2021 NBA Draft: Who has the Best Odds of Being Drafted in the Top 3?

Now that the Milwaukee Bucks are this season’s NBA Champions, basketball fans are looking forward to the next event on the league’s calendar: the 2021 NBA Draft, which is going down on Thursday, July 29. Every draft is the start of when young players’ dreams turn into a reality and this year’s event should be no different.

There’s a lot of talent to choose from this year, which means it might be tough for teams to decide who to select. With that being said, BetOnline has released odds on which players are favored to be selected with the first three picks of the 2021 NBA Draft.

2021 NBA Draft: Odds to Be Selected First Overall

Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, July 22

  • Cade Cunningham (-5000)
  • Jalen Green (+1200)
  • Evan Mobley (+16006)
  • Jalen Suggs (+1800)
  • Jonathan Kuminga (+3300)

It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Detroit Pistons selected Cade Cunningham (-5000) with the first overall pick next week. After all, people have been projecting him to be the top pick of the draft for a few years now because he's that good.

Cunningham played his lone NCAA season with the Oklahoma State Cowboys last year. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists across 27 games. He was also an efficient shooter, posting .438/.400/.846 shooting splits. What makes everything even more impressive is that Cunningham is a 6-foot-7 point guard, which will make it hard for the opposition to match up with him considering how NBA point guards are traditionally the shortest players in the league. Nevertheless, Cunningham has the size, skill and potential to make him worthy of being the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Pistons could certainly use a player of his credentials to help pull them out of mediocrity.

NBA Odds: Second Overall Selection

Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, July 22

  • Jalen Green (-225)
  • Evan Mobley (+170)
  • Jalen Suggs (+600)
  • Cade Cunningham (+2000)
  • Jonathan Kuminga (+2000)

At -225 odds, shooting guard Jalen Green has the best odds of being taken second overall at the 2021 NBA Draft. While he and Evan Mobley share close odds, the Houston Rockets could use a shooting guard like Green to bring more offense to a team that averaged 108.8 PPG last season (23rd).

Rather than playing NCAA basketball, Green took a different approach leading up to the 2021 NBA Draft. He decided to play the Ignite — a team made up entirely of prospects — of the NBA G League. Playing against men with more professional experience didn’t slow Green down whatsoever, as he averaged 17.9 PPG/4.1 RPG/2.8 APG across 15 contests. Having that kind of player along with 21-year-old SG Kevin Porter Jr. could give the Rockets a scary backcourt for years to come if both Porter and Green can reach their potential.

2021 NBA Draft: Odds to Be Selected Third Overall

Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, July 22

  • Evan Mobley (-175)
  • Jalen Green (+190)
  • Jalen Suggs (+275)
  • Jonathan Kuminga (+1100)
  • Scottie Barnes (+1200)

If Green is gone at No. 2, it’s looking like the Cleveland Cavaliers will select USC Trojans center Evan Mobley (-175) at No. 3. The 7-foot-tall center is definitely one of the bigger players in the 2021 NBA Draft. He averaged 16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPB and 2.9 blocks per game in 33 games with the Trojans last season.

What’s interesting about this situation is that drafting Mobley would indicate what the Cavaliers plan to do this season. The team already has Jarrett Allen as their center, however, he’s a free agent and could be looking for a $100 million contract. If Cleveland isn’t willing to pay that, drafting Mobley makes sense because he’s cheaper, younger and could be better than Allen one day. At the same time, there’s the chance that the Cavaliers could start the 2021-22 NBA season with both centers on their roster, which would give them a dangerous duo down the middle for years to come.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.