Victor Wembanyama No. 1 pick draft odds, historical look at heavy favorites
Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-5 unicorn from France and one of the most highly anticipated prospects ever, is all but a sure thing to get selected first in the upcoming NBA Draft.
San Antonio Spurs managing partner Peter J. Holt jumped out of his chair when they won the “Wemby Sweepstakes.”
From a betting perspective, how much of a slam dunk is he to go No. 1? He’s currently as high as -20000 [$20,000 wins $100] to be drafted first next month. For comparison’s sake, Zion Williamson got all the way to -10000 to be the first pick in the 2019 draft.
To put into focus just how big of a favorite Wembanyama is to go No. 1, FOX Sports Research dissected some of the other most notable “sure things” in the historical sports landscape. Let’s take a look at some other big-time past favorites.
Warriors go back-to-back (2017-18)
In sports betting, it’s extremely rare to see minus odds in preseason title listings due to various factors. However, the Golden State Warriors were -128 to win it all entering the 2016-2017 campaign and -187 to repeat the following season.
With the addition of Kevin Durant to the already-proven trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, sportsbooks had no choice but to make Golden State a huge title favorite entering both of those seasons. For perspective, the Warriors are the only eventual NBA champions to have minus odds to win it all in the preseason since at least 1984.
Additionally, the Warriors were -300 to win it all entering the NBA Finals in 2017 and got up to a whopping -1075 in 2018.
Roger Federer dominates 2006
By 2006, Roger Federer had three Wimbledon titles and was the consensus No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world. Entering the Australian Open that year, he was a -250 pre-tournament favorite and entered the finals at -1000 to win.
Reflecting on that data, those -1000 odds are the largest of any men’s champion entering a Grand Slam final since at least 1992.
That same year, he went on to win Wimbledon (-250 pre-tournament odds, -500 entering final) and the U.S. Open (-200 pre-tournament odds, -667 entering final). Federer eventually became the first man to win 20 Grand Slams and is one of only three men ever to achieve that feat.
Nick warns fans to slow down on the Victor Wembanyama hype
Victor Wembanyama is the projected No. 1 pick of the 2023 NBA Draft to the San Antonio Spurs.
Bart Starr and Packers cover as a historic favorite (1966)
Historically, singular regular season NFL games don’t typically catch one’s eye. But the following nugget was too compelling to exclude from this list.
In a Week 7 home game against the Atlanta Falcons during the 1966 season, Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers were 27-point favorites entering the matchup. Not only did the Packers cover, they won by 53 points. That Packers team would go on to win the first-ever Super Bowl. That win marked the largest spread covered in a regular season game in the Super Bowl era.
For reference, teams favored by 23 points or more in the regular season have gone 5-10 against the spread (ATS) during the Super Bowl era.
Clemson wins six straight ACC titles (2015-20)
Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers put together a historic run that the ACC had never seen before, racking up six consecutive outright conference titles in football.
From 2015 to 2017, their preseason odds of winning the conference were +175, +140 and +300, respectively. However, the second 3-peat occurred when they had odds of -200, -400 and -410. That made Clemson the only Power 5 team to record three straight seasons with preseason odds to win their conference of -200 or shorter since at least 2008.
Kansas covers as a massive favorite in NCAA Tournament (1998)
When it comes to massive point spreads, the Kansas Jayhawks were 36.5-point favorites against Prairie View A&M in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament. The game itself was never in doubt, as Coach Roy Williams led the team to a 58-point victory, covering the second-largest spread in an NCAA Tournament game since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks did get upset by the Rhode Island Rams in the following round.
Massive favorite flops
While this list focuses on huge favorites and winners, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up boxer Mike Tyson, whose odds of defeating Buster Douglas were -4200 going into their fight. Douglas famously shocked the world, knocking out Tyson in the 10th round. Let that be a potential cautionary tale to betting big favorites blindly.
When commissioner Adam Silver tips off the draft on June 22, fans and bettors can officially add Wemby to at least a couple of lists. Once selected first overall, he’ll join the likes of LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing, among others. And at -20000 to be the No. 1 pick, he’ll go down as one of the biggest favorites in sports betting history.
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