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2021 NBA Draft Odds: Cade Cunningham Favored To Be Top Pick

Cade Cunningham with the Oklahoma State Cowboys is favored to be the 1st pick for 2021 NBA Draft odds.

With the NBA draft lottery behind us, NBA draft prediction and speculation season is finally here. The Detroit Pistons own the top pick, and all signs point to them landing the crown jewel of the draft in Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham.

According to the latest NBA draft odds at Bovada, Cunningham is a -5000 favorite (98.04 percent implied probability according to our Odds Calculator) to be taken first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29. The freshman guard was arguably the most talented offensive player in NCAA basketball and led the Big 12 in points per game, averaging 20.1.

Cunningham seems like a virtual lock to go first overall, but the next three selections will be very interesting from a betting perspective.

What was once thought of as a “Big Five” at the top of the rankings has evolved into a consensus “Big Four” players with the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors in position to each draft one of the quartet.  

The next three players listed in NBA draft odds to go first overall are G League Ignite guard Jalen Green (+1200), USC Trojans center Evan Mobley (+1500) and Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (+2000).

If you’re new to betting basketball or NBA props, don’t sweat it. Here are all the key resources from Odds Shark that can get you up to speed:

NBA Championship OddsHow to Bet on Basketball Guide | NBA Futures

Below is a look at the top contenders in 2021 NBA Draft odds to go first overall as well as second, third and fourth overall:

Who Will Be The 1st Overall Pick In The 2021 NBA Draft?

Who Will be Selected First in 2021 NBA Draft?
PlayerOdds
Cade Cunningham-5000
Jalen Green+1200
Evan Mobley+1500
Jalen Suggs+2000
Jonathan Kuminga+3500
Scottie Barnes+4000
Keon Johnson+4000

Odds as of July 22 at Bovada

Why Is Cade Cunningham Favored To Go 1st Overall In 2021 NBA Draft Odds?

The top basketball recruit coming out of high school, Cade Cunningham lived up to the hype in his brief time with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and is the rightful favorite to be taken first overall in 2021 NBA Draft odds. The silky-smooth combo guard put up buckets on high-end competition in the Big 12, and averaging 20.1 points per game in any Power Five conference as a freshman is special.

However, like any freshman, he had some up-and-down moments during conference play. He couldn’t buy a bucket in some games, like in a win over Texas on February 6 when he went 5-for-22 from the field. Then in others, he put up monster stats over a lesser team like in the NCAA Tournament against 12th-seeded Oregon State only to have Oklahoma State lose the game outright.

Some of those struggles could be attributed to his supporting cast but at the end of the day, scouts are going to be picking apart his game to see if he can be a winning player in the NBA.

Will Green or Kuminga Get Consideration For 1st Pick?

Two names you need to get to know ASAP are Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga of the NBA G League Ignite, who decided to go the unconventional route rather than taking their talents to the NCAA.

Both players have NBA-level athleticism and size. They made their “professional” debuts with their G League squad and had moments of dominance that will require talent evaluators to make a tough decision on draft day.

Green is the more intriguing prospect because his offensive game is more predicated on his jaw-dropping athleticism. He will already be among the top players in the NBA when it comes to that attribute when he steps on the floor as a rookie. Green ended up being one of the best players in the G League, taking control of the Ignite team and leading them in scoring, three-point attempts and steals. 

Kuminga, on the other hand, had a up-and-down season in the G League. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of this class, Kuminga has an NBA-ready body and his pure athletic gifts set him apart from the vast majority of players his age. But his scoring was inconsistent from all parts of the court in the G League and there will be questions about his scoring efficiency at the next level.

Second Overall Pick In 2021 NBA Draft Odds

Who Will be Selected Second in the 2021 NBA Draft?
PlayerOdds
Jalen Green-200
Evan Mobley+200
Jalen Suggs+600
Jonathan Kuminga+1000
Cade Cunningham+2500
Scottie Barnes+3500

Odds as of July 22 at Bovada

Third Overall Pick In 2021 NBA Draft Odds

Who Will be Selected Third in the 2021 NBA Draft?
PlayerOdds
Evan Mobley-200
Jalen Green+150
Jalen Suggs+200
Jonathan Kuminga+650
Scottie Barnes+650
Cade Cunningham+6600
Josh Giddey+6600

Odds as of July 22 at Bovada

Fourth Overall Pick In 2021 NBA Draft Odds

Who Will be Selected Fourth in the 2021 NBA Draft?
PlayerOdds
Jalen Suggs-200
Evan Mobley+200
Jonathan Kuminga+250
Jalen Green+500
Scottie Barnes+500
Davion Mitchell+900

Odds as of July 22 at Bovada

Best Bets: Picks 1-4 

You won’t make any money, but betting on anyone but Cunningham to go first overall is a waste of time at this point in the process. The real draft starts at the No. 2 slot.

The Houston Rockets can go a number of different ways with the second overall selection. Do they go with Mobley and pair him with Christian Wood to form an elite pair of bigs? Or do they value a creator with incredible athleticism in Green? At -200, we like Green as the slight underdog and best bet for the second spot in NBA draft odds.

The Cleveland Cavaliers should sprint to the podium to take Evan Mobley if he falls to No. 3. The seven-foot center has an intriguing combination of defensive versatility and offensive upside, and at -200 is a great bet for the third overall pick. If Mobley goes second to Houston, the Cavs’ choice between Green and Suggs would be anyone’s guess. But if you think Green goes second, betting Mobley at No. 3 is great value.

The Toronto Raptors moved up from the seventh spot to No. 4 in the draft lottery – an incredible windfall for a team two years removed from an NBA championship.

With Kyle Lowry likely moving on from the Raptors this offseason, landing Green or Suggs at 4 is a dream scenario. And because we don’t think there’s a great chance that Green falls out of the top three, Suggs is the best bet for the No. 4 spot at -200. Sprinkling some cash on Jonathan Kuminga at +250 to go to the sometimes-unpredictable Raptors isn’t a bad idea either.


How to Understand 1st Overall Pick NBA Odds

At your favorite basketball sportsbook, you’ll see odds for this prop bet displayed like this:

Cade Cunningham -300

Jalen Green +550

Jonathan Kuminga +550

In this case, there is a clear favorite like betting on a moneyline or spread bet. If there isn’t an option with a minus sign (-) beside them, then the player with the lowest odds is the fave. The rest are considered underdogs.

If you think Jalen Green will be selected first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, and you bet $100 on him, you’d get a payout of $650 – you get your $100 back along with your winnings of $550.

Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.

What is a Prop Bet on the NBA Draft?

A prop is a wager on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific team or player milestones that don’t always relate to the results of a particular game. In this case, the prop is a prospect’s chances of being picked first in the next NBA draft.

The betting lines will move as players show what they can do on the court. If you see odds you like, we suggest taking them sooner rather than later to get the maximum betting value should you win.