2022 NBA Draft Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Paolo Banchero’s Draft Postion
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero (5) of the Duke Blue Devils.
Paolo Banchero NBA Draft Odds
Paolo Banchero already looks the part of an NBA player. He stands out as a man among boys on the court, even at his precocious age. Banchero is bigger, stronger, and more physical than just about everyone he faces — you can read more about his strengths and weakness here.
But he isn’t just a bully-ball big man. Banchero is smooth and talented with a deep bag. He has a smooth dribble with a crossover and easy handle, and he’s an outstanding passer for a guy his size. Banchero has the size of a modern center but the skill set of a wing.
Duke ran its offense through Banchero on the way to the Final Four, and he initiated out of the post or at the top of the key. Think Julius Randle or later career Blake Griffin.
Randle, late-career Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge are all possible comps, but Carmelo Anthony is another popular comparison. All four became NBA All-Stars and were surefire top-five draft picks.
But they also all played on offenses that were capped as far as how good they could be, in part because the offense was limited by a very-good-but-not-elite All-Star doing everything.
Not everyone can be LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo. We saw how much the Knicks struggled in the playoffs last year when New York tried to run its offense through Randle. An NBA offense built around Banchero as the featured star could have similar limitations, meaning a high floor but ultimately a limited ceiling.
How to Bet Paolo Banchero’s Draft Position
According to the books, there is no singular outcome more certain on draft night than Paolo Banchero to be drafted third overall. He’s -550 to go No. 3 at DraftKings, an implied 85%, and as high as -1000 at PointsBet, implying 91%.
Almost nothing on draft night is that predictable, so that should send immediate red flags up. If only there were a way to bet Banchero not to go No. 3 with the reverse implied odds of +1100, that would surely be worth a sprinkle. Anytime there’s a presumed tier of X guys (three, in this case) but everyone agrees that one particular guy is last in the tier, that’s a good sign that something is probably off.
Think back to last year’s “top four” talked about all draft season with Jalen Suggs as the fourth. He ended up falling out of the top four, and the logic is obvious. If everyone agrees one guy is the worst of a bunch, what if the team picking at that slot also isn’t a fan — and opts for someone else?
Betting Suggs’s over-4.5 was profitable last year under that logic. Banchero’s over/under sits at 2.5. That over could be profitable since no reputable mock draft has Banchero in the top-two as of Monday of draft week.
We can agree that the most likely scenario is Banchero going No. 3 while also agreeing that it’s probably not 85 or 90% likely — that’s just not how this stuff works.
That’s why it’s so interesting that he is starting to get some late buzz to go No. 1 overall. On Sunday, Banchero was as long as +2500 to go first at some books; 24 hours later on Monday afternoon of draft week, his best price is +850 at FanDuel — and that will probably be outdated by the time you read this too. If you want a piece of Banchero stock at No. 1, you better grab it quickly… but you might be chasing steam at this point too.
If you want to play the Suggs scenario and bet on Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren going top-2 in some order but Houston not actually in love with Banchero, the play might be Paolo at No. 4 at +3000 at FanDuel. He’s not necessarily a great fit with Domantas Sabonis in Sacramento, but the Kings have been a popular trade destination, so if someone as valuable as Banchero — still at the top of several major draft boards — fell to No. 4, you have to figure someone would pony up.
For me, Banchero is a stay away, for now. Something feels off, and I don’t have a good angle on how to play it. I suspect he does in fact end up going third, but I’m not going to pay the price to get there.