Las Vegas bookmakers offer prop bets on NBA draft for first time

ByBen Fawkes ESPN logo
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Coming off the success of 2017 NFL draft proposition betting, Las Vegas offered props on Thursday's NBA draft.

Bettors are expecting a big Round 1 for the University of Kentucky. As for UCLA andLonzo Ball? Opinions are a little more mixed on the Strip.

"Two props stood out as the most-bet," Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook assistant director Randy Blum told ESPN. "One was players drafted from Kentucky in Round 1; they were betting the over 2.5. We opened -300 and closed -600. The other was under 2.5 UCLA players in Round 1, where we opened +375 and closed +280."

William Hill US was the first Vegas sportsbook to open NBA draft props and received opposite action on the UCLA prop, with 98 percent of the money (as of Wednesday afternoon) on the over 2.5 UCLA players in Round 1. Betting closed at all sportsbooks on the props on Wednesday night.

At Westgate, limits were $1,000 and there were few public bets. Part of the reason was likely the restrictions placed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

"We had some decent action, but definitely not as much as the NFL," Blum said. "This is not surprising, as the NFL is king and these props were very generic. Perhaps in the future, gaming will approve player-specific props. Those would generate a lot of interest."

Overall, the Westgate was pleased with the action and expects a larger menu of props going forward.

"For both NBA and NFL, we had a limited window to make these, get them up and take bets," Blum noted. "We expect it will get bigger in the future."

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