NBA Draft Preview Via Prop Bets

I know some people are not all that fond of mock drafts. Me, I like mock drafts. In the same vein of enjoying takeout because I hate to cook, I like reading mock drafts, I just don't like constructing them myself.

But somehow, some way I need to share some of my thoughts with you on this Thursday's NBA Draft. So how about I do that in a language we can all understand -- NBA prop bets!

(Odds are courtesy of Bovada, www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV)

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As always, my comments are preceded by the always creative "SP:". Let's do this:

Will Dwight Howard be traded before the 2nd round of the NBA draft ends? Yes EVEN No -140 SP: As someone firmly in the camp of "The Rockets should trade whatever they need to for a year of Dwight Howard and then pray they can re-sign him," I hope I'm wrong on this one, but I have a feeling that a brand-new general manager in Orlando is going to be more inclined to try and sell Dwight on staying in Orlando than making some sweeping, franchise-altering deal for a bunch of draft choices and role players.

2012 NBA Draft -- Who will be selected with the 2nd overall pick? Thomas Robinson -200 (1/2) Any Other Player +150 (3/2) SP: Rumor has it that Michael Jordan (best player ever/worst owner ever) is trying to move out of this pick and accumulate more picks lower in the draft, which is a disaster waiting to happen because this would require Jordan to make hard choices based on meticulous player evaluation. That's not his thing. Also, I feel like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a better player at this spot. So the winds of rumor and my own personal feelings fly in the face of this pick. I think ultimately Jordan hangs onto the pick, so I'll go -200 on Robinson.

2012 NBA Draft -- Who will be selected with the 3rd overall pick? Bradley Beal -200 (1/2) Any Other Player +150 (3/2) SP: All of the prominent mock drafts have Beal going here, hence the -200 payoff. However, we know that Cleveland likes Beal quite a bit, so how about the chance of them moving up to two by floating the 4th and 24th picks to Jordan? The Bobcats do that deal and there's a good chance they get to have their cake (Thomas Robinson) and eat it, too (move back for more picks).

2012 NBA Draft -- Who will be selected with the 4th overall pick? Harrison Barnes 3/2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 2/3 Any Other Player 3/2 SP: He should have gone two picks before this, but Cleveland (if they stay at four) are likely to draft Kyrie Irving's high school teammate. Also, if someone blows away Cleveland with an offer for four, it would likely be to move up and get MKG, who at this pick represents the last top-shelf player before we get into some bigger question marks.

2012 NBA Draft -- Draft Position -- Jared Sullinger? OVER/Under 17 ½ SP: Let me say that I've never been a Sullinger fan. I mean, I'm sure he's a fine kid, but his game has never felt like one that would succeed at the NBA level. His sublime basketball IQ, passing skills and range on his jumper for a big are negated by a total lack of explosiveness that will make playing the post a huge chore for him in the NBA. And now he has back problems. No thanks. He'll fall into the 20's, likely to one of the Celtics selections. 2012 NBA Draft -- Draft Position -- Terrence Jones? Over/UNDER 17 ½ SP: Jones is a top ten talent. If the Rockets hang onto one of their three first-rounders, I'd hope they seriously consider Jones, who has the skills to be a 20-point-a-game scorer.

2012 NBA Draft -- Draft Position - Perry Jones III? OVER/Under 14 ½ SP: Three straight prop bets on guys (Sullinger, T. Jones, P. Jones III) who were considered top ten picks at various times over the last year. Jones III may have fallen the hardest of all of them. Still, most places have him locked into Philly at 15.

2012 NBA Draft -- Draft Position -- Fab Melo? OVER/Under 22 ½ SP: I'll always go OVER on "guy with baggage," even when he's a seven-footer who played in the Big East. Melo would be a good pick for Cleveland with their second first-rounder (24th overall).

2012 NBA Draft -- Draft Position -- Austin Rivers? Over/UNDER 10 ½ SP: It's going to come down to Austin Rivers or Jeremy Lamb for whatever back-end-of-the-top-ten team is looking for a guy who can score the basketball. I think Lamb is one of the three or four most NBA-ready players in the draft, but in the end I think the Raptors at 8 (possibly the Hornets at 10) like Rivers and his NBA pedigree better.

2012 NBA Draft -- How many seniors will be drafted in the first round? Over 4½ (-150) Under 4½ (+110) SP: Tyler Zeller and Andrew Nicholson are first-round locks. Draymond Green to Indiana seems to be picking up steam, and Festus Ezeli of Vanderbilt makes it in on the strength of being the only non-WWE wrestler named Festus that I've ever heard of. After that, I'm not finding anyone I feel strongly enough about to go -150 on the over.

2012 NBA Draft -- Will any team in the Top 5 trade their pick? Yes EVEN No -150 SP: Too much noise surrounding the Bobcats (2nd) and Kings (5th) to bet on NO. The Rockets have been heavily rumored to be honing on a trade with the Kings that would bring back the fifth pick and Tyreke Evans, which is like getting a date with the new hot chick in school but having to bring her moody sister along in the backseat.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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