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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 2022 NBA Draft bets

20 Jun 2022

By Dan Ippolito
On Thursday night, 60 players from across the U.S. and the world will hear their named called and become a part of the National Basketball Association. The 2022 NBA Draft is going to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While in recent years, there have been a few clear-cut number one pick choices, this year has a little more debate on who should go No. 1 overall. Here we take a look at 10 bets to consider going into Thursday’s draft night.

All odds provided by bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook

10. Dyson Daniels over 6.5
We start with a 19-year-old player from Australia who signed in the NBA G-League Elite program last year. While Dyson Daniels averaged just under 12 points per game, the best part about this player is his defensive ability.

The 6-foot-6 guard has a 6-foot-10 wingspan that really helps his on-ball defense, which many have been impressed by. That said, even though Daniels will be a solid first round pick, I don’t see him going in the top six.

Nothing against Daniels’ game, but there seems to be some players ahead of him in my mind that will fit better for teams in the top six.

Bet $220 on Daniels to get drafted seventh or later to win $100

9. Malaki Branham top 10 pick
This may be more of a stretch bet but I think Malaki Branham can be a big steal in this draft. The freshman out of Ohio State took a few games to get his legs under him in his first and only college season.

However, toward the end of the season, the guy straight up balled out. In his final 11 games, he scored in double figures every game and only shot less than 45% from the field once. He had four games in that stretch shooting over 69% from the field.

Despite his slow start to the season, Branham shot 41.6% from three-point land. Many teams in the NBA need shooters like Malaki and he can score off the dribble too.

I could see the Washington Wizards picking him up with the 10th pick to help their backcourt scoring and to fill the hole that was made when Spencer Dinwiddie was traded to Dallas last season.

Bet $100 on Branham to be picked in top 10 to win $350

8. Fifth pick in the draft
Many think they know who will be the top four players selected in this year’s draft. The question is where each of those four players will land. However, the fifth pick might be more of a question mark for the Detroit Pistons.

Last year, the Pistons selected Cade Cunningham as the first pick in the 2021 Draft. Cade clearly is the guy the team wants to build around. I think adding another scorer who can play off of Cade would be a great fit and that is a player from Iowa.

Keegan Murray, who finished fourth in points per game in college basketball last season, would be my pick for this spot. Murray has good size at 6-foot-8 and has shown great improvement already. He raised his three-point percentage by 10% from his freshman season to his sophomore season, not to mention his points per game jumped by 16.

Murray had at least 10 points in every game this year for Iowa, except one. Murray doesn’t always need the ball in his hands, I think he would be a good addition to Cunningham and when Cade isn’t on the floor, Murray seems capable of being the go-to guy on an offense.

Bet $125 on Murray to be the No. 5 pick to win $100

7. AJ Griffin over 10.5
Kentucky has been well-known for having one-and-done players but Duke has put its name into that conversation as of late.

AJ Griffin, a freshman guard from Duke, will hear his named called in the first round on Thursday but will it be in the top 10?

Personally, I don’t think so since I have a couple of other guards that go ahead of him.

Griffin scored just north of 10 points per game and had a big game in the Elite 8 to help push Duke past Arkansas and advance to the Final Four where the Blue Devils ended up losing to North Carolina.
Similar to Branham, Griffin can really shoot from distance. Griffin knocked down threes nearly 45% of the time he shot them, a remarkable rate.

I think a good fit for him could be coming off the bench in Atlanta, which holds the 16th pick in the draft.

Bet $190 on Griffin to fall outside the top 10 to win $100

6. Jalen Duren under 10.5
Jalen Duren from Memphis is just a freshman but, wow, this kid was exciting to watch when he was on the floor.

At 6-foot-11 Duren is a big-time athlete who can protect the rim with his shot-blocking ability and clean up misses around the basket on the offensive side of the ball.

His free throw shooting needs some work, but that is the case for a solid number of big men in the NBA as well.

At just 18 years of age, Duren is already at 250 pounds and his size and length will be a problem for centers in the NBA if he continues to improve.

