The 2016 NBA Draft Lottery, which is used to determine the draft order for teams who did not make the playoffs, will take place this evening at 8PM eastern. Although there’s still some debate among analysts, Ben Simmons (-195) and Brandon Ingram (+165) are the front runners to be selected with the first overall pick, with the field listed at +1400.
In order to determine the first 14 picks in the draft, every non-playoff is given an allotment of ping pong balls based on their record during the past season. This determines the top three picks, while the remaining teams are assigned picks based on their record with the worst teams picking first.
Philadelphia 76ers (10-72) finished with the worst win-loss record, which gives them the highest probability (25%) of earning the first overall pick. The Los Angeles Lakers (17-65) finished with the second worst win-loss record, but they will have to convey their pick to the Sixers if it falls outside the top-three.
The Lakers have a 19.9% probability of landing the first overall pick, 18.8% probability of landing the second overall pick and 17.1% probability of landing the third overall pick. That means there’s a 56.4% chance that the Lakers will keep their pick and a 43.6% chance that they’ll send their pick to the 76ers.
Interestingly, BetOnline has posted several prop bets including odds for whether the Lakers will retain their pick.
Based on these odds, there’s a 59.18% implied probability that the Lakers pick will land in the top 3 and a 46.51% implied probability that it will land outside the top 3. That means that BetOnline has a significant edge on both sides of this bet. Unless you believe that the draft lottery is fixed, you should not be betting this prop.
The same thing can be said about the NBA Draft lottery. Bettors can wager on which team will land the top pick in June’s draft, but the sportsbook has a significant hold on every team. The sum of the implied probabilities for all fourteen teams adds up to 110%, which means that BetOnline has a 10% hold.
|Los Angeles Lakers||+375||21.05%||1.15%||19.90%||18.80%||17.10%|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+1400||6.67%||0.37%||6.30%||7.10%||8.10%|
|New York Knicks||+2000||4.76%||0.46%||4.30%||4.90%||5.80%|
Bettors have an advantage over their sportsbook when the actual probability of an event occurring is higher than the implied probability. Clearly there is no team offering value, and even the most ardent conspiracy theorist should lay off.
The draft may be months away, but the NBA Playoffs are still in full swing. Bettors can keep up with the latest odds, trends, injuries and more by visiting our free NBA odds page.
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