2019 NBA Draft Betting Cheat Sheet: Bet De’Andre Hunter to Go Top 5

2019 NBA Draft Betting Cheat Sheet: Bet De’Andre Hunter to Go Top 5 article feature image
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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zion Williamson during a 2019 NBA Draft draft prospects press conference.

  • The first, second and (maybe) third pick in Thursday's NBA Draft appear to be locks.
  • But there's still betting value to be found on the draft board.

We’ve known since Zion Williamson stormed onto the college scene at Duke that he would likely be the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s 2019 NBA Draft. And while the second (Ja Morant) and third (RJ Barrett) picks appear to both be locks, the rest of the draft class is a bit more fluid.

In this piece we will break down the betting odds and projected draft landing spots for several players/props including:

  • Coby White
  • Darius Garland
  • De’Andre Hunter
  • Brandon Clarke vs. Rui Hachimura
  • Number of ACC players to be Drafted in the Top 10

My usual disclaimer: We don’t know anything about these props other than intel from writers sourced into front offices. This isn’t predicting on-field performance like most bets; this is trying to predict decisions, and we have little information.

Have fun with these props if you want to bet them, but be aware that these are incredibly volatile bets.

Update at 6 p.m. ET: The Hawks have traded up to No. 4 and are reportedly leaning toward drafting De’Andre Hunter. I would bet his under 5.5 prop at a reasonable number if you can still find it.

Update at 6:18 p.m. ET: The Suns have traded away the No. 6 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves. I would no longer bet Coby White under 6.5 for now.

Update at 6:40 p.m. ET: Chris Haynes and Marc Stein are reporting that Darius Garland will go No. 5 to the Cavs. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cavs are shopping the pick, however, so I would hold on a bet for now.

Will Coby White Go in the Top 6?

UNC freshman point guard Coby White is coming off an incredible college season, averaging 16.1 points, 4.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 28.5 minutes per game leading Roy Williams’ demanding offense. He upped those numbers in conference play, notably shooting 38.5% from deep.

But where will he go in Thursday’s NBA Draft? Books have set the line at over or under draft position 6.5.

Rumors are swirling around Darius Garland, a five-star point guard prospect out of Vanderbilt who played just a few games last season, and it’s thought he could go No. 4, either to the Pelicans or by numerous teams that apparently interested in trading up for him. What does that mean for White, and is there value in his over/under draft prop?

All said, Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who is perhaps the most sourced individual into the draft, currently has White mocked sixth to the Suns. It makes sense: Garland could be gone by then, and the Suns have needed a point guard for almost a decade now since losing Steve Nash.

They’ve experimented with Devin Booker as the lead guard, but they clearly need a complementary piece around him and thus could look to fill that role with a PG in this draft.

Apparently the Suns are open to trading the pick, and then all bets are off. They’re apparently high on Jarrett Culver, who may or may not be available. Again, draft props are volatile. But Givony did mention this:

Should they keep the pick, they seem very high on White, which makes some sense considering his size, shooting prowess and ability to play off of a playmaking combo guard such as Booker.

If the draft goes currently as expected, which is Garland and Culver off the board after the Big 3, it’s not outlandish to think the Suns, if they can’t find a trade suitor, will just go ahead and take the player that fills their biggest current need.

Given all of that information, I think it should be close to about 50/50 that White goes to the Suns at No. 6, and thus there’s likely a bit of value at plus odds (+130) in the betting market taking under 6.5.

Will Darius Garland Go Over/Under 5.5?

Many NBA Draft watchers might be surprised to hear Garland get called early Thursday night. He played just five total college games due to a meniscus injury, and he wasn’t exactly at a high-profile school in Vanderbilt.

But make no mistake: Garland was an incredibly talented five-star recruit, and he went to Vanderbilt not because of a lack of offers to bigger schools, but because he wanted to stay close to home and had a personal relationship with then-head coach Bryce Drew, whose basketball camps Garland attended growing up.

This draft does not seem to be particularly strong, at least outside of the top three, which seem to be set in stone with Zion Williamson going first, Ja Morant going second and RJ Barrett going third. That said, apparently the Knicks, who own the No. 3 pick, are doing a last minute workout with Garland and are interested in him.

Several teams are also rumored to be interested in moving up to grab him:

On the surface, if Barrett goes No. 3, it’s easy to see why Garland could slip and thus has an over/under of 5.5. The teams currently with the fourth and fifth picks, respectively are the Pelicans — who now have Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball to fill point guard minutes — and the Cavaliers — who just spent a high draft pick on Collin Sexton last year.

