- Bovada has odds on what team will win the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery and pick No. 1 overall
- The Houston Rockets (+550), Detroit Pistons (+550), and Orlando Magic (+550) all have an equal chance at winning Tuesday’s lottery
- New Orleans (+2000) and Charlotte (+5000) would love to pair a top prospect with their young superstars
While the NBA playoffs are down to the final four with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, the 14 franchises that missed the postseason will be entered in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery with a chance to secure the No. 1 overall draft pick.
According to most experts, this year’s draft class features five can’t-miss talents but Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham is the big prize on the line on Tuesday night.
Let’s check out the odds on what team will get the magic ping pong ball and select first in the NBA Draft on July 29, and if you need any help or advice, review these tips for betting on basketball.
2021 NBA Draft Lottery Odds
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+700|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+2000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+4800|
|Golden State Warriors||+10000|
Houston, Detroit, or Orlando?
Houston (17-55), Detroit (20-52), and Orlando (21-51) finished as the league’s bottom three teams and will have an equal 14% chance at obtaining the No. 1 pick. Following them are the Thunder and Cavaliers, both with an 11.5% chance, the Timberwolves (9%), Raptors (7.5%), Bulls (4.5%), Kings (4.5%), and Pelicans (4.5%).
Oddsmakers don’t have much leg work to do on draft lottery night as they basically just follow the math, installing the Rockets, Pistons, and Magic as +550 favorites. This is the third year of the current system and Minnesota won with the third-worst record (14% chance) last year and New Orleans won in 2019 with the seventh-worst record (7% chance.)
We ran a simulation of the NBA Draft Lottery, then asked our beat writers to make the top five picks.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 7, 2021
The Pelicans lottery victory came after Anthony Davis forced his way out of town. After James Harden pulled the opposite of a hunger strike to get out of Houston this season, the Rockets will hope for the same luck on Tuesday night. Interestingly enough, if their pick falls outside of the top four (47.9% chance), Oklahoma City gets it as part of the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook swap in 2019.
The Timberwolves are in a similar predicament following the D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins deadline deal in 2020. If Minnesota’s pick falls outside of the top three (72.4% chance), it goes to the Warriors, however, if they keep their selection, Golden State gets an unprotected pick in 2022.
Who gets Cade Cunningham?
Cade Cunningham is a 6-foot-8 guard who averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game for Oklahoma State in his first and only year of college basketball.
He’s described on NBA.com as a “franchise-altering talent with elite playmaking skills that command the pace of the game as a jumbo guard and can score with ease from all three levels.” While our guess of where he ends up is only as good as yours, we can discuss some of the more fun scenarios.
2021 NBA Draft: Cade Cunningham has maintained status as No. 1 overall prospect https://t.co/lH3EHY2bvt
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) June 14, 2021
The Raptors (+1100) and Warriors (+10000) are the two franchises that could immediately regain championship contender status with a lottery win. However, the Pelicans (+2000), Hornets (+5000), and Thunder (+700) would also make great landing spots for Cunningham as he could form a fun tandem with Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball, or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
On the off chance, the NBA Draft Lottery is fixed, we like the Rockets (+550) to secure the No. 1 overall pick because they were held hostage by their franchise star, play in a massive media market and, if they don’t win it, have zero hope for the future with all their picks heading to Oklahoma.
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