NBA Draft 2022 Picks and Predictions (Who Will Be the First Overall Pick vs. Who Should Be the First Overall Pick?)

May 17, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley reacts after winning the No. 1 overall pick at the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery.
May 17, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley reacts after winning the No. 1 overall pick at the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

WIth the 2022 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, plenty of uncertainty remains as to who the Orlando Magic will select with the top pick.

Three players remain in the discussion. Auburn's Jabari Smith stands 6'10" with terrific athletic tools, a great frame, and perhaps the best shooting in the draft. Duke's Paolo Banchero also enters with terrific size at 6'10" with the most polished overall offensive game in the class. And then there's Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, a 7'0" 200 pound unicorn that can shoot from anywhere on the court, protect the rim, and once he adds more muscle to his wirey frame, become an elite defender and shot blocker.

Here are the latest odds for which top prospect is most likely to go No. 1 overall over at WynnBET Sportsbook.

NBA Draft Odds for First Overall Pick

  • Jabari Smith -240
  • Paolo Banchero +220
  • Chet Holmgren +525
  • Jaden Ivey +10000

The BetSided team put our collective heads together to debate two key questions. Who would we bet to go No. 1 overall? And who do we believe is most deserving to go overall.

All odds are via WynnBET.

NBA Draft Best Bets: Who Will Be Drafted No. 1 Overall?

Jabari Smith (-240)

There’s a lot of smoke around Paolo Banchero going No. 1, as his odds have gone from +1600 to +220 at WynnBET over the past day. However, there’s a reason Smith has been the favorite for quite some time. Banchero doesn’t shoot the ball as well from the outside as Smith, and he played with a much better supporting cast at Duke while putting up similar numbers.

Banchero would be my choice at No. 2, as I’m not a huge believer in Chet Holmgren due to his size, but this is Smith or bust for me. I can’t see Orlando pivoting to Banchero this late in the game after Smith was the heavy favorite the entire pre-draft process. -- Peter Dewey

I think Jabari Smith will be the first pick in the draft. Smith’s offensive game can’t be denied and at power forward, he still gives the Magic versatility in the front court. If the Magic can figure out how to develop Jalen Suggs, they could have a dynamic backcourt with Suggs and Cole Anthony to pair with Smith. -- Donnavan Smoot

Paolo Banchero (+220)

Sometimes a smoke screen is exactly what it is, but in the case of Banchero, his rise up the odds boards reminds me of when Georgia's Travon Walker shot up the board a week or so ahead of the NFL Draft. Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan had been the rumored pick for weeks, but something got out that indicated Walker would be the guy, and the sharps pounced all over it; drastically impacting the betting markets.

Here's the catch. I still think the Magic want Holmgren; they just want to see what they can do to manipulate the board, move down a spot or two and still draft him with added assets. There's a lot of love for Banchero in this draft as well, and for a team like Houston, who would love to add him to the mix, it wouldn't surprise me to see a possible draft day deal in the works for them to move up two spots to get him.

Smith is still the overwhelming favorite for now, but I can't ignore the meteoric rise for Banchero just yet. -- Ben Heisler

Chet Holmgren (+525)

This market is far from settled but I do think there are many ways this can go. For starters, it's known that the Rockets love Banchero, and maybe they want to move up to No. 1 to ensure that they get their eye, in turn sending this price into a tailspin. However, I'm going with the longest odds in Holmgren. I don't buy the thought that Holmgren doesn't want to go to the Magic, and I think he wants to join forces with his high school teammate Jalen Suggs if possible.

With this market really tight, expect the next move to be the move. It could be further steam on Banchero, but I think this was another smokescreen and the market correcting itself as a three horse race. I can't get over the historical profile of Magic front office minds prioritizing length and the fit with Orlando.

At this point, I'm just looking at longest price, and that's Holmgren as of this writing. -- Reed Wallach

Who SHOULD Be Drafted No. 1 Overall?

Jabari Smith (-240)

Smith was incredibly impressive for Auburn in his freshman season, shooting 42.0 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 16.9 points per game. Smith’s offensive game is extremely advanced for such a young player, and I think he fits well with Orlando’s young core.

With Wendell Carter and Franz Wagner already in the frontcourt, Smith brings another do-it-all dynamic to the offensive end. He’s going to need to be a better defender at the next level, but the Magic also have wing Jonathan Isaac to take some of the pressure off the youngster.

I think Smith’s offensive game may be the most complete in the draft, and he already has the build of an NBA prospect. He’s my pick at No. 1. -- Peter Dewey

I've seen multiple player comparisons to Chris Bosh and a healthy version of Michael Porter Jr. when it comes to Smith, and knowing that his defensive potential has a ton of upside as well, that screams the most tantalizing skillset for the modern NBA.

Smith is already a mismatch nightmare in a league that doesn't really factor in positions anymore. Players must be able to switch onto multiple guys who can handle the basketball and spot up from almost anywhere on the court, and Smith can do that as well as anyone at the top of this class.

Between his terrific shooting ability at 6'10", as well as the right team unlocking his ability on defense, he'd be the player with the best shot to dominate for years to come. -- Ben Heisler

Paolo Banchero (+220)

I think Banchero is the best fit for the Magic, which goes against what I think happens, but priorities people.

The Magic have one of the better young cores in my opinion and could use a primary playmaker to go alongside the likes of Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs. Banchero has his defensive pitfalls, but I think he can thrive alongside some of the secondary players on this roster. He has shown a ton of potential as a passer and has the size to score in bunches on all three levels.

I'll buy his size long term helping out his defensive issues alongside the Magic and buy the playmaking. He has the most upside on offense as a No. 1 option and that's what you are looking for at the top of the draft. -- Reed Wallach

Chet Holmgren (+525)

Holmgren should be the No. 1 overall pick. He’s extremely long, can defend at the rim and hasn’t even filled into his body yet. His versatility falls in line perfectly with what the Magic like and it will give them a frontcourt for the future. His offensive tools also show promise.

The Magic would have a potentially dominant 7-footer, which is the luxury of luxuries. -- Donnavan Smoot

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