Duke basketball: Paolo Banchero’s odds skyrocketing to be No. 1 pick

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach and forward Paolo Banchero (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach and forward Paolo Banchero (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

The odds for Duke basketball star Paolo Banchero going No. 1 overall are rising. 

It has been a three player conversation for the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft and Duke basketball superstar Paolo Banchero is making a late push to be considered as the top selection.

Banchero entered the week considered as the likely option to be selected No. 3 overall to the Houston Rockets as WynnBET’s odds for the Blue Devil be selected No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic was +2000 on Sunday.

However, the odds quickly dropped to +650 on Monday and now the odds for Paolo Banchero to be the No. 1 overall pick currently sit at +195 on Tuesday evening.

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Auburn’s Jabari Smith is still the favorite to be announced by commissioner Adam Silver on Thursday night as the top selection at -175, moving from -190 on Monday.

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga’s do-it-all center, was +180 to be the top selection on Monday and currently sits at +450 to be the selection of the Magic.

Duke basketball star has all tools to be top overall selection

Paolo Banchero entered Duke as a five-star prospect from Seattle, Washington and quickly impressed with his NBA-level skillset and body type, both of which got substantially better during his one season in Durham.

Banchero was a consensus Second Team All-American while also being named as the ACC Rookie of the Year and a member of the First Team All-ACC while averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander was the first basketball analyst to project the Duke forward to be the No. 1 overall pick in his most recent mock draft.

“Having the Duke star at No. 1 should not be a contrarian opinion,” Norlander said in his analysis.

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“Banchero was the best freshman in college hoops last season, he led his team to the Final Four, he has an NBA-ready body, he has a litany of skills and is one of the best passing bigs in this year’s draft.”

“He is the most NBA-ready player in this draft…Banchero is capable of scoring in myriad ways… The fullest package.”

The buzz around Paolo Banchero has never been higher and that buzz should only grow as the days get closer to the draft.

The NBA Draft is slated for Thursday, June 23 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and ESPN will broadcast each selection beginning at 8:00pm EST.

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