Curious Case of Paolo Banchero

By Malcolm Darnley | June 24, 2022 2:15 AM

Let’s jump right into the curious case of Paolo Banchero…

Yesterday evening, at 5:07 pm ET to be exact, I received an email from our friends at BetRivers. Within that email, I found the following information to be of interest:

“As the NBA Draft approaches, the betting public is signaling with their money that they anticipate Jabari Smith of Auburn will be the first name announced Thursday night.

Once the Orlando Magic was assigned No. 1 in the order, many bettors decided Smith was a logical match for them.

His odds shifted dramatically to -590 immediately after the lottery and have settled down to -286.”

7:00 am ET this morning – Well, 14 hours after receiving that email, it turns out it was all a big lie. As I jumped onto multiple sites at 7:00 am this morning, no longer was Jabari Smith the betting favorite.

Less than a week ago, Paolo Banchero (Duke) could be found at +1800 or higher. Today we woke up and saw his odds had fallen as low as -225 after a flurry of betting activity on him overnight.

There was a lot of speculation and information floating around the social media world justifying the drop in odds, but nobody actually had a source.

Was this a case of insider information becoming public knowledge, and now the masses were all wisely jumping on Banchero?

Or was this a case of the internet showcasing its abilities to spread misinformation and false facts?

Has there ever been a player whose draft odds dropped so far so fast before?

8:41 am ET – Just when we thought things were already pretty weird, they got even weirder!

As most NBA fans already know, Woj is the man when it comes to breaking NBA stories.

Over the last week, we watched as Banchero dropped from +1800 all the way down to -225, and now Woj is telling the world, don’t follow the money – the sportsbooks had it right all along.

And how do sportsbooks react when Woj sends out a tweet?

Well, minutes after he sent it, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetRivers all took the bet off the board completely.

11 am ET – Just over two hours later, the bet pops back up, but the odds have all been adjusted.

Banchero’s brief run as the betting favorite has come to an end, with Jabari now listed as the heavy favorite once again at -550.

It will be fascinating to watch tonight when the Orlando Magic finally step to the podium and declare a winner in this very interesting odds debate.

Is there some insider information that exists justifying the crazy odds swings for Banchero?

Or did the sportsbooks have it right with Jabari Smith all along?

8 pm ET – Tonight

“And with the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic are pleased to select….”

I can’t wait to find out.