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How to Bet the 2018 NBA Draft

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The 2018 NBA Draft tips-off on Thursday from Brooklyn, New York at 7pmET. There's a very good chance that Phoenix takes Arizona center DeAndre Ayton with the first pick but after that, it's anybody's guess. From a betting perspective, you can lay money on Ayton going first (-2500) or the best Euro prospect in the draft, Luka Doncic (+2200).

There also many other prop bets (from Bovada) to check out concerning the NBA Draft. Let's start with some general props about the first round.

General Prop Bets

Total Duke and Kentucky players selected in the first round?
Over 5 -135
Under 5 -105

Most experts believe that Wendell Carter (Duke), Marvin Bagley (Duke), Kevin Knox (Kentucky), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky) will be taken in the first round. That's pretty much automatic but what about Grayson Allen (Duke) and Gary Trent Jr. (Duke)? Both appear to be bubble players and play the same basic position-shooting guard. Allen's penchant for tripping could send him back to the second round and that leaves Trent Jr. But I'm going to go Under in this one as I think Kevin Huerter, Donte DiVincenzo, Troy Brown, De'Anthony Melton and even Frenchman Elie Okobo will go before Trent Jr. in the first round.

Total Sophomores drafted in the first round?
Over 1.5 -200
Under 1.5 +150

This is pretty incredible to think that just one or two sophomores will be drafted in the first round? The two sophomores appear to be Huerter (Maryland) and DiVincenzo (Villanova). However, Melton (Southern Cal) has snuck into the conversation. He's a player with excellent athletic ability and has a defensive presence at 6-3, 190. He's a risk because he sat out last season due to an FBI investigation and played just one season. But some team in the late first round will take a chance. So go Over in total sophomores taken.

Total Seniors taken in the first round?
Over 1.5 -200
Under 1.5 +150

This is a tough one because there are very few options. I don't think Grayson Allen is going in the first round, so the only other potential senior is Chandler Hutchison from Boise State. The 6-7 wing has been moving up the chargers but even he is not a lock. I'll go with the Under in this prop bet.

Total Juniors selected in the first round?
Over 5.5 -120
Under 5.5 -120

The potential juniors going in the first round starts with Mikal Bridges (Villanova), Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), Aaron Holiday (UCLA), and Jerome Robinson (Boston College). After that, Khyri Thomas (Creighton), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati) and Mo Wagner (Michigan) are all possibilities. I'm going to go Under with this one as Evans and Thomas are likely second-rounders.

Total Internationals selected in the first round?
Over 3 -110
Under 3 -130

After Doncic, this is a tough one. He's the only clear first rounder, but NBA teams love to take chances on players late in the first round that they can stash overseas. I see that with Dzanan Musa from Cedevita and Elie Okobo as possibilities. But I think Okobo is the only definite in the first round along with Doncic so go Under.

Individual Prop Bets

Draft position-Luka Doncic
Over 2.5 -270
Under 2.5 +180

Doncic might be the most divisive player in the draft. That's because he was playing at Real Madrid instead of working out with teams. Doncic is a tremendous offensive weapon and a great passer. The question is whether he will be athletic enough to defend wings in the NBA. The thought here is that Atlanta loves him and will take him at three, so go with the Over 2.5.

Draft Position - Wendell Carter
Over 7.5 Even
Under 7.5 -140

Carter, the center from Duke, has been zooming up draft boards. He could go as high as fourth, though maybe Atlanta takes him as their next Al Horford. He's also a very smart player who should not be a bust. Take the Under 7.5.

Draft Position-Michael Porter
Over 6.5 -120
Under 6.5 -120

If Doncic is a polarizing pick, Porter is the biggest head-scratcher. He could go in the top five or in the middle of the first round. Most teams have to be wary of his injury history (back) and his overconfidence. He compared himself to the Greek Freak and Kevin Durant (as a better slasher). He's accomplished nothing in college because he was hurt most of the season at Missouri and even had to skip a workout due to another injury. Yet he is very talented. Is he worth the risk in the top 6? Not when you have safer options. Go Over.

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