However, it’s not inconceivable that one of those teams could take Garland — who has perhaps the most star potential among guys outside of the top three — despite already having a point guard on the roster.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony currently has him mocked at No. 5 to the Cavs, and it’s very possible as well that a team enamored with his upside could move up to grab him, too.

Garland has a skill highly coveted right now in the NBA, and it’s something very few players in this draft have: The ability to bomb from deep and hit shots off the dribble:

He’s been comped at some points to Damian Lillard, and while I don’t think he’s the prospect Lillard was due to the latter’s superior athleticism and play-making ability, the shooting and isolation possibilities — something we just saw in the NBA Playoffs was incredibly important — will certainly intrigue teams.

The value has largely gone away on the under 5.5 at -340 (77.3%), but I’d still lean that direction and would bet it if it dipped any lower. Better value might be found betting him exactly at the fourth spot, which is at about +100 at several books. Watch to see if there’s a trade; that could likely indicate a move to get Garland.


Will De’Andre Hunter Go in the Top 5?

Update at 6 p.m. ET: The Hawks have traded up to No. 4 and are reportedly leaning toward drafting De’Andre Hunter. I would bet his under 5.5 prop at a reasonable number if you can still find it.

De’Andre Hunter’s draft stock has continued to rise throughout his college career, especially after his Virginia Cavaliers became the first ever 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed without him and then won the title with him the next year.

He was a second-team All-American, first-team All-ACC and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He’ll likely add top-10 pick to his resume come Thursday night.

But when exactly will he go? Will it be in the top five?

Under on his 5.5 draft position prop is currently +111, whereas the over — pick No. 6 or later — is set at -130 currently.

Perhaps the most sourced writer on the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, currently has him mocked No. 7 to the Chicago Bulls. It does seem in recent days that there’s more buzz around both Garland, whose most likely draft spot seems to be fourth currently (and teams are discussing trading up for him), and Culver, who is mocked at fifth and is another guy teams are rumored to be interested in moving up for.

Hunter could absolutely go fourth or fifth; the resume is there, and we don’t yet know who will be picking there because of rumored trades.

The Cavs are likely to be interested in him at No. 5. But Garland seems to be the hot commodity right now, and it is possible teams are more intrigued by Culver due to his novelty and younger age — he’s more than a year younger than Hunter, who will turn 22 in December.

Again, this is volatile: NBA.com’s consensus mock draft, which aggregates 10 drafts around the web, has him slotted in at No. 5, although his most common draft spot was sixth, which is where he was in four of the 10 drafts.

Given the lack of information around the draft currently and how volatile it is, I’m in favor of largely taking plus odds, especially on players later in the draft who have a wide range of outcomes. But given the buzz currently around Garland and Culver, I think there’s perhaps a bit of value at over 5.5 here for Hunter.

For reference, at one book, Garland is a -265 favorite to go before Hunter, and Culver is a -170 favorite to go first. If that’s true, there’s value at -130 since Hunter certainly won’t go 1-3. I do think if it’s in the top five it’s to the Cavs at No. 5, so you could hedge the under with a bet on him at 5 at +175.


Will Brandon Clarke or Rui Hachimura Be Drafted First?

After going through a couple NBA Draft props without a ton of value, we finally have one that might.

Several sportsbooks have odds on which Gonzaga player will be drafted first: Brandon Clarke (+180) or Rui Hachimura (-260).

Both had excellent 2019 campaigns, with Hachimura finishing as a consensus first-team All-American and winning the Julius Erving Award, and Clarke finishing as a third-team All-American and winning the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Clarke is a year older than Rui, and both are projected to go in the first round of the draft.

According to ESPN’s mock draft, Hachimura is projected to go 12th to the Hornets — far ahead of Clarke, who is slotted at 17th to the Hawks. But Clarke seemingly has a wide range of outcomes, as NBA.com’s consensus mock draft shows his most common draft spots as 11, 12 and 14.

Clarke is a divisive player.

On one hand, he’s old (22), his wingspan at 6-foot-8 as a 6-foot-8 player isn’t exciting and he’s not much of a shooter so far. On the other hand, his 2019 season wasn’t just good — it was historically productive:

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton’s stats-based draft model has Clarke far and away above Rui, and he’s turned into something of an “Analytics Twitter” darling. That population of analysts has done well of late, notably leading the charge of saying Luka Doncic should be the No. 1 pick last year, but Clarke isn’t that type of prospect, and he’s rightfully divisive.

