Dan Favale | Tue 11/06/2019 - 06:49 EDT

2019 NBA Draft: Best Odds, Best and Predictions for Lottery Teams

2019 NBA Draft: Best Odds, Best and Predictions for Lottery Teams
With the 2019 NBA draft order long since set, everyone is waiting to see how the June 20 prospect pageant will unfold. There is little mystery at No. 1, with the New Orleans Pelicans. Everyone expects Duke's Zion Williamson to go. After him, though? Things start to get interesting.

Figuring out which player will be pulled off the board after Zion Williamson will be our primary objective. With that in mind, here are latest NBA draft loterry odds for who will go second overall, courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Ja Morant (-200)
  • RJ Barrett (+150)
  • Zion Williamson (+1000)
  • Jarrett Culver (+1200)
  • Deandre Hunter (+1400)

Both oddsmakers and experts alike expect Ja Morant to go at No. 2 to the Memphis Grizzlies. Should your bets be steered toward that assumption? We’ve parsed the latest NBA draft odds to cover the following:

  • Lines on who will be selected with the No. 1 pick
  • Lines on who will be selected with the No. 2 pick
  • Analysis on teams drafting in the top five
  • Predictions for the first seven picks
  • More!

2019 NBA Draft Betting Breakdown

  • When: Thursday, June 20
  • Where: Brooklyn, New York
  • Venue: Barclays Center
  • Start Time: 8:30 p.m. EST

Should You Bet on the No. 1 Pick?

The answer here is a resounding no. At least, it should be.

Most sportsbooks aren’t accepting bets for who will go No. 1 anymore. Everyone understands the New Orleans Pelicans are going to take Zion Williamson. You’ll get the occasional sportsbook laying odds or permitting you to build your own prop, but in the end, it simply isn’t worth the return. 

Which Player Will Be Taken with the No. 2 Pick?

Now we’re talking. Though the No. 2 pick has a near-consensus prospect, there is still some wiggle room for debate. Let’s take a look at top five players laying odds for this spot.

Ja Morant (-200)

Ja Morant is a solid choice at No. 2 for the Grizzlies. Most experts believe he’ll have one of the two or three best careers of his class. He isn’t yet a polished off-ball defense, but he has superb vision off the dribble and his accuracy on pull-up jumpers will serve him well while running NBA offense.

At the same time, the Grizzlies already have Mike Conley, who plays the same position. Many tend to believe they’ll trade the soon-to-be 32-year-old. They’re not entirely off-base. The Grizzlies are rebuilding, so Morant makes more sense for them in the long term. Still, Conley’s presence alone does open the door for them to trade down or take someone else.

RJ Barrett (+150)

If the Grizzlies do not take Morant, RJ Barrett becomes the immediate consensus favorite. This year’s draft is being spun as a three-player class. Barrett joins Morant and Williamson as that third potential star.

It doesn’t take too drastic of an imagination to picture the Grizzlies rolling the dice on Barrett. They’ve never had a playmaking wing quite like him—someone who profiles as a good off-the-bounce scorer and solid pick-and-roll facilitator.

Morant might be the obvious pick if the Grizzlies are abiding by a gradual timeline. But if they’re hoping to keep Conley and make a return to the playoffs sooner than later, Barrett will absolutely be on the table.

Zion Williamson (+1000)

Don’t waste your money on this one. Again: Zion is going at No. 1. The Pelicans would have to pass on him for the Grizzlies to have a crack at him. He should be laying odds far longer than +1000.

Jarrett Culver (+1200)

A rough NCAA tournament showing for Jarrett Culver makes it hard to invest in his stock at No. 2. Scouts were always questioning his ability to create separation as a ball-handler in the half-court, and his poor shooting clip reinforced all of those concerns.

Nevertheless, the Grizzlies are in the market for a young playmaking wing. Culver can be that player. He should be able to defend three positions at the next level, and the form on his jumper suggests his shot-making ceiling is higher than his lack of athleticism and explosion would suggest.

If there’s going to be a curveball pick in the draft—i.e. a player who gets taken way sooner than expected inside the top 10—bet on it being Culver.

De’Andre Hunter (+1400)

Kudos to De’Andre Hunter for entering the top-five conversation. This spot belonged to Duke’s Cam Reddish for the first few months of the season, but he didn’t play nearly well enough to hold onto it.

Hunter, on the other hand, projects to be a solid three-and-D contributor at the NBA level. He canned 43.8 percent of his 105 three-point attempts, and his monstrous 7’3″ wingspan should allow him to guard both bigs and wings.

Here’s the rub: It doesn’t feel like the Grizzlies would take him at No. 2. If he’s going to be in your betting mix, it has to be because they traded their pick to the Chicago Bulls or an established contender looking for an immediate contributor.

NBA Draft Predictions

Here are OSB’s predictions for how the first seven picks—the first half of the lottery—will shake out:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson
  2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant
  3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett
  4. Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Garland
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver
  6. Phoenix Suns: De’Andre Hunter
  7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White

Live odds for each and every pick should be available during the June 20 draft if you’re looking to dig deep. More props will also be on the table. 

For now, identifying the No. 2 pick is your main challenge. And unless the Grizzlies deal their selection or commit themselves to chasing a playoff berth next season, the smart money is on Morant to come off the board immediately after Zion.

Check out this list of the best online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for your NBA draft betting:

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