The 2017 NBA draft is Thursday night, and we have plenty of draft coverage to get you prepared. Except, up till now we’ve neglected one essential element to the draft: gambling. On the latest episode of Against All Odds, Cousin Sal and Bill Simmons counted down their favorite prop bets heading into draft night. Here are some of the best and worst:
The First Three Picks
Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson (minus-120)
Any other combination (minus-110)
Bill Simmons: I personally think the Celtics are gonna take [Jayson] Tatum at no. 3 if they keep the pick, and if they trade the pick, Jackson will go no. 3.
Cousin Sal: Interesting.
Simmons: Basically, I’m telling you not to bet on that one.
Sal: Yeah, ’cause you don’t know.
The Lakers Pick
Lonzo Ball (minus-260)
Sal: This morning [it] was minus-260. It’s taken off the board [now]. But wouldn’t this be the funniest moment in draft history, if they passed on Lonzo Ball?
Simmons: I was rooting for it, but it really seems like the last five days they’ve dialed in on him and now, trading [D’Angelo] Russell is basically a concession they’re taking him.
Sal: Right. Right.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Drafted eighth or earlier (minus-110)
Tate Frazier: I think you gotta take that. I feel like some team is gonna take him because that vertical — -inch vertical. People will go crazy over that.
Sal: I agree.
Simmons: Dennis Smith has the highest wild-card potential. Like he could go no. 3. He could go no. 12. I’m prepared for anything. I agree with Tate. I think he sneaks in.
Sal: He’s right at where the Knicks would draft. Right? So that’s gonna control his destiny right there.
Frazier: Most people have him at no. 9 to the Mavericks.
More than four drafted in the first round (plus-130)
Sal: [There were] eight in last year’s draft. I’m only counting like three [this year].
Simmons: [Lauri] Markkanen doesn’t count as a foreigner or no?
Sal: No, no, he’s not an international player. … I only put it at four. But I understand the thinking like, "Yeah, this is where teams would take a chance because [they want] the next Greek Freak. They want the next [Kristaps] Porzingis."
More than 16 drafted in the first round (plus-115)
Sal: Boy this seems high! Sixteen and a half! [In] 2014 there were nine. [In] 2015, 13. Last year, 10. Sixteen and a half.
Simmons: Ooof. So that one just comes down to the last four picks.
Sal: Five out of the first seven [picked] are [likely to be] freshmen.
Frazier: That’s like if Tony Bradley, Frank Jackson, those guys are like no. 29, no. 30. That’s when it gets to 16. Those like late, late guys — no. 29, no. 30.
Sal: And none of these foreign players count as freshmen, right?
Simmons: There’s a difference between gambling and having a gambling problem. And if you’re betting on that, you have a gambling problem. There’s no way to actually have an opinion on, "Oh, I see 17! I counted four times!" Like, you’re just throwing shit against a wall at that point.
Sal: Well then I’m betting it cause I have a gambling problem.
More than two taken in the first round (minus-400)
Sal: There’s a heavy [favorite] on this, minus-400. [De’Aaron] Fox is a lock. [Malik] Monk is a lock.
Simmons: Minus-400? That should be like minus-2400!
Sal: The center, Bam Adebayo.
Simmons: Bam’s going in the first round! … Would you be shocked if he fell past no. 25?
Frazier: Yeah, I see him at like the no. 17 to no. 21 range.
Simmons: Me too! I think he’s gonna be in the teens.
Sal: I’ll put a star by that.
Drafted 39th or earlier (minus-135)
Sal: This guy is a San Antonio Spur if I ever [saw one]. He should’ve worn a Spurs jersey this past year, instead of Villanova. Perfect, perfect fundamentals. I think they take him. I don’t think they pass on him.
Simmons: Do you have teams no. 31 through no. 40?
Frazier: Yeah, so you have Atlanta, Phoenix, Orlando, Kings, Magic, Sixers, Celtics, Bulls, 76ers, Pelicans.
Simmons: Feels like a Bull waiting to happen. Pencil him into the Bulls.
Frazier: What about the 76ers too? №36? Stay hometown. They’ve watched him play in Philly.
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.