While the NBA has stayed sidelined with a return date still tbd, that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little bit of a hoops fix in. The NBA Draft is still on track to happen, but what it will look like remains unclear.

Thankfully, there’s already a template to follow. The NFL managed to pull off the NFL Draft virtually in April. While it was certainly a different experience, the bottom line is the NFL managed to welcome seven rounds worth of prospects to the league.

The NBA should be able to do the same for its annual two-round draft. That’s great news for the prospects, fans and basketball bettors alike.

Betting on the NBA Draft is also likely to see a spike compared to a normal year. The NBA futures betting market is alive and well, and there will be plenty of opportunities to explore as draft day approaches. Included on that list are which players will go first or second overall, and which teams will select which player.

NBA Draft betting is fun for seasoned and casual fans. Here’s what you need to know about betting the NBA Draft, starting with the top US online sportsbooks where you can lay a bet.

Best NBA Draft betting sites

Rank
DFS Provider
Bonus
Features
Click To Claim
1
$520
Total Bonus Offer
$20 Free Play On First Deposit
Plus 20% deposit match up to $500
#1 in Daily Fantasy Sports.
2
$5 Free
No Deposit Required
$5 Free
$5 More On Deposit
Watch Sports, Play Fantasy, Win Cash!

Best apps for betting on NBA Draft

You can bet on the NBA Draft 2020 via a mobile app as well. Here are our recommendations on the best places to place your basketball bets:

draftkings live betting app1. DraftKings Sportsbook – $25 in free bets

Use DraftKings Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, IN, IA and IL  

DraftKings made its bones in the world of daily fantasy sports (DFS), but has emerged as a market leader in sports betting as well. A great platform and a wide range of betting markets are among its biggest highlights.

For the 2020 NBA Draft you can expect to find odds for the 1st overall pick and a slew of added props including:

  • Top 3 in exact order
  • Team to select specific player
  • Over/under for draft position per player

Claim your bonus at DraftKings in legal states here:

2. FanDuel Sportsbook – Up to $500 risk-free bet

Use FanDuel Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, NV, IL and IN

FanDuel is another DFS titan that is racing to the top of the charts in sports betting. The user-friendly interface is a huge hit with its users, and the company isn’t shy on the promotional front either. FanDuel and DraftKings are typically lockstep when it comes to betting markets for the Big 4 sports so expect a similar set of NBA Draft markets to DK.

3. BetMGM Sportsbook – Up to $500 bonus

The MGM brand is a recognized leader in the world of gaming, and the company aims to do the same for its sports betting offering. Years of know-how have translated into a product that’s attracting scores of users. BetMGM will offer similar NBA Draft markets to other sportsbooks.

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To get started with each of these apps, click on our exclusive links to create an account. After entering a few simple details, you can complete the registration process. From there, download the sports betting app for your device by following the instructions on-site.

It’s a quick and painless process that takes just a couple of minutes of your time. Once it’s all set, you’ll be ready to take advantage of what these operators have to offer online and via your mobile device.

Which states allow betting on NBA Draft?

The legal sports betting environment continues to change at a rapid pace. The US Supreme Court put the matter in the hands of the individual states to decide for themselves in May 2018. A number of states have done just that, and business is booming. Other states are set to be up and running soon, while another group remains a work in progress.

Here’s a look at the current list of states where you can legally and safely bet on basketball and the NBA Draft online:

State Online / MobileRetail
New JerseyYesYes
PennsylvaniaYesYes
ColoradoYesYes
IndianaYesYes
IowaYesYes
West VirginiaYesYes
New HampshireYesNo
IllinoisYesYes

Is the NBA Draft on schedule?

The NBA Draft was originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 25, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

However, two of the biggest precursors to the event — the NBA Draft Lottery and prospect NBA Draft Combine — have been postponed. The lottery was set to be held on May 19, with the combine initially scheduled for May 19 through May 24.

Makeup dates have yet to be announced for either event, although recent reports have signaled the draft would take place in October. That leaves both prospects and teams in limbo. It’s a waiting game for the former to see what the evaluation stages will be like in the current environment.

As for the teams, there’s still the current NBA regular season, which is on hold. There isn’t clarity on when basketball (and basketball betting) may resume, but there has been plenty of discussion about different proposals that have made the rounds.

The NBA Draft has yet to be officially postponed, but there has been chatter that the date will be shifted a few months down the road. Regardless of when it happens, NBA Draft 2020 may follow the lead of the NFL and go virtual for the festivities.

How to bet on the NBA Draft

The NBA Draft is an exciting time for prospects as they finally achieve their dreams. For fans and teams, the Draft brings hope and excitement for what the future may hold.

Basketball bettors can get in on that hope as well. You’ll have several ways to bet on draft results. You can do so well in advance of the NBA Draft via the futures market, or jump in on the day of the event and explore opportunities.

