2024 NBA Draft Odds: Sarr, Risacher Top List Following Combine

We're unsure if a consensus will emerge in the 2024 NBA Draft odds, but with much uncertainty throughout the lottery, get the lowdown on the current favorites to go No. 1, including Alexandre Sarr.

Betting Analyst
May 18, 2024 • 18:55 ET • 5 min read
Zaccharie Risacher NBA Draft odds
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

2024 NBA Draft odds began to solidify this week with the combine wrapping up and the Atlanta Hawks being awarded the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery.

Books had been reluctant to post NBA odds for the draft with so much uncertainty in this class, but the last week has seen a pair of players separate themselves from the rest of the pack. While there's no consensus No. 1 player like Victor Wembanyama last year, another French prospect Alexandre Sarr is the odds-on favorite to go first overall while Zaccharie Risacher is in second place at +240. 

With the 2024 NBA Draft nearly a month away, let's take a look at where the market is set. 

2024 NBA Draft: Odds to be first overall pick

Player Team/School DraftKings
Alexandre Sarr Perth Wildcats -260
Zaccharie Risacher JL Bourg +240
Donovan Clingan Kentucky  +1,200
Reed Sheppard UConn +2,000
Nikola Topic KK Crvena Zvezda +2,000
Matas Buzelis G League Ignite  +2,500
Rob Dillingham Kentucky +3,000
Ronald Holland G League Ignite +4,000
Stephon Castle UConn +5,000
Cody Williams Colorado +10,000
Dalton Knecht Tennessee +10,000

Odds as of 5-18-2024.

Favorite to be picked first overall in the 2024 NBA Draft

While Alexandre Sarr isn't anywhere near the level of a prospect like Victor Wembanyama, his high-ceiling and fit on the Hawks have made him the odds-on favorite at -220. Sarr checked in at 7 feet tall with a 7-foot-4-inch wingspan at the combine, showcasing excellent athleticism for his size.

He also flashes the ability to handle the ball and while he needs to improve as a shooter, he has good shooting mechanics. The Hawks seem set in their backcourt with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, but they could use an upgrade at center. A rim protector and switch-defender like Sarr would help shore up their bottom 5 defense. 

Zaccharie Risacher is also still very much in play at +240 as the possible first pick overall. Risacher missed the combine because his pro team JL Bourg is currently in the French League playoffs, but Hawks GM Landry Fields and head coach Quin Snyder were courtside to watch him play against Nanterre this past week. 

As a 3-and-D wing who doesn't need the ball in his hands and has plenty of upside, Risacher has a skill set that any team could use. Although he doesn't have great shot-creating ability, he's knocked down 38.8% of his threes this season and exploded for 28 points in the LNB Elite quarterfinals on Saturday. Risacher could still become the top prospect available once he works out for teams in person. 

Risacher and Sarr are the only players at better than 10-1 odds, with Donovan Clingan next on the board at +1,200. Clingan has been one of the draft's fastest-rising prospects after helping UConn to back-to-back national titles. Clingan is a 7-foot-2, 282-pound monster who averaged 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in just 22.7 minutes per game as a sophomore this year. He's a dominant rebounder and shot blocker, but also has the agility to defend the pick-and-roll, and his shooting touch shows promise. 

Guards Reed Sheppard and Nikola Topic are tied for next on the draft board at +2,000. Topic is a 6-foot-6 point guard with a great feel for the game, good passing ability, and the ability to attack the hoop. The 18-year-old also missed the combine since his team is in the ABA League finals, but a knee injury will cause him to miss the rest of that series. Thankfully, his injury wasn't serious and he's expected to attend the NBA Global Camp in June, where he'll be able to work out for teams. 

Sheppard was arguably the top freshman in college basketball this past year, averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 52.1% from deep for Kentucky. While there were questions about his athleticism, he shocked onlookers with a 42-inch vertical at the combine. Sheppard's shooting ability and high basketball IQ should make him a safe pick for any franchise.  

Where will Bronny James get picked in the 2024 NBA Draft?

Bronny James isn't a top prospect, but he could be a target for teams hoping to either lure his father away from the Lakers or command a healthy return in a trade as LeBron angles to play with his son. 

With Bronny declaring for the Draft last month, books re-launched a market that had been dormant for a few months — which team will draft Bronny — and there are also odds on when he'll be drafted, with the O/U set at 39.5 and the Over juiced to -140. 

