Ping Ball Wizard…NBA Style

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, May 12, 2018 4:51 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 12, 2018 4:51 PM UTC

The NBA draft lottery is approaching and a thousand ping pong balls will determine the order of the 2018 draft. 

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2018 #NBADraft Prospect Mikal Bridges is playing LIVE on our @Twitch gaming show #NBAOutofController with @JeffEisenband: https://t.co/PCATQGiLwc pic.twitter.com/JphBg0s1o7

— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) April 25, 2018
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Check out the action on Tuesday, May 16th, at 8:30 PM exclusively on ESPN and believe it or not, the NBA odds board is dealing lines on this intriguing prop bet!

What are the Odds?

If your favorite team is one of the 14 in the draft lottery then chances are there was plenty of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth as you watched your boys get pounded over and over again this season with the only silver lining being a top spot in this year’s draft. Or, if you’re a sports bettor like me, then your favorite team is the one you bet on that night because emotion don’t pay da billz! Well, regardless of whether or not you back up your NBA picks with cold, hard cash or just live the life of a fan, dedicated to one team and one team only, this makes for a pretty interesting bit of television.

The NBA draft lottery has been going on since 1985 and was designed to put an end to the chicanery, tomfoolery, hijinks, shenanigans or any other outdated word you can think of that means tanking the season to get a higher pick in the draft than any of the other crappy teams vying for the same prize. Naturally, the league frowns on anything that resembles a fix which is why we will wait for the results of a thousand ping pong balls, with a varying number of team names written on them, plucked one at a time, in order to determine the future of these mostly woebegone franchises. Without further ado, let’s check out the percentages of getting the top pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

1. Phoenix Suns - 25 percent of receiving the No.1 pick.

2. Memphis Grizzlies - 19.9 percent

3 Dallas Mavericks - 13.8 percent

4. Atlanta Hawks - 13.7 percent

5. Orlando Magic - 8.8 percent

6. Chicago Bulls - 5.3 percent

7. Sacramento Kings - 5.3 percent

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) - 2.8 percent

9. New York Knicks - 1.7 percent

10. Philadelphia 76ers - 1.1 percent

11. Charlotte Hornets - 0.8 percent

12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) - 0.7 percent

13. Los Angeles Clippers - 0.6 percent

14. Denver Nuggets - 0.5 percent

Next year’s draft will see the percentages change, which means whether a team is last, second to last or third to last won’t make any difference whatsoever as all three will be considered lucky losers and get an equal 14 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick. The distribution for 2019’s NBA lottery is as follows:

1. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick.

2. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance

3. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance

4. 125 combinations, 12.5% chance

5. 105 combinations, 10.5% chance

6. 90 combinations, 9.0% chance

7. 75 combinations, 7.5% chance

8. 60 combinations, 6.0% chance

9. 45 combinations, 4.5% chance

10. 30 combinations, 3.0% chance

11. 20 combinations, 2.0% chance

12. 15 combinations, 1.5% chance

13. 10 combinations, 1.0% chance

14. 5 combinations, 0.5% chance

Big Fish in the 2018 Pond

This year’s draft is unique in that quality big men are plentiful. If the percentages stay true then expect the Suns to pick first and don’t be surprised if Arizona’s (where else, right?) freshman center Deandre Ayton is the selection. If Phoenix decides to turn their affection elsewhere then they could do much worse than either Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State or Marvin Bagley of Duke, both big low post players capable of changing a franchise’s fortunes. Chances are the top spots will go to the bigs but there are some backcourt wizards that may entice a team to eschew the “trees” and get a stone-cold assassin from beyond the arc. Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, and Oklahoma’s Trae Young could fit that bill quite nicely if a backcourt quarterback is needed.

While this is all well and good, we’re here to make bank wherever, and whenever we can. Therefore, if we turn our attention to the NBA odds board we will find that many of the best online sportsbooks are dealing numbers on the top three combinations. Naturally the most likely is Phoenix, Memphis, and Dallas which has odds of +5733 and will pay out if that is the exact order of the draft lottery. Despite the fact that there are dozens upon dozens of combinations listed with corresponding odds, the field (which includes any combination not listed) is the favorite at +2000. So, check out the draft lottery on Tuesday night and you might just make a few bucks if your balls drop just right!

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