Jabari Smith is Favorite But Jaden Ivey is Popular Bet to Be Top Pick of 2022 NBA Draft


Jaden Ivey NBA Draft 2022

  • Jabari Smith is the current -150 odds on favorite to be the top pick of the 2022 NBA Draft.
  • However, Jaden Ivey at +3500 odds is the most popular bet with 43% of the total betting handle.
  • The Orlando Magic won the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery and will pick first in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Jabari Smith is the odds-on-favorite to be the top pick of the 2022 NBA Draft but the early betting money is going to Jaden Ivey.

According to the online sportsbook BetMGM, Ivey has 43% of the total money wagered in that betting market, nearly more than twice Smith’s 24%. Shaedon Sharpe also has 21% of the total betting handle.

Smith, however, is the most popular bet when it comes to most betting tickets issued with 23%. He is followed by Chris Banchero with 16% of the tickets and Chet Holmgren with 10% of the total betting slips issued.

Who Should the Magic Take at #1

Although there is no clear-cut no. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Smith is the current -150 odds on favorite to be the selected first overall at the BetOnline App. The 19-year-old forward from the Auburn Tigers is the youngest among the Top 3 prospects from the class but perhaps has the highest ceiling. The 6-10 Smith averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Tigers and his offensive versatility will make him the prototype player for positionless basketball.

Next on the odds boards is Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren who was the -105 betting favorite last December. Holmgren brings tremendous athleticism at seven-feet tall. He can shoot from the outside and has excellent handles. On defense, he is a terrific shot blocker. However, there are concerns about how his current 200-pound frame will do against the NBA’s bull-strong big men. Holmgren is currently listed at +180.

The only other player with odds shorter than +1000 is Duke guard Paolo Banchero out at +580. Banchero was the betting favorite before Holmgren. The 6-10 Banchero looks physically ready to be a plug-and-play rookie in the NBA. The ACC Rookie of the Year has the body to bang with the big boys in the NBA and he also has the handles to be a shot creator off the dribble.

Orlando Magic Wins Draft Lottery

Jaden Ivey only has 10% of the total betting tickets to be the top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft but the Purdue guard has nearly half of the total betting money wagered in that betting market at +3500 odds. Ivey scored over 17 points per game as a sophomore during the 2022 season and had 14 20-point games for the Boilermakers this campaign. However, unless there is a trade for the no. 1 overall pick, It looks unlikely that the Jaden Ivey bet will cash.

Last Tuesday, the Orlando Magic won the 2022 Draft Lottery and they will be picking first in the NBA’s annual draft for the first time since 2004 when they drafted Dwight Howard. The Magic also won back-to-back draft lotteries in 1992 and 1993 where they picked Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber. Webber ended up getting traded for Penny Hardaway. Hardaway helped Shaq bring the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals.

Last year, Orlando picked Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner with the 5th and 8th picks of the 2021 NBA Draft. With the likes of Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, R.J. Hampton, and more, the Magic line-up is guard-heavy which means that they will likely pick a front-court player in the draft. Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero are all front-court players so that should be a hint.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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