Oddsmakers Expanded 2015 NBA Mock Draft

Back in early May, a handful of offshore sportsbooks started rolling out prop bets for the 2015 NBA Draft. Although there were very few betting opportunities available, we were able to use these odds to project the top five picks in Thursday’s draft.

At the time, our projections were quite similar to some of the top draft experts:

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)
  2. Jahlil Okafor (LAL)
  3. D’Angelo Russell (PHI)
  4. Emmanuel Mudiay (NYK)
  5. Justise Winslow (SAC)

Six weeks later and with the draft just days away, a number of prominent sportsbooks have begun posting additional prop bets for Thursday’s draft. With more information at our disposal, we are able to make more detailed, in-depth and accurate predictions. It’s true that projecting draft results can often times be a fool’s errand, but oddsmakers do something that NBA Draft experts simply don’t — put their money where their mouth is.

Unfortunately, not every potential lottery pick has a player-specific prop bet so a number of later picks are based on consensus rankings from the most prominent NBA draft experts including ESPN’s Chad Ford, NBADraft.net and Draft Express.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: F/C Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky)

During the regular season there were a number of writers and reporters who believed that Jahlil Okafor would be the top pick of the NBA Draft, but since the start of March Madness it has been clear that Towns will be the top pick in the draft. It’s rare to find a seven-footer with his combination of shooting range, athleticism and shot blocking. Towns has also proven to be a deft passer with an impressive ability to find players when he’s double teamed.

Prop bets regarding the first overall pick are quite common, and Towns has the best odds across the sports betting marketplace.

Since that tweet went out, most sportsbooks have moved Towns to at least -1200 while some books have taken the prop off the board entirely.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: C Jahlil Okafor (Duke)

Although there have been recent rumors about the Lakers dealing away this pick to acquire DeMarcus Cousins, we are going to assume that the Lakers hold onto this pick.

For weeks it has been assumed that Okafor would be selected with the second overall pick, and many believed that the former Blue Devil had an opportunity to surpass Towns as the top pick.

In fact, 5Dimes had posted a number of prop bets involving the 2015 NBA Draft, including one in which Okafor was listed at -600 to be selected with the #2 pick. His toughest competition was thought to be D’Angelo Russell (+900) and Kristaps Porzingis (+2000). Unfortunately for Okafor, the tide appears to be changing.

With news that the Lakers were considering Russell over Okafor, 5Dimes removed their prop bet involving the 2nd overall pick. Although I’ve been saying for weeks that Russell should be picked ahead of Okafor, this news still came as quite the surprise.

We still believe that Okafor will be the selection, however, it’s far less of a certainty than it was yesterday.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: G D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)

Assuming that the Lakers select Okafor with the second overall pick, D’Angelo Russell seems like a no-brainer for the 76ers. Philly has loaded up on big men over the past few drafts (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric) and could desperately use help in the backcourt — especially after trading away 2013-14 Rookie of the Year winner Michael Carter-Williams.

Although, much of the discussion has revolved around D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay and Kristaps Porzingis — a seven-foot Latvian forward with great length and athleticism — oddsmakers continue to favor the Buckeye standout.

On Tuesday Porzingis (-220) had a 66.1% implied probability of being selected before Mudiay, while Russell (-300) had a 71.43% implied probability of being selected before Porzingis. Based on these two prop bets, we assumed that the 76ers would add to their stockpile of young players and pick Russell. That assumption was confirmed by the line movement at 5Dimes:

Additionally, Russell was originally listed at -185 to be selected with the #3 pick, but quickly moved to -270.

4. New York Knicks: F Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia)

For weeks, there have been rumors that the Knicks will trade away their first round pick if Towns, Okafor and Russell are all off the board. Assuming that’s true, teams like the 76ers and Boston Celtics (who have been stockpiling draft picks like they’re going out of fashion) could be potential trade partners for this pick.

If the Knicks opt to keep the pick, most draft experts believe that Phil Jackson will simply take the best player available. What’s interesting is that Paddy Power — a prominent sportsbook based out of the UK — has a prop bet regarding the Knicks draft pick.

When the article was first published, Russell and Mudiay were considered the favorites. Since then, we have seen significant movement on this prop bet and a wealth of contradicting information across the sports betting marketplace.

