The 2022 NBA Draft is already upon us after the NBA Finals ended just two weeks ago. There has been a ton of hype over the last few weeks on who will go in the top three. Let's continue our NBA odds series with a projection for the No. 3 overall pick.


The Orlando Magic own the first pick. Drafting 2nd, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Drafting third, the Houston Rockets, who are desperately trying to rebuild. Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jaden Ivey are all names to pay attention to for the first few picks of the draft. Thanks to the infamous Woj Bomb, the picks might be locked up already.

2022 NBA Draft Odds: Projected No. 3 Overall Pick

Paolo Banchero: -360

Jabari Smith: +350

Chet Holmgren: +1000

Jaden Ivey: +1900

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Why Paolo Banchero Will Go 3rd Overall

Banchero seems to be the guy at No. 3 for the Houston Rockets. Out of all the teams you could get drafted by this season, this is probably the one team you don't wanna play for right now. The Rockets are in rebuild mode and just traded away their best player, Christian Wood, to the Dallas Mavericks.

Banchero led Duke to the Final Four this past March but fell to North Carolina to spoil their hopes. Banchero was a huge part of their success. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals while shooting 47.8% from the floor. Duke played very well as a team and with Banchero leading the way, he proved he is ready to lead an NBA team. The Rockets will be very excited to take Benchero third as the last Duke player to go third was RJ Barrett, and before that … Jayson Tatum.

At -360 odds, it's clear that he will more than likely be taken here. It's not the greatest value, but including this in a possible parlay could benefit you. The top-three picks are almost a lock at this point.

Why Jabari Smith Will Go 3rd Overall

The reason Smith is ahead of Holmgren here is that I don't think there is any chance that Smith falls past this pick. Smith has been regarded as the top player in this draft and the Orlando Magic and OKC Thunder would not be smart to let him pass. However, the OKC Thunder have been wanting a center for a long time now, so Holmgren seems to be their pick if available. If the Magic decide to take Banchero first, then that will more than likely mean Smith falls to this pick with the Thunder set on the 7-footer.

At +350 odds, I think it's worth throwing something down on it. Banchero has had a ton of hype leading into this week as he could hear his name called first. That would allow Smith to fall to three even though it's not likely to happen.

Why Chet Holmgren Will Go 3rd Overall

Holmgren has horrible odds here for a reason. At +1000, It's going to take a miracle for bettors to cash in on this. The Thunder are set on taking him and the only way he falls here is if Banchero is taken one, and the Thunder have a late change of heart. Don't overthink this one, even though the odds will allow for a big cash-in, I think it's still a waste of time.

Why Jaden Ivey Will Go 3rd Overall

Now Jaden Ivey here is an interesting one. The Rockets are in rebuild mode and could end up taking a guard. Eric Gordon is on the trade block and without a point guard right now, the Rockets could entertain Ivey at three. This likely won't happen, as Banchero seems like a better overall and safer pick. However, Ivey is the best guard in this draft and should make any team he's on better immediately.

I would actually rather you consider throwing some small dough at Ivey to the Rockets over Holmgren. As Holmgren and the Rockets don't seem like a good fit.

2022 NBA Draft Prediction: Paolo Banchero (-360)