The NBA draft lottery takes place May 14, as several NBA teams and fan bases hope to secure the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.
The lottery winner presumably will select Duke’s Zion Williamson, college basketball’s biggest superstar in many years.
Now you can bet on which team will win the lottery. MyBookie released a prop Monday listing odds for 14 NBA teams. Although you’ll want to avoid betting on this prop unless you believe in NBA conspiracies.
More on that in a minute, but here are the odds:
New York Knicks +500
Cleveland Cavaliers +500
Phoenix Suns +500
Chicago Bulls +600
Atlanta Hawks +700
Washington Wizards +800
New Orleans Pelicans +1300
Memphis Grizzlies +1300
Dallas Mavericks +1300
Minnesota Timberwolves +2700
Los Angeles Lakers +4000
Charlotte Hornets +6500
Miami Heat +6500
Sacramento Kings +6500
The NBA broke all ties on April 13 and released the odds of each team winning the lottery. The Knicks, Cavaliers and Suns all have a 14.0 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick.
With implied odds of 16.7 percent from MyBookie (+500), betting on any of the three favorites gives you a negative expected return.
The same holds true throughout the list of teams available in the prop.
However, if you believe in sports conspiracy theories, perhaps there’s value in the Knicks at +500.
The NBA saw a major decline in TV ratings for the first round of the playoffs this year with LeBron James watching from home rather than participating.
Duke’s Williamson is expected to command perhaps the biggest shoe deal of all-time for a rookie. If the Knicks were to draft Williamson and sign Kevin Durant in free agency, it would provide an immediate boost in interest for the team in league’s biggest market.
Among the teams currently near the top of this list, the Atlanta Hawks also present an intriguing option.
The Hawks performed very well after Valentine’s Day (17-7 ATS) as young players like Trae Young started performing well. Atlanta also has cap space and a city that’s pretty attractive to potential free agents.
The Phoenix Suns would be an interesting destination for Williamson as well, but for different reasons. Phoenix drafted DeAndre Ayton at No. 1 overall in 2018. The Suns also have ball-dominant scorer Devin Booker. It does not seem like Williamson would be a good fit with those two players.
Williamson to Cleveland or Chicago also would invite immediate comparisons to LeBron James and Michael Jordan, which he’ll inevitably receive anyway.
I have not seen the NBA draft lotto prop posted anywhere else, but these odds are a bit like the Super Bowl coin flip.
You aren’t getting positive expected value anywhere, so unless you believe the NBA may rig the lottery in favor of the Knicks, or unless you just want to put down a small amount on your favorite NBA team for entertainment value, I’d recommend avoiding this bet.