The list below displays the current odds for each player, followed by their odds from Tuesday.

  1. Emmanuel Mudiay +210 | +187
  2. D’Angelo Russell +260 | +187
  3. Justise Winslow +260| +240
  4. Kristaps Porzingis +333 | +700
  5. Mario Hezonja +1100 | +3500
  6. Jahlil Okafor +1800 | +2500
  7. Willie Cauley-Stein +4000 | +1700
  8. Karl-Anthony Towns +8000 | +5000

Emmanuel Mudiay has emerged as the front-runner for the Knicks pick; however, Porzingis is listed at -220 to be selected before Mudiay. This type of contradicting information makes it exceedingly difficult to make an informed assessment. We also originally noted that Porzingis was an excellent value pick at +700; however, with his odds dropping to +333 much of that value has been eliminated.

We’ll stick with our original projection that the Knicks will select Porzingis with the fourth pick, but don’t be surprised if they select Mudiay or trade the pick.

5. Orlando Magic: G Emmanuel Mudiay (China)

When this mock draft was originally posted, TopBet listed the draft position over/under for both Winslow and Mudiay at 6. That meant that either player could have been the pick, but the juice on this prop bet indicated that Winslow was the more likely selection. While this wasn’t the most ideal indicator, it was enough information for us to lean towards Winslow at this pick.

This opinion was further validated when BetOnline opened a number of NBA Draft prop bets, including one in which Winslow was listed as a -140 favorite to be drafted ahead of Emmanuel Mudiay (+110). However, since then BetOnline has taken this wager off the board.

With limited information available, we were having difficulty projecting the 5th overall pick until Sportsbook.com posted a number of NBA Draft props on Wednesday evening. Although the over/under for both Winslow and Mudiay is 5.5, there is a 50% implied probability that Mudiay will be a top-5 selection while the implied probability for Winslow is just 36.36%.

It’s not a sure thing that either of these players will be taken by Orlando, but oddsmakers clearly think that Mudiay has the brighter prospects.

6. Sacramento Kings: G/F Justise Winslow (Duke)

Right now there are a lot of rumors surrounding a potential DeMarcus Cousins trade, but let’s assume that management is telling the truth and Boogie is not on the block. Since the over/under for Winslow’s draft position is 5.5, we can comfortably project that Sacramento will select the 6’6″ swing man with the sixth overall pick.

7. Denver Nuggets: G/F Mario Hezonja (Croatia)

Many fans may not be familiar with the name, but Hezonja is a 6’8″ swingman who averaged 5.9 points/game (in just 15 minutes per game) for FC Barcelona last season. Along with ideal size for his position, Hezonja is said to be an explosive player with a quick release and range out to three-point range.

The odds of Hezonja being selected by the Knicks had already moved from +3500 to +1100 when GT Bets posted the over/under on his draft position at 6 earlier this morning.

8. Detroit Pistons: C Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)

When we examine the various prop bets involving Willie Cauley-Stein, it becomes exceedingly difficult to project the draft position for this defensive specialist. Since Tuesday the over/under on his draft position has remained 9.5 at Bovada, however, the juice on the under has moved from -140 to +150 at Bovada.

Adding to the confusion is that the odds of Cauley-Stein being selected in the first eight picks have moved from -175 to -110, and his odds of being taken by the Knicks have plummeted from +1700 to +4000.

It’s very possible that Cauley-Stein could slide substantially if the Kings don’t select him with the number six overall pick — especially when you consider that most teams in the back part of the lottery already have capable defensive big men. That said, don’t be surprised if a team like the Celtics opts to trade up to select the talented seven footer.

9. Charlotte Hornets: F/C Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)

Originally we projected that the Hornets would select Arizona F Stanley Johnson since he was the highest rated player due to consensus rankings. However, since yesterday the over/under on Kaminsky’s draft position has jumped from 12.5 to 9.

It’s interesting to see that Kaminsky could be an option as early as the Knicks at number four, and likely won’t slip past number nine. It’s also worth noting that teammate Sam Dekker is actually a -140 favorite to be selected ahead of Kaminsky (+100) at GT Bets.

