Jabari Smith Jr. - Chet Holmgren

  • The Orlando Magic won the draft lottery, putting them in a position to draft the superstar they have long needed.
  • Line shopping amongst sportsbooks reveals who offers the best odds on the favorite, Jabari Smith.

CHICAGO – Orlando Magic fans won the lottery on Tuesday night when they were announced as the winner of the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

After years of falling in the draft, or slipping to the perfect spot that put them out of contention for the top tier of players, the Orlando Magic once again are the owners of the first pick. They have picked first three previous times in the NBA Draft and did very well with those picks: Shaquille O’Neal (1992), Chris Webber (1993, traded on draft day for Penny Hardaway), and Dwight Howard (2004).

Which Prospects Make The Most Sense

Any team that goes 22-60 and finishes with the worst record in their conference will have holes all over their roster. But what they really need is a guy with superstar potential.

In the 2022 NBA Draft, legal online sportsbooks have Jabari Smith listed as the favorite because of his potential and shooting ability. Orlando desperately needs someone with his profile.

A look at the Orlando Magic roster reveals a young team that is missing a foundational superstar. Of the five players that started the most games for them last season, the oldest player was 23-year-old Mo Bamba. None of those five players even averaged 20 points per game.

Player 2021/22 PPG Player Age Year Drafted Pick Drafted
Franz Wagner 15.2 20 2021 8
Mo Bamba 10.6 23 2018 6
Cole Anthony 16.3 21 20220 15
Wendell Carter Jr. 15 22 2018 7
Jalen Suggs 11.8 20 2021 5

Orlando has invested a lot of draft capital into their guards in recent years and coupled with the relative weakness of the position, it is unlikely they select a guard at the top of the draft. They have also invested a lot of resources into centers Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr., making centers (i.e. Chet Holmgren) an unlikely selection at the top.

Jabari Smith is the pick based off that logic because of his potential, shooting ability, and length (which the Magic have historically coveted amongst draft picks) when compared to other top options such as Paolo Banchero.

Line Shopping For The 2022 NBA Draft

Getting bets in early on the 2022 NBA Draft is paramount because as the process goes along typically a consensus is formed and the odds are adjusted. Getting those bets in on the online sportsbooks that offer the highest possible payouts for any player you want to bet on is also vital.

Line shopping, the act of comparing odds on different sportsbooks to ensure those maximum payouts, is especially useful when betting on the draft because NBA sportsbooks have yet to form a consensus on the odds they will offer.

Betting at Bovada for Jabari Smith, and BetOnline for Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero, offer the largest payouts for those players.

2022 NBA Draft Odds By Sportsbook

Online Sportsbook Bonus Code Maximum Bonus Value Rollover Requirement
Bovada -110 +160 +300
BetOnline -150 +175 +550
MyBookie -144 +137 +350
DraftKings -125 +150 +450
BetMGM -125 +155 +500

Getting those bets in fast and for the best payout possible could work out quite well, especially if it ends up being Jabari Smith as expected.

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