If you happen to wander into a Las Vegas sports book this week and are expecting to get some bets down on the NBA Draft, you are out of luck. That’s because wagering on the draft is not being offered in Sin City this year.
However, you may be saying to yourself, “I read Deandre Ayton is a huge favorite to go No. 1 with Luka Doncic at No. 2, and there’s even an over/under on how many Villanova players will be drafted in the first round.”
All of that is true, except none of it is coming from Las Vegas.
A common misperception is that all odds come from Vegas when, in fact, many of the betting options you read or hear about are available only at offshore sports books and not in Vegas. These include odds on which team LeBron James will play for next year, the over/under on the length of the national anthem sung before the Super Bowl, and the name of the next royal baby.
Here’s a look at some of those offshore betting props and odds for 2018 NBA Draft picks via BetOnline.com.
2018 NBA Draft odds, props
|No. 1-overall pick|
|Deandre Ayton -2000|
|Any other player +1200|
|Luka Doncic +1400|
|Jaren Jackson +4000|
|3rd or Worse -220|
|2nd or Better +175|
|3rd or Better -350|
|4th or Worse +260|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.|
|4th or Worse -175|
|3rd or Better +145|
|5th or Better -180|
|6th or Worse +150|
|Michael Porter Jr.|
|6th or Better -115|
|7th or Worse -115|
|8th or Worse -145|
|7th or Better +115|
|Wendell Carter Jr.|
|7th or Better -125|
|8th or Worse -105|
|10th or Worse -260|
|9th or Better +200|
|10th or Better -140|
|11th or Worse +110|
|12th or Worse -250|
|11th or Better +190|
|11th or Better -175|
|12th or Worse +145|
|Will LiAngelo Ball get Drafted?|
|Total Villanova players selected in Round 1|
|Four or more +650|
|Will Gary Trent Jr. be a 1st-round pick?|
|Will Grayson Allen be a 1st-round pick?|
|Will Jalen Brunson be a 1st-round pick?|
The Nevada Gaming Control Board must grant sports books permission to offer betting on off-field events, such as the NBA Draft. In order for that permission to be granted, a sports book must apply to the state’s gaming regulators.
Last year, Vegas books did offer betting on the NBA Draft; this year, the Gaming Control Board did not receive an application to allow them to do so, spokesperson Mike Lawton told BetChicago on Tuesday.
Vegas books accepted bets on the NFL Draft this year, and ESPN reported that handle was up 800 percent at William Hill U.S. from last year’s draft and 350 percent at the Westgate SuperBook.
Bettors beat the bookmakers during this year’s NFL Draft, but Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill U.S., said his book’s loss was minimal and was not a factor in the decision not to offer wagering on the NBA Draft.
“It was small, so it was no big deal,” Bogdanovich told BetChicago. “Zero to do with it. We’ll be doing the NFL Draft every year, just because the NFL is so popular and (fans) have parties and live for it.”
Over at the Westgate, manager Jeff Sherman said his property typically follows other books’ lead when it comes to non-traditional wagers that require the permission of gaming regulators. He also said it was not worth moving forward this year with the same types of wagers books were allowed to offer on last year’s NBA Draft, specifically ones that were of interest to professional gamblers and not so much to casual bettors.
“You put in so much work and the things that Gaming let us offer were so limited in scope,” Sherman said. “(For example), we can’t put up over or under a player’s draft position, which would be easy and the general public would bet. They had it so you had to compare two guys and get more intricate, so it took a lot more work and the public wouldn’t get involved. So you’re basically spending all that time to put something up just for the sharp players, and we don’t need to go out of our way to do stuff like that.”
While Bogdanovich said this year’s deep draft would have generated some betting interest, the handle would not have been significant.
“It would be a non-event,” he said. “It would be more for publicity than for betting.”
He pointed out another reason he didn’t apply for permission this year: His company is hard at work expanding its business to other states in wake of the May 14 Supreme Court ruling on sports betting.
“We’re going into these other jurisdictions and we’re just so busy, I’ve totally forgotten to apply for it,” Bogdanovich said.
As for those other jurisdictions — New Jersey and Delaware are already open for sports-betting business and legislation is being written in Illinois, among several others — it’ll be up to regulators in those states to decide whether residents will be able to bet on events like the NBA Draft.
For this year at least, offshore books — or perhaps someone in your neighborhood — are your only options.
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