It’s unclear whether any of this will be compelling to NBA teams, but the stats are undeniable for Clarke, and we’ve seen a history of teams — especially in the late lottery range — not be afraid to take a chance on an older, productive player.

For teams that have playoff hopes or want to solidify a young core with solid role players — the Wolves at 11, the Hornets at 12, the Celtics at 14, the Hawks with their three picks, for examples — Clarke could be an intriguing buy.

Clarke isn’t Draymond Green, but he is somewhat comparable in that teams missed on Draymond because of how unique he was coming out of college. JZ Mazlish commented on this dynamic, and Cole Zwicker expanded on it specifically about Clarke recently.

Mazlish said, “Essentially, the easiest NBA studs to miss on are those who define their own archetype. Draymond Green, Nikola Jokic, maybe Lonzo Ball, even Andre Iguodala to an extent, are all examples of players who don’t fit a typical NBA mold. Teams undervalue them in the draft because they weren’t able to imagine the roles they would create for themselves.”

Is this the year teams stop undervaluing those potential types of players?

Rui will likely go in the teens, whereas Clarke could go anywhere from 10 to even the 20s. But given his extremely productive season, the history of the draft and his wide range of outcomes on Thursday night, I think there’s some value at plus money here. Or maybe I’m just hoping a team will be smart and draft Clarke early.


Will at Least 5 ACC Players Be Drafted in the Top 10?

If you solely watched ACC basketball this past year, you would’ve seen most of the top prospects in this year’s draft. Sportsbooks are offering props currently on whether there will be over/under 4.5 ACC players drafted in the top 10.

We’ve already covered three guys in detail in this article, but let’s go through them top to bottom and see if there’s value.

First, Zion Williamson is going No. 1 to the Pelicans. No more analysis needed.

Second, RJ Barrett is absolutely going in the top 10. He’s incredibly likely to go third to the Knicks — he’s -560 at DraftKings to go at that spot — although ESPN’s Jonathan Givony commented Tuesday that the Knicks are indeed interested in Vanderbilt freshman Darius Garland:

Regardless, even if the Knicks don’t take Barrett, he won’t slide far. That’s two ACC players.

Next up is UNC’s freshman point guard. White is currently being mocked sixth overall to the Phoenix Suns, who are still looking for a point guard since Steve Nash left in 2012. Per Givony, they are potentially interested in trading the pick, but if they keep it, finally grabbing a point guard to pair alongside Devin Booker seems like a wise choice.

That’s three.

UVA’s Hunter, Currently mocked by ESPN to the Chicago Bulls at No. 7 has been a standout for Tony Bennett for years. In an NBA world where two-way wings are highly coveted — Hunter has lots of offensive work to do, mind you — his skillset will be coveted.

According to a consensus mock draft from NBA.com, the most common draft spot for Hunter was No. 5 to the Cavs. Even if he slips below that, it’s unlikely he won’t get picked up by either of the Hawks’ picks at No. 8 and No. 10.

Per Givony: “The Hawks are very high on Hunter — per sources, they are the only team Hunter has worked out for — and Atlanta might try to package some combination of its six picks in this draft to move up and select him.”

That’s four.

And the final guy — the wildcard here — is Duke’s Cam Reddish. I’ll go on the record and say I don’t think he’ll be very good in the NBA: He shot 35.6% from the field as a tertiary option this season, and he showed little-to-no off-the-dribble skills.

Still, he was the No. 3 recruit coming out of high school, and highly-recruited Duke wings have often been drafted for their underlying upside, such as Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram recently. ESPN has him mocked No. 8 to the Hawks, and the consensus draft at NBA.com has him at that spot in eight of the 10 drafts compiled.

I personally wouldn’t do it, but the Hawks could likely take a risk since they have multiple picks in this draft and already have a solid young core in Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and John Collins.

Wings are hard to come by in the NBA, and the Hawks are likely to take a shot at one of them this year.

Again, Reddish is the most likely to drop out of the top 10, but I’d bet on his pedigree winning teams over, especially in such an uninspiring draft with almost no players with seeming MVP upside.

Unfortunately, the betting market is in step with the mock drafts, as the over 4.5 here is set at -500. I think it’s highly likely it happens, but that’s a steep price. I will say if you want to bet this prop, do this one instead of over/under Duke players, which is at 2.5 with the over at -715.

Since Reddish is the most likely to drop, that is seemingly not in step with the ACC prop.