Here are some of the various bet types you’ll come across:

  • First overall selection
  • Second overall selection
  • Top three picks in order
  • First player drafted by position
  • Player to be drafted by which team
  • Over/under on player draft position

For bets in which there are several selections available, the odds listing will resemble what you would find in the futures market. When it’s a wager with just two choices, such as an over/under of player draft position, the odds will look like the two sides of a single-game bet.

For example, let’s take a look at some of the favorites for the top overall pick (odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of June 1):

  • Anthony Edwards: -150
  • LaMelo Ball -106
  • James Wiseman: +115
  • Obadiah Toppin: +1000
  • Deni Avdija: +1500

Now let’s say you had a hunch that Toppin would be the first pick and place a $50 wager at odds of +1000. If the NBA Draft 2020 comes to pass with Toppin being the top overall selection, that $50 wager would return a total of $550.

How do draft odds work?

Let’s take a closer look at how the odds work for the various types of bets you can place on NBA Draft 2020. For a player draft position bet, you may see something that looks like this:

  • RJ Hampton over/under 9.5
  • Over: +105
  • Under: -115

For this bet you’re simply deciding if you think Hampton will be off the board before or after the designated number. Odds will be posted on both sides and there may be some movement to watch based on market activity.

When the odds are negative, that indicates the favorite side, while positive odds point to the less likely of the two outcomes. For a $50 bet at +105 odds, the return would be $102.50. Furthermore, you’re looking at a return of $93.50 at -115 odds.

Next, let’s say we’re looking at the odds for the second overall choice, which may go something like this:

  • James Wiseman:+150
  • Anthony Edwards: +200
  • LaMelo Ball: +250

Since Edwards is the favorite to go first overall, the odds of him going second are less likely. However, that opens up the chance for a nice score if you anticipate the NBA Draft won’t be going according to the script. For example, if Wiseman goes first and you placed a bet on Edward to go second at +200 odds, you’d be looking at a return of $150 on a $50 wager if that scenario played out.

One other note to keep in mind on NBA Draft 2020 betting odds: Take the time to shop around at a few different sportsbooks. All odds aren’t created equal, so you may be able to find more attractive prices on the most interesting players.

As an example, let’s say one book is offering Wiseman at second overall at +160 odds. You do a little digging and find odds on Wiseman for the same wager at +180. Just like that, you’re looking at an even better potential return for just seconds of effort.

2020 NBA Draft order

The official order for NBA Draft 2020 will be finalized once we have some clarity on how the rest of the regular season will be handled. The draft’s lottery will determine the top spots, while the rest will shake out based on the postseason results. Here’s what the first-round order looks like based on the current standings and without factoring in the lottery:

PickTeam
1Golden State Warriors
2Cleveland Cavaliers
3Minnesota Timberwolves
4Atlanta Hawks
5Detroit Pistons
6New York Knicks
7Chicago Bulls
8Charlotte Hornets
9Washington Wizards
10Phoenix Suns
11San Antonio Spurs
12Sacramento Kings
13New Orleans Pelicans
14Portland Trail Blazers
15Orlando Magic
16Minnesota Timberwolves (trade with Brooklyn Nets)
17Boston Celtics (trade with Memphis Grizzlies)
18Dallas Mavericks
19Milwaukee Bucks (trade with Indiana Pacers)
20Brooklyn Nets (trade with Philadelphia 76ers)
21Denver Nuggets (trade with Houston Rockets)
22Philadelphia 76ers (trade with Oklahoma City Thunder)
23Miami Heat
24Utah Jazz
25Oklahoma City Thunder (trade with Denver Nuggets)
26Boston Celtics
27New York Knicks (trade with Los Angeles Clippers)
28Toronto Raptors
29Los Angeles Lakers
30Boston Celtics (trade with Milwaukee Bucks)

2020 NBA Draft: Top Prospects

As with all drafts, debates are raging on as to where the best basketball prospects slot in terms of overall talent. The futures market is pointing us to some favorites that will likely hear their names called early at NBA Draft 2020.

Here’s a look at five of the names who are likely to come off the board quickly:

  • Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia: As a freshman for the Bulldogs, Edwards averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 boards per game. He’s widely expected to be one of the top choices in this year’s draft.
  • James Wiseman, C, Memphis: The talented freshman out of Memphis racked up 19.7 points and 10.7 boards per contest last season. Despite having his college season cut short, he’s perhaps the best big man available in the NBA Draft 2020.
  • LaMelo Ball, PG, Australia: Yep, this is another member of the talented Ball family. He spent some time on the international circuit, averaging 17 points per game for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia.
  • Deni Avdija, SF, Israel: Another international prospect who projects out very highly, Avdija didn’t set the basketball world on fire in the stats department last season, but he’s still looking like a high pick.
  • Obadiah Toppin, PF, Dayton: Toppin averaged 20 points per game last season for Dayton, which finished out last season as one of the highest-ranked squads in college basketball.

How does the NBA Draft work?

The NBA Draft is a two-round event that is held over a single night. While the results of the regular season and playoffs have a bearing on how things play out, there’s also another big wrinkle that impacts the proceedings.

