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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.

In what’s expected to be the deepest NBA draft in years, teams in the basement should be rewarded handsomely with a top pick and the crown jewel to be chosen first overall is Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham.

According to the latest NBA draft odds from the best basketball betting sites, Cunningham is a -300 favorite (75 percent implied probability) to be taken first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. The freshman guard is arguably the most talented offensive player in NCAA basketball and leads the Big 12 in points per game at 18.7.

While Cunningham has certainly made his case to be the first pick, don’t count out the next four ballers on the list to ascend to elite status and make scouts think twice about passing over them.

Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, two players who went the G League route, have been drawing rave reviews from scouts and are both listed at +550 on the oddsboard to be taken first overall.

The next two players listed in NBA draft odds are Evan Mobley (+650) of the USC Trojans and Jalen Suggs (+1000) of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

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

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

Who Will be Selected First in 2021 NBA Draft?
Cade Cunningham-300
Jalen Green+550
Jonathan Kuminga+550
Evan Mobley+650
Jalen Suggs+1000
Scottie Barnes+1500
Ziaire Williams+1500

Odds as of February 12 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 has lived up to the hype in his brief time with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and should be the favorite to be taken first overall in 2021 NBA Draft odds. The silky-smooth combo guard is putting up buckets on high-end competition in the Big 12 and to average 18.7 points per game in any Power 5 conference as a freshman is special.

However, like any freshman, he’s had some up-and-down moments during conference play. He can’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’ll put up monster stats over a lesser team like TCU 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.

The elephant in the room when contemplating why Cunningham isn’t a lock to be taken first overall isn’t a slight on him but in fact concerns his program. The Cowboys are on probation for recruiting violations and will not be allowed to participate in the NCAA March Madness tournament in 2021. It’s a shame too, because with wins over Texas, Kansas and Texas Tech, Oklahoma State likely would’ve made the 68-team field with an at-large bid.

However, scouts want to see high-end talent in a March Madness setting to watch how they react against defenses designed to stop them in high-stakes elimination games. Without that, NBA teams will only have individual workouts and regular-season footage to use in their evaluations, a drawback that could lead to Cunningham slipping to the No. 2 or No. 3 pick behind some bouncy athletes in the G League.

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 take the unconventional route rather than taking their talents to the NCAA.

Both players have NBA-level athleticism and size and could be competing professionally right now. They both made their “professional” debuts with their G League squad this week and had moments of dominance that will make talent evaluators actually have 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 already would be among the top players in the NBA when it comes to that phase but he needs to work on his jump shot. While he was decent against high school guards, he had difficulty finding the net in his G League debut, going 3-for-7 from the field and scoring only six points. It’s hard to come to a conclusion based on one glorified scrimmage but the fact remains that Cunningham has the edge over Green in that facet of the game.

Kuminga, on the other hand, is already showing that it was a good decision to reclassify to the 2021 class because he looked NBA-ready in that game. He finished with 19 points and it was his overall game that made scouts take notice. The 18-year-old was threading the needle with passes, blocking shots and hitting his jumper.

Again, it’s hard to conclude who is the better prospect after one game but with both of these guys listed at +550 to be drafted first overall, don’t get caught up in the idea that the top NBA draft pick can only come from the NCAA or Europe. The G League route may become the norm for elite prospects going forward if one of these two breaks the tradition.

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.