jayhawks celebrating their championship run, it’s now time for NCAAB — and NBA — fans to turn their attention to the 2022 NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday, June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

We won’t know what order the teams will pick during the 2022 version of the NBA Draft until the NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 17, but with a full season of NCAAB action to work from, we have a good idea as to what players will go at the top of the upcoming draft.

Before we look at the top prospects to emerge as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, check out the best odds for the 2022 NBA draft and current betting sites and odds for the 2022 NBA season.

Odds to be first pick in 2022 NBA draft

1st Overall Pick 2022 NBA DraftBetUS
Jabari Smith+115
Chet Holmgren+200
Paolo Banchero+250
Jaden Ivey+2500
Johnny Davis+10000
Keegan Murray+10000
Ochai Agbaji+10000
Bennedict Mathurin+12500
Shaedon Sharpe+25000
A.J. Griffin+25000

Jabari Smith moves up

In January, the race for the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft looked like a two-man fight. Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero were No. 1 and No. 1A in the minds of many. At that time, Jabari Smith was a distant +1800. Now, with the draft fast approaching, Smith has not only inserted his name in the mix for the No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick, but he is favored over Holmgren and Banchero.

The Auburn forward os 6-foot-10 and averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Tigers while hitting 42 percent of his 3-point shots. Smith also showed that he has good skills on the defensive side of the court.

Smith was a huge part of Auburn’s 19-game winning streak during the 2022 NCAAB season. Smith’s play helped the team achieve the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll for the first team in the history of the Auburn Tigers.

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Chet Holmgren remains near the top

There were some concerns about Chet Holmgren at the start of the 2022 NCAAB season. Holmgren stands nearly 7-feet tall, but his weight of 195 pounds had some worried that he wouldn’t be able to handle the more physical play of the NBA. Those concerns lessened with Holmgren’s play throughout the season.

Holmgren, who starred for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, finished the season with 14.1 points per game, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 0.8 steals. He hit 60.7 percent of his field goals and 39 percent of his 3-pointers.

Holmgren is a good defensive player and his ability to shoot from the outside make him appealing in the current NBA landscape. Don’t let his frame fool you, Holmgren will be a high pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Chet HolmgrenTO GO FIRST IN 2022 NBA DRAFT
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Paolo Banchero is a threat to go 1st overall

In November, Paolo Banchero was the favorite to go No. 1 in the NBA Draft. He slowly slipped from that position as the NCAAB season wore on, but he did not fall far. The 6-foot-10 Banchero helped Duke to make it to the Final Four during March Madness. He averaged 17.2 points per game and connected on 47.8 percent of his field goal attempts while hitting 33.8 percent of his 3-pointers. Banchero added 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.1 steals per game for Duke.

What stood out about Banchero as the season progressed was his ability to pass the ball. While Banchero can score from anywhere on the court, his ability to add assists and help the overall offense of his team will make him an appealing pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Paolo BancheroTO GO FIRST IN 2022 NBA DRAFT
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Our pick

Jabari Smith‘s last seven games of the season put him over the top. During that stretch he averaged 23.7 points and 51.1 percent on his 3-point attempts. Look for Smith to go first in the 2022 NBA Draft.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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