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2018 NBA Draft Betting: Which Team Will Win the Lottery?

By Noah Davis
Published on May 09, 2018
Draft Lottery NBA and Phoenix Suns Logo

The 2018 NBA playoffs are moving full speed ahead. Every series is in elimination territory, and before you know it, we’re going to be working our way to the NBA Finals.

It’s probably just another rendition of the Cavaliers versus the Warriors, but only time will tell.

The NBA in general comes off as fairly predictable, but the offseason might not be. The jury is still out on where Paul George and other prospective free agents will land, while the 2018 NBA Draft is going to be fairly difficult to peg.

Once the actual draft rolls around, that’s very much the case. However, there’s an argument that even the draft order could be tough to figure out.

For sports bettors looking for another advantage, eyeing the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery could be tricky but ultimately profitable.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bookmaker.eu on 5/7/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

2018 NBA Draft Lottery

Before you can start betting on the NBA Draft, you first need to know . That becomes official on May 15th, when everyone’s tanking efforts are finally realized.

One lucky team will own the top pick in the draft, whereas the rest will learn their fate inside the draft’s top 14 picks.

All 14 teams have a shot at nabbing that top spot, but Bookmaker.eu and other NBA betting sites are really only listing odds for a handful of teams.

Here’s how the odds sort out for the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery.

Phoenix Suns+240
Memphis Grizzlies+305
Dallas Mavericks+460
Atlanta Hawks+460
Orlando Magic+720
The Field+250

The Suns and Grizzlies have long been the leading favorites for this NBA Draft prop bet. Phoenix ended the year with the worst record in the regular season (21-61), but they only edged out Memphis by one game.

The Suns enter with a 25% shot at landing the top pick and a 64% chance at landing in the top three. Needless to say, they’re almost guaranteed a top pick as they try to continue their rebuilding efforts.

Memphis is a solid bet behind them, though. They have almost a 20% chance of stealing that top draft pick from the Suns, and they could quickly turn around a previous playoff threat that succumbed to a litany of injuries last season.

The team favored to land the top pick has been quite successful in recent history.

The 76ers won it in each of the last two seasons (via the Nets in 2017), and the Timberwolves won it in 2015.

The last major upset came in 2014, when the Cleveland Cavaliers won with a 1.7% chance and ended up drafting Andrew Wiggins. The Milwaukee Bucks, who were favored with a 25% chance to land the top pick, got the second pick and drafted Jabari Parker.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also won it the year before but had much better odds (15% chance) and selected Anthony Bennett.

Dating back to 2000, the team favored to win the first overall pick in the NBA Draft got it just five times. However, the recent trend (three in a row) appears to favor the Suns.

The Favorite

The main bet here is absolutely the Suns. If you’re one of those people that feel like the process is rigged, then betting on the Suns getting the top pick makes a lot of sense.

Phoenix used to be a very competitive organization, whether you go back to the days of Charles Barkley or Steve Nash. The Suns have a lot of young talent but arguably lack that one true megastar to pair with Devin Booker.

If the Suns landed this #1 pick, they could take Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton or overseas sensation Luka Doncic and speed up their rebuilding process.

Phoenix makes sense as a terrible team with awesome odds to land this pick, too.

Each of the past three drafts saw the team with a 25% chance land the top pick, and those teams also had the very worst record in the NBA in their respective seasons.

The Suns have actually done a solid job lately when it comes to the draft process, but they haven’t been equipped with the top pick in the draft. Until now.

Sleeper Bet

If you’re betting on the NBA Draft Lottery, you probably should go about it in one of two ways. Either you’re only betting on the Suns, or you’re putting most of your money on Phoenix and then looking for a flier bet with some value.

To be honest, EVERYONE could be in play here.

Bookmaker.eu provides a nice list to work with, and I think simply based on history, a flier bet on The Field at +250 makes a lot of sense.

That doesn’t bring enough value back to go too hard at it, of course, seeing as seven of the last nine drafts have been won by teams with 10% odds or better to land the top pick.

The Field is worth a look, but with none of those teams boasting better than a 5.3% chance to shock the world, it’s not a very safe play.

If you want a sleeper, just go with the Magic. They offer insane value at +720, and they’ve won the top spot three different times.

The real reason to love Orlando is the betting value, but the Magic were awful last year and made a slew of bad trades over the past few years. They even fired a solid head coach in Frank Vogel this year.

Orlando is a total mess, and if anyone needs a major jolt (and isn’t named the Phoenix Suns), it’s probably them.

Who Will Win the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery?

I do think the Magic warrant a long look, and you can split your bets up as you see fit. However, the Suns make too much sense here.

Phoenix has all of the narratives going their way, each of the last three winners have been the favorite to win, and they do have the most shots at landing this pick.

The Suns SHOULD get the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft,
and they certainly could use it.

I think logic, the numbers, and the actual odds all point to Phoenix here, while you’re honestly still getting pretty nice value at their current +240 price at Bookmaker.

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2018 NBA Draft Betting: Which Team Will Win the Lottery?
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2018 NBA Draft Betting: Which Team Will Win the Lottery?
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With the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery almost here, bettors may want to consider every team’s odds of landing the top pick in this year’s draft. Here are picks and a preview of the outcome.
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