Bet $140 on Duren to be picked in first 10 picks to win $100

5. First pick in the draft
As I said previously, the top pick isn’t as clear cut as it has been in previous years. There is one player who seems to be the best fit and likely top pick though and that is the guy who I also believe will hear his named called first.

Jabari Smith is nothing less than an incredible talent at such a young age. The 6-foot-10 freshman from Auburn is the complete offensive package. He can use his length to score at the rim, he can pull up from mid-range to knock down a jumper, and he shot 42% from behind the arc. A true three-level scorer at this size as a freshman is hard to come by.

He isn’t afraid of going inside to bang around the bigger bodies and grab rebounds. Smith hauled in over seven board per game. He was second on the team in that category but only second to 7-foot-1 Walker Kessler, who is projected to be a late first rounder.

I think the Orlando Magic, who hold the first pick, are probably ready to call Jabari’s name right now to lock him up.

Bet $150 on Smith to be the first pick to win $100

4. Johnny Davis not top 10 pick
When Wisconsin needed a basket, I think it is safe to say that Johnny Davis was their go-to guy. The sophomore guard stands at 6-foot-5 and nearly dropped 20 points per game and grabbed eight rebounds per contest.

However, there are a couple of reasons why I believe Davis falls out of the top 10. His three-point shooting dropped 8% from his freshman to sophomore year and his overall shooting percentage also dropped slightly.

Yes, he took more shots in his second year but an 8% drop is quite significant and that is a red flag to me.

Also, I see some of the teams like the Spurs, Wizards and Pelicans, who hold picks late in the top 10 and can see a better fit for those teams.

Bet $250 that Davis will be picked 10th or later to win $100

3. Jeremy Sochan top 10 pick
Baylor had a plethora of scoring options this season but one of its hardest workers and defenders was Jeremy Sochan.

The 6-foot-9 freshman did struggle shooting in his only college season. Sochan was 29% from three-point range and only 59% from the foul line, which definitely needs work and improvement.

When I would watch him play though, he was never afraid of guarding the opposition’s best scorer or playmaker, you could see it in his emotion and his body language that he took pride in it.

That type of effort and enthusiasm on defense can make a big difference and I could see him being a perfect fit for the San Antonio Spurs at the ninth pick. The Spurs already have the terrific playmaker and point guard in Dejounte Murray and I think Sochan would be a great addition to the power forward rotation spot.

Bet $100 on Sochan to be called in top 10 to win $100

2. Bennedict Mathurin over 6.5
Anytime I see Bennedict Mathurin’s name, I immediately think NBA fit. Like Davis was for Wisconsin, Mathurin was for Arizona.

Averaging nearly 18 points and six boards per game, the 6-foot-6 guard/forward plays bigger than he is with his jumping ability.

In the NCAA tournament, Mathurin had the game of his life against TCU, dropping 30 points in the overtime win, along with one of the loudest detonating dunks I’ve seen in a long time.

We talked about it above already, the top four players have been sort of determined but just not in order yet. I also believe that Keegan Murray is going to go at No. 5 which leaves only the sixth pick for Mathurin to hit his under 6.5. That sixth pick is with the Indiana Pacers and I can easily see Shaedon Sharpe be taken there.

I think both Mathurin and Dyson Daniels won’t be far behind the No. 6 pick.

Bet $115 on Mathurin to go over 6.5 to win $100

1. Second pick in the draft
I already have Jabari Smith being the first pick and that would lead many to have Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga as the next pick but that is not where I go with it.

I look back at Duke for the second pick and that is Paolo Banchero who led Duke in scoring as a 6-foot-10 freshman.

Sure, Holmgren is a 7-footer and has an impressive wing span but his sub-200 weight at that height could be a problem. Looking around at some of the big men in the league today, I see Chet having a much tougher time inside the paint than he did in college.

Paolo is more of an all-around player and has a great body for basketball and the position he plays. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be picking second and they have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey who are great playmakers already.

Some may see adding Banchero to those two will be a problem since they all like to run the offense but I see it as a positive in that each player can break down their defender one-on-one and I think they will be able to move the ball well together since they are all a threat to score.

Bet $100 on Banchero to be the second pick to win $400
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