Even without mystery, draft prop bets abound

Zion Williamson’s star is too bright for setting odds on his position in Thursday’s NBA draft.

“It’s an ‘out price.’ There is no price. It’s like offering in-running (moneyline) in a soccer match in the 80th minute when the score is 6-0,” Caesars Sportsbook head of risk Jeff Davis told ESPN. “You just can’t offer a price high enough, and it’s unfortunate because by all accounts he is a generational talent and he’s light years above everyone else.”

The 18-year-old Duke standout is a foregone conclusion to be drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the top overall pick. Additionally, Murray State’s Ja Morant is expected to be taken second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. The New York Knicks are widely expected to select Duke’s RJ Barrett with the third overall pick.

Beyond those expected outcomes, Caesars is still offering proposition bets. Some are simple, such as whether Virginia’s Deandre Hunter will be drafted within the top five picks (yes -115, no -115). Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver has the exact same proposition (yes -230, no +185).

Another prop is a bet between two Kentucky players. Which former Wildcat will be drafted first: Tyler Herro (-300) or Keldon Johnson (+240).

Purdue’s Carsen Edwards stole headlines during March Madness, leading the Boilermakers to the regional final. He also became the first player ever to make nine 3-pointers in a single NCAA tournament game. He is an underdog to be drafted in the first round (yes +110, no -140).

Caesars is also offering a complicated bet involving all Kentucky players drafted in the first round. Bettors can wager on the sum of their first-round draft position of 46.5 (over -155, under +125). So, if Herro is drafted 14th, Paul Washington Jr. at 19 and Johnson at 21, then the sum would be 54 and over would cash. However, if they are drafted at spots 13, 14 and 16, then the sum of 43 would produce a winning bet on the under.

“I’m fine with doing weird props. I want to do them when they’re going to take a bet. Each one of those weird props is going to take 30 minutes of my day,” Davis said.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board first started allowing wagering on the NBA draft in 2017. Props that involve trades are not permitted. Additionally, much like the Gatorade color for the Super Bowl, any bizarre concepts along the lines of draftees’ suit colors are not permitted.

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