The Philadelphia 76ers have been tanking for a few years now and have become the laughingstock of the NBA. But to get good in the NBA, you have to generally find a superstar via the draft. And that was Philly’s strategy. Alas, the 76ers haven’t managed to win the draft lottery yet. But after finishing the regular season with just 10 wins, they have a 25 percent chance of winning Tuesday night’s draft lottery. And they are +275 favorites to do so on sports betting odds.
76ers Are Betting Favorites To Win NBA Draft Lottery
So how does the lottery work? There are 14 ping-pong balls, numbered one to 14, placed in a bin. There are exactly 1,001 possible four-ball combinations when you have a set of 14. Each team in the lottery has been assigned a set number of combinations of any four of the balls, for a total of 1,000 combinations. (The 1,001st combination belongs to no team.) The number of different combinations assigned to each team depends on that team’s record; teams tied at the end of the regular season split evenly the total combinations allotted to their two positions, with one team getting one more combination in the event the total is odd.
The 76ers will have 250 of the 1,000 ping-pong balls in the lottery. While there is no certainty that the Sixers will indeed choose first overall, they are guaranteed to select no lower than fourth. The Los Angeles Lakers have the second-highest odds at the top selection; however, if they end up slipping to the fourth slot, the Sixers can claim their pick, too, as a result of the February 2015 Michael Carter-Williams deal. The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns were part of that transaction. There is a 44.17 percent shot it conveys to the Sixers — 31.85 percent it’s No. 4 and 12.32 percent it’s No. 5.
The best-case scenario for the Sixers would be to leave the NBA Draft Lottery with the Nos. 1 and 4 picks. The worst-case would to come home with only No. 4.
Philadelphia also would win the lottery if Sacramento were to do so. That’s because the Sixers have the option to swap first-rounders with Sacramento this year and next. So there is a 49.52 percent chance that Philadelphia will be No. 1 or 2. And most experts agree this is a two-man draft in terms of top talent. They would be LSU forward Ben Simmons and Duke forward Brandon Ingram. Then there’s a dropoff. Each player does have a minus — Simmons took only three 3-point shots in 33 college games and Ingram weighed a reed-thin 190 pounds — but they are the players best equipped to quickly change a team’s fortunes.
The next tier of players generally includes Croatian power forward Dragan Bender, Providence point guard Kris Dunn, Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, California guard-forward Jaylen Brown, Marquette forward-center Henry Ellenson and Utah center Jakob Poeltl.
The Lakers are +375 to win the draft lottery. They have a 55.8 percent chance of landing in the top three, while holding a 44.2 percent chance of owing it to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash trade.
There are two playoff teams in the lottery: Boston and Toronto. The Celtics own the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick and are +500 to win the lottery. The Raptors are +4000 to win the lottery. However, they aren’t going to pick No. 1. The Denver Nuggets own the best pick between theirs and Toronto’s via the New York Knicks.
The two long shots to win the lottery are the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls, each at +10000. They each have less than a one percent chance of doing so.