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Noel Still Favored in NBA Draft Odds, Len a Possible Top Pick

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Noel Still Favored in NBA Draft Odds, Len a Possible Top Pick
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Despite the NBA's vociferous anti-gambling stance, everything about its draft relates to odds, lotteries and betting.

It begins with a draft lottery and ends with a gamble on every pick, whether its a skinny teenager, unknown European hoopster or immature college grad. Hell, they should host the draft in Las Vegas instead of Brooklyn.

So with the NBA draft looming, it's no surprise that prop odds dominate the NBA wagering landscape.

Kentucky standout Nerlens Noel remains the top betting choice at shops tracked by OddsShark.com to become the top overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft at odds of 2-3.

But might there be a surprise in store? Do the Cleveland Cavaliers, owners of that first pick, have something else in mind? Maybe a different type of gamble, like Alex Len? 

Feeding off some recent draft insider buzz, Len, the 7'0" center from Maryland—by way of Ukraine—had been bet into the new second choice at odds of 3-2.

Ben McLemore, the guard from Kansas, was the third pick at 6-1; Otto Porter, the guard from Georgetown, came next at 10-1; and Victor Oladipo, the can't-miss guard from Indiana, followed at 12-1.

McLemore was also the top choice to become the second pick Thursday night at 7-5. Oladipo was the second choice on the “second pick” board at 3-2, followed by Noel at 2-1 and Michigan G Trey Burke at 9-1.

Finally, UNLV's Anthony Bennett has popped up to become the leading betting choice to be the third pick Thursday night at 1-1, followed by Porter at 3-2, Noel at 4-1 and McLemore at 5-1.

Bettors also have a chance to predict just how high many expected first-round picks might go.

C.J. McCollum, the guard from Lehigh, was tagged with a draft position Over/Under of 9.5, while Cody Zeller, Oladipo's teammate in Bloomington, was lined with a draft position of 10.5. Philadelphia is a possible landing spot for Zeller, according to NBA-Odds.com, and they pick at No. 11.

UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad's draft O/U sat at 14.5 and Burke's backcourtmate at Ann Arbor, Tim Hardaway Jr., was tagged with a draft position O/U of 27.5.

Last year, the first round of the draft included just one non-NCAA player, Evan Fournier from France, taken by Denver with the 20th pick. But for this year, far more are expected and the O/U on non-NCAA players being taken in the first round was sitting at 5.5.

And finally, Bovada was offering a price of +150 should one of the top five picks be traded prior to the pick being made. 

All stats and odds references courtesy of OddsShark.com.

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