The NBA Draft betting market is heating up with Prop Bets, Draft Positions, Head-to-Heads, and more.

Cue the music.

The 2023 NBA Draft is finally upon us, and I could not be more excited. Over the past month and beyond many of us have indulged in mock drafts, prospect YouTube videos, the rumor mill, and more as we prepare for Thursday, June 22nd. Victor Wembanyama will lead things off with the San Antonio Spurs, as the mythical player that cannot even be made into an NBA2K character due to his god-like size and stature will look to change the direction of a franchise that has been blessed with a star big man for the third time now.

Then the questions begin. Will the Charlotte Hornets select Scoot Henderson at second-overall or Alabama product Brandon Miller? I have tweeted out plays favoring Henderson throughout the process, hedged out of them, and entered into the market again, but as I sit here writing Monday night Scoot has started to run away as the heavy favorite. This is also in large part to Charlotte opening the door to the possibility of trading the pick.

Are the rumors of Amen Thompson’s workout in Houston true or a bluff? Did Cam Whitmore really not look great for Detroit at fifth overall? Where will Ausar Thompson, Jarace Walker, and Taylor Hendricks land? These are all questions we may not have answers to now, but can use the information we have now to take advantage of a volatile and entertaining NBA Draft betting market.

As NBA Draft news continues to make its way onto our Twitter feeds over the next 72 hours, be sure to check out my Twitter too (@AndyHHSports) so you do not miss out on any more action! I have tweeted out 12 draft plays over the last couple of weeks and should have more as more news continues to break throughout the draft process. Finally, never miss a post with Happy Hour Sports by hitting the subscribe button here for free!

Let’s jump right into the action.

Is Amen Thompson heading to the Houston Rockets?

The betting odds around the fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft have fluctuated since day one. When sportsbooks opened up with odds for this one following the Draft Lottery, Amen Thompson was quickly bet to around -150 in most spots. That is where I ended up entering the market back in May before Amen rose to as high as -175 and -180 in many places. As we sit here today, you can actually grab Amen at an even better value now and I believe that it is not too late to jump in if you haven’t already.

Many reliable media members with sources they trust have made it clear that James Harden heading to Houston is slowly but surely becoming more and more unlikely. There are a few reasons why I believe this to be true. New head coach Ime Udoka may want to win quicker than Houston’s rebuild will allow, but James Harden would not fit what Ime wants to do whatsoever, as the former MVP has never quite been known for his defense that Udoka strongly emphasizes. Harden likely will still want to try to contend for a title, and he knows that if he signs a big deal in Houston, that limits their chances right off the bat with plenty of young players needing to be extended in the two years.

Amen Thompson reportedly had an incredible workout in Houston, where one quote stated “he’s the best athlete anyone has ever seen.” You would think with this headline paired alongside Brandon Miller’s odds at number three creeping up to the -250 range, that Thompson’s odds should begin to rise at fourth overall as well. Thompson sits at -125 to -130 in most spots, and I still love the play for a unit if you are not in already with the unit-and-a-half play I rolled out weeks ago.

Reports have also come out that Cam Whitmore’s workouts have not been going well as of late, which puts a lot of damage into the thought that Cam would jump Amen and go fourth overall to the Rockets. Amen is an absolute freak athlete who fits what Houston needs: a facilitator who can defend at an elite level while hustling for rebounds and more. The biggest knock on Amen has been his shooting, but he doesn’t need to shoot with Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alperen Sengun surrounding him as the supporting cast. I love this fit for Amen and am excited to see how Ime Udoka molds this team into his own moving forward.

Where will Baylor’s Keyonte George land on draft night?

Keyonte George has been a polarizing figure for scouts and draft experts at times throughout his freshman season with the Baylor Bears as well as during the predraft process. Currently, his draft position over/under is either sitting at 13.5 and is HEAVILY juiced to the over, or at 14.5 which is around a pick ’em depending on what book you use. I jumped in on Keyonte’s under a week ago for a couple of reasons, but a play I love more is for Keyonte to get drafted before Jordan Hawkins out of UConn.