Prior to draft night, the NBA Draft Lottery is held. This is a practice that was first implemented in 1985. The theory behind it suggests that this will prevent teams from “tanking,” as in going out of their way to post horrible records in lost seasons.

The non-playoff teams are included in the lottery. Each squad receives a certain number of balls based on their position in the standings. Theoretically, the worst squad in the league has the best shot at the top spot and so on.

The remainder of the draft position is determined by how teams finish. Trades can impact the overall order, so there are often cases in which teams with solid overall records receive lofty spots or in which clubs end up with multiple selections in a round.

To be eligible for the draft, players must be at least 19 years old that year. While most players chosen have gone the college basketball route, international players are also selected along with the occasional high schooler a year removed.

When & where is the 2020 NBA Draft?

Here are the current details on NBA Draft 2020:

  • Date: TBD
  • Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • TV: ESPN
  • Streaming: Yahoo
  • Rounds: Two
  • First Pick: To be determined
  • Favorites for First Overall: Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball
  • Draft Combine: Postponed, date to be determined
  • Draft Lottery: Postponed, date to be determined

NBA Draft betting tips

As the NBA Draft approaches, you’ll want to spend some time researching before diving in and placing your wagers. This applies even if you have a good sense of this year’s field of prospects. While players may light it up in the college or international ranks, that doesn’t always mean they grade out well by pro basketball standards.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind for NBA basketball draft betting:

  1. Study the futures market: In addition to providing odds for this year’s prospects, the futures market also serves as a handy research tool. By examining the odds, you can quickly get a sense of the public perception of players entering the draft. While the futures market isn’t always spot-on, it does make for a useful tool.
  2. Understand team needs: After studying the field for a bit and running through some mock drafts, there’s a good chance you’ll have a sense of how players stack up on an overall basis. However, don’t just assume the draft will fall in that order. Examine the teams’ needs, which may provide better clues on how it will all shake out.
  3. Research players by position: When it comes to the top five or so players in the NBA Draft, there can be a good consensus on which players fall into that group. It becomes less clear after that. One thing that can help you sort through the noise is to go through each position category. When you can spot the best players by their position, that enables you to align with team needs.

NBA Draft trends

To further understand how NBA Draft 2020 could shake out, it can help to have a sense of the overall trends from recent drafts. Here are some nuggets of intel from the last three years.

  • Freshmen dominate top 10: Out of 30 top-10 picks over the last three years, a whopping 23 have been freshmen. Last year was the low water mark with six, but it was eight and nine the years before, respectively. This time around, two of the top choices in the futures market are freshmen.
  • Don’t overhype international players: Sticking with the Top 10 over the last three years, only two of the 30 potential picks for those slots played international basketball instead of going the college route. Last year, the first international player wasn’t off the board until Pick 15.
  • Look for strength by position: Themes can develop during draft years in which specific position groups are quite strong. For example, five of the Top 10 picks in 2017 were PGs, three Cs in 2018 and a trio of wing players last season.

Recent NBA lottery picks

NBA Draft night is an exciting event. In the aftermath, scores of basketball pundits and industry types will attempt to grade teams based on how they fared.

It’s certainly fair to judge how it all shook out based on conventional wisdom, but the reality is that the story of the ultimate success or failure of a draft year can’t be told right away. Outside of the exceptional players who jump right in and light up the NBA, there’s often a transition period that picks and teams will go through.

On that note, let’s take a stroll down memory lane by looking at the top five picks for the last three drafts.

2019 NBA Draft

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
  2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
  3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, SG/SF, Virginia
  4. Los Angeles Lakers: De’andre Hunter, SF, Virginia
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

2018 NBA Draft

  1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
  2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke
  3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic, PG/SF, Real Madrid
  4. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State
  5. Dallas Mavericks: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

2017 NBA Draft

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Washington
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
  3. Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
  4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
  5. Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky

NBA Draft FAQ

What is an NBA mock draft?

A mock NBA Draft attempts to project how the real draft will shake out. You’ll find mock drafts throughout the season and in advance of the draft. They can be fun to create and track, and are a helpful research tool. Remember that the actual proceedings can break much differently than even the best prognosticator sees it.

What is the NBA Draft lottery?

The NBA Draft lottery helps to determine the order of picks at the top of the draft. It was first implemented in 1985 to prevent teams from throwing in the towel. Teams who don’t make it to the postseason are assigned lottery balls based on their record. The balls are then selected lottery-style to determine the order. The worst team has the best shot at the top pick and so on.

How many rounds are there in the NBA Draft?

The NBA Draft is a two-round event held over a single night. The current format has been in place since 1989. Prior to that, it was seven rounds from 1985 and onward, and typically 10 rounds in the decade or so preceding that.

How can I watch the NBA Draft?

ESPN will broadcast the NBA Draft. Those looking for streaming options can catch the event on Yahoo Sports. Numerous sports outlets will likely provide web coverage of picks in real-time, such as ESPN, CBS Sports and NBA.com.

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