By Dave Schwab

Three of the top players in this Thursday night’s NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Kentucky’s Malik Monk and Gonzaga’s Zach Collins. Each of these players were a big part of their college team’s success last season, and they are all poised to make an impact for whichever NBA team selects them in the upcoming draft.

All three of these players are expected to come off the board in the first round, but the big question is when. The following are my top three plays on the “over/under” betting odds for these three NBA draft position props.

Jayson Tatum

The betting odds for this prop favor Tatum going in the first four picks at -215 and the moneyline on the OVER 4.5 is set at +170.

Most player rankings have Tatum ranked as the second or third-best prospect in this year’s draft. His numbers at Duke as a small forward speak for themselves, but his biggest intangible is the ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court while also using his 6-foot-8 frame to score points and pull down rebounds in the paint.

The first two picks in this year’s draft appear to be set with Markelle Fultz going to Philadelphia at No. 1 followed by Lonzo Ball to the Los Angeles Lakers. Josh Jackson is expected to go to Boston at No. 3, but the Celtics have also shown interest in Tatum. Phoenix is sitting there at No. 4 and assuming the Suns hold onto that position, I do not see them passing on Tatum if he is still available. Despite the risk on the current -215 moneyline, I am still going with the UNDER 4.5 for this position prop.

Do you think the Celtics have even more up their sleeve?

Malik Monk

The prop bet odds for the former Kentucky shooting guard are set at -115 for either the UNDER or the OVER at No. 8.

Following Phoenix at No. 4 are Sacramento, Orlando, Minnesota and New York to round out the first eight picks. Of these four teams, the Kings have shown the most interest in Monk, but their likely pick at No. 5 would be Kentucky’s top point guard De’Aaron Fox. The Magic appear to be leaning towards former Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac at No. 6 and North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith has been penciled in as the Timberwolves pick at No. 7 on quite a few mock draft boards.

Some of the mock drafts out there have Monk going to the Knicks at No. 8 to set up a PUSH for this prop, but that would make way to much sense for a franchise that appears to be bent on creating high drama with any move it makes. Given the equal value in the betting odds for Monk, I am going to lean towards the OVER 8 for my ‘best bet’ pick.

Zach Collins

Collins is the top prospect on the big board from a Mid Major and the betting odds that he is selected with one of the first 10 picks have been set at -155. The moneyline odds that he comes off the board after the 10th pick of the draft are set at +125.

How much impact does the fact that he played for Gonzaga have on his actual draft position remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that Collins is one of the top 10 players in this year’s draft class. Following the Knicks at No. 8 are Dallas at nine and the Kings with the No. 10 pick. Most mock drafts link point guard Frank Ntilikina from France to the Mavericks with that ninth pick or possibly NC State’s Smith if he is still on the board. The Kings would most likely take Monk with that No. 10 pick.

I am going with the better value in the +125 odds for the OVER in this position prop with Collins going to Detroit at No. 12.

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