There’s still a lot of time before the 2021 NBA Draft rolls around, so the standings can change. But as of March 8, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the best odds of drafting first overall at the draft.
According to Bovada, the Timberwolves are at +250 to draft with the No. 1 pick at the NBA draft. At 7-29, they are currently the worst team in the entire league.
However, there isn’t a guarantee that they’ll draft with the top pick. The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery has yet to happen. When it does, the top four draft spots will be randomly selected, with the three worst teams in the league having equal odds of landing the top pick (14 percent).
2021 NBA Draft – Team To Land 1st Overall Pick
Odds via Bovada as of Monday, March 8
- Minnesota Timberwolves +250
- Detroit Pistons +400
- Houston Rockets +650
- Cleveland Cavaliers +650
- Orlando Magic +650
- Washington Wizards +650
- Sacramento Kings +800
- Oklahoma City Thunder +800
Timberwolves Have Best Odds in 2021 NBA Draft
If the Timberwolves land the first overall pick in the NBA draft, it will mark the third time they’ll be drafting in that position since 2015. That year, they drafted Karl-Anthony Towns, and then they had the first overall selection last season, which they used to draft Anthony Edwards. If the odds end up being right, the Timberwolves could end up selecting Cade Cunningham at the 2021 NBA Draft.
At the same time, the Timberwolves will hope that their pick lands in the top-3 in the lottery. The reason is that they sent a top-3 protected 2021 first-round pick to the Golden State Warriors in the D’Angelo Russell trade. If the pick ends up being No. 4 or lower, the Warriors will get the pick. If it’s higher, Minnesota gets to keep it and hope they play better next season so the Warriors get a worse pick.
No. 1 NBA Draft Pick Could Turn Pistons Around
In the previous 11 seasons, the Detroit Pistons have made the playoffs twice, getting swept in the first round both times. Even though Bovada has given them +400 odds, they’ll also have a 14 percent chance of draft first when the lottery rolls around. The last time the Pistons had the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft was in. 1970 when they drafted Bob Lanier.
It’s also been quite some time that the Pistons had that young cornerstone piece to build the future around. A player like Cunningham or Evan Mobley could be that guy in Detroit. They could help pave the road to a return to the playoffs.
Rockets Could Also Draft First Overall
After the Houston Rockets traded James Harden to Brooklyn Nets, the team looked like they still may be able to sneak into the playoffs. They were 11-10 at one point and had a six-game winning streak. However, that didn’t last. As of March 8, the Rockets have lost 13 games in a row and are free-falling down the standings. Like the Timberwolves and Pistons, the Rockets would have a 14 percent shot at the No. 1 pick through the NBA draft lottery.
As it stands right now, it doesn’t look like Houston is going to get back into a playoff spot this season. If the Rockets end up selecting Cunningham in the NBA draft, he would have an opportunity to learn from John Wall. Of course, that’s assuming the veteran point guard doesn’t get traded before then.
NBA Draft Odds and NBA Futures
When you go to a sportsbook to put money down on NBA draft odds, you’ll see that each line has a number beside it. That number indicates how much money you’d win per $100 bet. So, if you put $100 down on the Timberwolves at +250 to draft first overall and they do, you would win $250. If you’re betting a different amount, you can enter that number in the wager ticket and it’ll automatically calculate it for you.
Betting on NBA futures, such as the NBA draft, can be fun because of how unpredictable it is. Yes, the Timberwolves are the favorites to win the draft lottery right now, but anything can happen before then. Any team can go on a winning or losing streak, shifting the odds. At the same time, you might feel even more rewarded if you make the right pick months in advance.