Bronny underwent surgery to treat a congenital heart condition last summer and he averaged just 4.8 ppg and 2.1 apg in 19.3 mpg as a freshman at USC. However, he flashed his athleticism at the combine with a 42-inch max vertical and impressed in the 3-point star shooting drill — knocking down 19 of 25 shots.

Bronny James Draft Position DraftKings
Over 39.5 -140
Under 39.5 +100

Team to Draft Bronny James

DraftKings
Lakers Los Angeles Lakers +180
76ers Philadelphia 76ers +1,000
Thunder Oklahoma City Thunder +1,000
Cavs Cleveland Cavaliers +1,000
Knicks New York Knicks +1,200
Clippers Los Angeles Clippers +1,500
Hawks Atlanta Hawks +1,600
Heat Miami Heat +1,600
Spurs San Antonio Spurs +2,000
Bucks Milwaukee Bucks +2,000

Odds as of 5-18-2024.

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Understanding NBA Draft betting

Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. When Victor Wembanyama opened as the heavy favorite to go first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number. 

  • Victor Wembanyama -3,000

This meant that a bettor needed to wager $3,000 to win $100 by betting on Wemby. Everyone else in that field had plus (+) odds to be first.

  • Brandon Miller +1,000

Alabama's Brandon Miller had the second-best odds at +1,000. A bettor would stand to profit $1,000 for every $100 wagered on Miller. 

If American odds aren't your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.

What is the NBA Draft?

The NBA Draft is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association to select new players for its 30 teams. It serves as a mechanism for distributing talent among the clubs and ensuring competitive balance in the league. The draft allows teams with poorer records from the previous season to have a higher chance of selecting top-rated players, while teams with better records receive lower picks.

In the early years, the draft process was much less formalized compared to today. Teams would often discover and sign players directly without going through a structured selection process. However, as the league grew in popularity and the number of teams increased, a more organized approach became necessary.

Over the years, the NBA has made several changes to the draft format to ensure fairness and promote parity. In 1966, the NBA introduced the coin flip system, where the two worst teams in each division would compete in a coin flip to determine who would receive the top pick. This system was later replaced by a lottery system in 1985 to deter teams from intentionally losing games to secure better draft positions. The lottery system provides higher chances of obtaining a higher pick for teams with poorer records.

There have been many memorable Draft classes throughout the years. In 1984, the class featured future superstars such as Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Charles Barkley. The 1996 draft produced an extraordinary group of players including Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash, among others. 2003's Draft also stands out historically, birthing the careers of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.

In recent years, the NBA Draft has become a highly anticipated event, attracting significant media coverage and fan interest. Draft prospects are scouted extensively, and their performances in college basketball, international leagues, or the G-League can greatly impact their draft stock. The draft provides an opportunity for teams to add young, promising talent to their rosters and potentially reshape the future of their franchises.

Here are some recent trends you'll want to keep in mind when betting on NBA Draft odds:

  • Positions have been reasonably well-distributed among the No. 1 picks. Over the past 20 NBA Drafts, seven have been forwards, seven guards, and six centers.

  • "One-and-done" college freshmen make up the overwhelming majority of recent top picks, being selected No. 1 in 16 of the past 18 seasons since high schoolers were ruled ineligible.

  • Among NCAA schools, Duke leads the all-time count with five No. 1 overall picks, including Paolo Banchero in 2022.

How to watch the NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft will be shown in its entirety on ESPN. For the first time, the draft will span two nights, with the first round on June 26, followed by the second on June 27.

History of first overall NBA Draft picks

Wembanyama's 2023 selection with the No. 1 pick marked just the second time since 2005 that an international player was taken first overall (Andrea Bargnani, 2006). 

Year Player Position
2004 Dwight Howard C
2005 Andrew Bogut C
2006 Andrea Bargnani F/C
2007 Greg Oden C
2008 Derrick Rose PG
2009 Blake Griffin PF
2010 John Wall PG
2011 Kyrie Irving PG
2012 Anthony Davis PF
2013 Anthony Bennett PF
2014 Andrew Wiggins G/F
2015 Karl-Anthony Towns C
2016 Ben Simmons PG/F
2017 Markelle Fultz PG
2018 Deandre Ayton C
2019 Zion Williamson PF
2020 Anthony Edwards SG
2021 Cade Cunningham PG
2022 Paolo Banchero PF
2023 Victor Wembanyama C

NBA Draft Odds FAQ

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