Bettors should be able to find value taking Kaminsky in the head to head player matchup and taking the under on his draft position.

10: Miami Heat: F Stanley Johnson (Arizona)

No prop bets currently available. Draft position based on consensus rankings.

11. Indiana Pacers: F/C Myles Turner (Texas)

No prop bets currently available. Draft position based on consensus rankings.

12. Utah Jazz: G Cameron Payne (Murray State)

No prop bets currently available. Draft position based on consensus rankings.

13. Phoenix Suns: F Trey Lyles (Kentucky)

Despite playing out of position at small forward to most of last season, Lyles caught the attention of NBA Draft experts with his ridiculous 7’4″ wingspan, quick feet and a wide away of offensive moves.

At the time of publication, Bovada listed the over/under on Lyle’s draft position at 13 while 5Dimes had it listed at 12.5 (with -195 juice on the over).

14: Oklahoma City Thunder: F Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)

Although there were no proposition bets involving Dekker when this article was originally published, that all changed when Sportsbook.com released a handful of NBA Draft props on Wednesday afternoon.

The popular square sportsbook lists the over/under on Dekker’s draft position at 15.5, however, there is currently -210 juice on the under. When you factor in the vig, that computes to an implied probability of 64.6% that Dekker will be a top 15 selection.

We will continue to update our mock draft as the odds change and sportsbooks post new props. In the meantime, you can compare our projections to a number of prominent draft experts:

Team Sports Insights (6/25) Sports Insights (6/23) NBADraft.net (6/25) NBADraft.net (6/22) Chad Ford (6/25) Chad Ford (6/19)
MIN Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns
LAL Jahlil Okafor Jahlil Okafor D'Angelo Russell Jahlil Okafor Jahlil Okafor Jahlil Okafor
PHI D'Angelo Russell D'Angelo Russell Jahlil Okafor D'Angelo Russell D'Angelo Russell Kristaps Porzingis
NYK Kristaps Porzingis Kristaps Porzingis Kristaps Porzingis Emmanuel Mudiay Emmanuel Mudiay D'Angelo Russell
ORL Emmanuel Mudiay Justise Winslow Justise Winslow Kristaps Porzingis Kristaps Porzingis Mario Hezonja
SAC Justise Winslow Emmanuel Mudiay Emmanuel Mudiay Justise Winslow Mario Hezonja Emmanuel Mudiay
DEN Mario Hezonja Willie Cauley-Stein Mario Hezonja Mario Hezonja Justise Winslow Justise Winslow
DET Willie Cauley-Stein Mario Hezonja Stanley Johnson Trey Lyles Stanley Johnson Sam Dekker
CHA Frank Kaminsky Stanley Johnson Frank Kaminsky Cameron Payne Frank Kaminsky Devin Booker
MIA Stanley Johnson Myles Turner Myles Turner Stanley Johnson Devin Booker Stanley Johnson
IND Myles Turner Cameron Payne Cameron Payne Willie Cauley-Stein Cameron Payne Willie Cauley-Stein
UTA Cameron Payne Frank Kaminsky Trey Lyles Myles Turner Trey Lyles Myles Turner
PHX Trey Lyles Trey Lyles Bobby Portis Bobby Portis Willie Cauley-Stein Frank Kaminsky
OKC Sam Dekker Sam Dekker Devin Booker Frank Kaminsky Kelly Oubre Cameron Payne

Other prop bets include:

Kevon Looney: Draft Position O/U 14.5 (GT Bets)

Who will be drafted first? (GT Bets)

  1. Trey Lyles -140 | Bobby Portis +100
  2. RJ Hunter -120 | Rashad Vaughn -120
  3. Justin Anderson -140 | Terry Rozier +100
  4. Jarell Martin -130 | Chris McCullough -110

Tyus Jones: Draft Position O/U 17.5 (TopBet)

Who will be drafted first? Tyus Jones -125 | Jerian Grant -110 (via Paddy Power)

Who will be drafted first? Kristaps Porzingis -700 | Mario Hezonja +400 (via Paddy Power)

Olivier Hanlan: Draft Position O/U 39.5 (Bovada)

Will the Raptors make a draft day trade? Yes +150 | No -200 (Bovada)

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.

 

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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