Jordan Hawkins stands at 6-foot-4-inches tall just like Keyonte George, with both weighing in a good chunk below 200 pounds. Although the size of both players has been noted as a worry, they both are great at scoring the ball when needed, and Hawkins showed it on the bigger stage much better than George, winning a national title this past season. However, I believe the comparisons stop there as George may not have a complete game but has many more tools to get there than Hawkins does, which NBA teams will clearly notice.

Hawkins is unable to create for himself as he was rarely the primary ball handler for UConn and lacks the ability to finish in the paint unless he is directly under the rim. We have seen guys without a strong handle get exposed in the NBA Playoffs often this year, and I believe that will be a detractor from how teams view Hawkins’s ceiling. With how heavily teams are valuing the potential projection of what a player can be versus who can plug in as a role player someday, this is where Keyonte George grabs his advantage.

George is fantastic off the pick-and-roll and in isolation, and focuses heavily on shooting the three and getting to the paint with a large bag of offensive tricks up his sleeve. Coming in a year and a half younger than Hawkins, George’s ability to make space for himself and create opportunities for his teammates gives him the edge of youth and playmaker over Jordan. The raw athletic ability of George has been noted in workouts with teams throughout the pre-draft process, and you can see it if you put the two guards next to each other as George is even more built out than Hawkins is despite being similar measurements.

I have George landing at number 11 to the Orlando Magic in my 2023 NBA Mock Draft, but could absolutely see him landing with Toronto or New Orleans who are both in the market for a high upside guard that can help create some offense for their franchise. Hawkins cannot offer that and would need to really land somewhere where guys can feed him the ball and where he doesn’t have to worry about defending with a very skinny frame. If Utah passes on a guard at 9, they likely can still grab George at 16 or Miami can at 18.

The draft position over/under for Jordan Hawkins is currently at 14.5 or 15.5 depending on your book, with a decent bit of juice on the latter and a heavy price on the former. I have already tweeted out Keyonte’s head-to-head with Jordan at -145, but it is now sitting at plus money on several books. I still absolutely love this play, and will be putting a unit on Hawkins to go over 15.5 as well. There are plenty of better prospects out there than Hawkins in the top fifteen of this draft class, and although I think he is a great shooter, his ceiling is likely limited. as a role player on a team with solid passing around him.

Taylor Hendricks flying up draft boards?

With the news of Cam Whitmore having a bad workout in Detroit, is it Taylor Hendricks’s time to shine? I have previous plays on Hendricks over Anthony Black and Hendricks to go under 9.5 that I tweeted a while back, but I have a final play on the big man from Central Florida. I would like to add in a long shot for Hendricks to go fifth overall at 16/1 odds for half a unit.

Taylor Hendricks was incredible for UCF, averaging 1.7 blocks per game along with 39.1% from three. The blocks are impressive for the 6’9″ big man who played some center in high school, but the three-point scoring is even more remarkable. Due to the unusual yet stellar skillset that Hendricks offers with the potential to defend all five positions, score, and rebound the ball at an effective rate, I put him going sixth in my 2023 Mock Draft to the Orlando Magic. For our long shot to hit, we need him to go one pick sooner.

Everyone has seemingly written off the Detroit Pistons pick as a three-horse race with Cam Whitmore in the lead and Jarace Walker or Ausar Thompson a bit behind depending on which player you prefer. Why do they have to settle there though? Although Hendricks has been criticized for the level of play he went up against at UCF, he played the same level of opponents as Jarace Walker with Houston and clearly had better competition than Ausar and Amen Thompson. I believe Hendricks offers better scoring and rebounding than Walker and Thompson, and if Whitmore is falling out of favor with Detroit, Hendricks could fill in the void this team has at forward.

Yes, Detroit has plenty of big men. But are any of them truly the bigs of the future besides Wiseman and Duren? Hendricks would be a fantastic four to complement either center and can honestly fill the void left by Saddiq Bey’s exit too while offering up way more length and versatile defending. I think there is plenty of value on Hendricks to land in Detroit due to the Cam Whitmore news, as this fifth-overall pick has now been completely blown wide open on who lands with Monty Williams and the Pistons.