Early 2023 NBA Draft Odds Make Victor Wembanyama Likely #1 Pick

By Nicholas Sterling in Sports
| July 25, 2022 1:25 pm PDT

The 2022 NBA draft saw a surprise, with the Orlando Magic taking Paolo Banchero over Jabari Smith Jr. Smith was a big favorite to be the No. 1 pick, but it didn’t work out.

Victor Wembanyama opens as the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft. We’re 11 months from the draft, but people believe Wembanyama is a generational prospect. We should see multiple teams tank for his service.

How do the 2023 NBA draft odds view his challengers? Let’s check it out.

Odds for First Pick in the 2023 NBA Draft

Victor Wembanyama-700
Scoot Henderson+200
Nick Smith+1000
Cam Whitmore+1200
Anthony Black+3000
Arthur Kaluma+4000
Dariq Whitehead+4000

There is a ton of buzz surrounding Victor Wembanyama. The 7’2” center has a unique skill set that not even Chet Holmgren can rival. It’s not often you see a player with (-700) odds nearly a year before the draft.

It’s interesting to see the dynamic of college players versus everyone else. Nick Smith, Anthony Black, Arthur Kaulma, and Daiq Whitehead are the only college players among the top contenders.

Scoot Henderson is following in the footsteps of Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and others by joining the G-League. We’ve seen the G-League become a popular alternative for college.

We didn’t see many international prospects near the top of the 2022 NBA draft. That won’t be an issue with Wembanyama being the top prospect.

Why is Wembanyama the Favorite To Go No. 1 Overall?

Every few years, we see a prospect that draws generational talent views. LeBron James certainly lived up to the hype, but Andrew Wiggins, Zion Williamson, and others have received this praise.

Some people will tell you Victor Wembanyama is in the same category. Can he become the next great international basketball player?

Wembanyama is a 7’2” center with a 7’9” wingspan. He has drawn comparisons to Rudy Gobert on the defensive end, but his offensive game has much more potential than Gobert’s.

His numbers aren’t very impressive, averaging 6.5 points and 1.9 blocks. However, he’s doing this as an 18-year-old in potentially the best basketball league outside of the NBA.

People will compare him to Chet Holmgren because of his size and skillset, but he’s more built for the NBA. Wembanyama weighs 235 pounds, which makes him a more imposing threat in the paint.

Defense won’t be an issue for Wembanyama. He’s drawing comparisons to three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. It’s no surprise the 2023 NBA draft odds have him as the favorite to go No. 1 overall.

I think about a seven-footer that can push the ball in transition and excel on defense. Do I dare compare Wembanyama to Giannis Antetokounmpo? He’s on the same trajectory.

Maybe I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, but Wembanyama has the potential to be the next great NBA player. Hopefully, he lives up to the hype because he’ll be fun to watch.

Can a College Player Challenge Wembanyama?

The odds for first pick in the 2023 NBA draft have four college players among the top contenders. Nick Smith and Anthony Black have the best odds, as both players will play at Arkansas.

Smith is a combo guard that has no issue driving to the basket. He has elite quickness and speed while knocking down shots on the perimeter. Black is a 6’7” forward, but he has point guard-like skills. His athleticism and three-point shooting should be desirable in the NBA.

Dariq Whitehead has (+4000) odds, but he’s the No. 2 prospect in the 2022 class. He won Naismith High School Player of the Year with these numbers.

  • 17.6 points
  • 3.6 rebounds
  • 2.9 assists

He’s still developing his three-point shot, but his athleticism and defense should put him in contention to be the No. 1 pick. He’s a big reason the 2023 March Madness odds have Duke as a contender.

Arthur Kaluma enters his second year of college basketball. The 6’7” forward averaged 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds. Kaluma needs to develop his three-point shooting, but he’s on the right track.

Feel free to visit Bovada to view the 2023 NBA draft odds.

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