2022 NBA Draft Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Chet Holmgren’s Draft Position
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Chet Holmgren of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Chet Holmgren NBA Draft Odds
Holmgren is one of the most unique prospects to come along in years. I dug more into his strengths and weakness during the tournament (you can read the full article here), but here are the highlights.
In a sport where the word unicorn gets thrown around far too often, Holmgren is a true unicorn in every sense of the word. You’ve never seen anything like Holmgren on a basketball court. You have to see him for yourself. This dude is 7-foot-1 with a plus wingspan but barely weighs 190 pounds soaking wet.
Holmgren is a beanpole who can defend the rim ferociously at one end, gobble up the rebound, take four or five long strides down the court, dribble behind his back on a spin move, and dunk on the other end — or pull up and swish a 3 if you prefer.
That is not a hypothetical scenario. That’s a real play Holmgren made several times this season, so much so that it’s somehow become routine. Holmgren was the No. 1 recruit and was awesome for the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket, Gonzaga.
He might have been the best player in college basketball, played for the nation’s best regular season team and improved as the season progressed. That is a remarkable accomplishment for a true freshman.
So what exactly is Holmgren — and how can a player this talented not be a slam dunk sure thing with the No. 1 pick?
Holmgren could be an integral part of an NBA championship someday. His skill set is that varied and that rare, and if he lands on the right team, he’s going to make everyone around him better immediately.
It’s no coincidence that Gonzaga nearly went unbeaten last season, lost a top-five draft pick in Jalen Suggs plus another pro prospect Joel Ayayi, added Holmgren, and immediately went right back to No. 1 in all the land.
Holmgren won four high school championships, led the under-19 American team to a FIBA gold medal last summer and led the Zags to the top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
He’s is a potential superstar. It’s time to stop focusing on all the things Holmgren isn’t and start appreciating in awe of what he already is.
How to Bet Chet Holmgren’s Draft Position
Holmgren was my lottery-night pick to go No. 1 to Orlando for all of the reasons above. He was atop my personal rankings then too, and none of those things have changed over the past month.
But Holmgren was just the second favorite to be drafted No. 1 on lottery night, and the gap in odds only widened for several weeks, with Chet as long as +350 to +400 at some books at one point.
The gap has closed again now as the draft nears, and the best price now is +160 at FanDuel for Holmgren to go No. 1. That’s an implied 38.5% for this lanky unicorn prospect to be drafted first, and that’s still a number worth betting if you believe in the case above.
The minus-number is in front of Holmgren’s No. 2 draft position, but I’m not sure that’s worth a bet. Oklahoma City is notoriously close to the vest and unique in its draft evaluation.
While most evaluators seem to universally agree that Jabari Smith goes top-two, there’s no such feeling for Holmgren. His thin body has many detractors, and there have been injury whispers too.
If you want to bet against Holmgren, the move is not betting him at No. 2, but nibbling the spots after that at very long odds:
- +1400 at PointsBet to go No. 3
- +5500 at FanDuel to go No. 4
- +10000 at FanDuel to go No. 5
Though the top three has widely been locked in as the three presumed big men, it’s no lock that Houston would take Holmgren if he unexpectedly drops to No. 3. Remember, this is the franchise that passed on a talented big man with similar size and frame concerns a year ago in Evan Mobley.
If you’re betting against Holmgren’s size and health profile, it could be profitable to nibble on those +5500 and +10000 odds for him to fall to No. 4 or 5.
It may not even need to be Sacramento or Detroit at that point — Holmgren is so talented that some team probably takes a swing to trade up for him.
Betting both gives you implied odds of around +3500 at Holmgren dropping to fourth or fifth — but remember, he can’t drop past there either, or you lose on the back end.
To bet Chet Holmgren, you need to decide whether you’re in or out. There are no half measures. Either wait for your price and take a shot at No. 1 like I have, or go all the way out and nibble on those long shot odds at him falling hard.
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