NBA Draft: How Bronny James Affects No. 1 Overall Selection Markets at Sportsbooks

The son of NBA superstar LeBron James is the biggest liability in the top pick market at one sportsbook ... and isn't even listed at a competing book.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
May 22, 2024 • 16:06 ET • 4 min read
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Scour the internet and you won’t have a hard time finding 2024 NBA mock drafts. 

Sort through the prognostications and you won’t have much success finding the son of an NBA icon landing in the first round. 

That isn’t scaring off bettors, who are having no problem taking a shot on Bronny James to go first overall during the June 27 two-round NBA draft. 

LeBron James’ offspring is getting 22.5% of the tickets at BetMGM to be the first player selected overall, tying him with Alex Sarr for the highest percentage of bets on a single player.

At 200-1 odds, James is the online sportsbook’s biggest liability, but BetMGM reportedly isn’t concerned.

Because of his price, James is also the biggest liability at bet365, where his odds to go first have gone from +10000 to +4000. He’s also the most popular bet at the online sportsbook. 

Not so fast

Despite the last name and the pedigree, there isn’t much else to go on when betting James to be the No. 1 pick next month. 

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard played in 25 games, starting just six, and averaged 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds as a true freshman. 

His development was slowed last offseason when he went into cardiac arrest during a workout, but James returned five months later to play for the Trojans.

He’s been medically cleared to play in the pros and recently participated in the NBA combine.

Still, his popularity in the top selection market isn’t universal. 

DraftKings tells Covers that James has never been listed in the odds to go No. 1 in the draft. 

FanDuel says he’s not in their top five in handle. 

Where’s he going?

If bettors aren’t interested in taking a long shot with juicy odds, there is another intriguing market for James. 

The son of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer has been rumored to be headed to Los Angeles to play with his dad, so it’s no surprise that the Lakers (+160) at 22.1% have the highest number of tickets in the team to draft Bronny market at BetMGM.

However, Cleveland, where LeBron began his pro career and later won an NBA championship for his home state, have the highest handle at 34.8%. 

The Cavaliers (+1000) are second in bets at 18.3% and the largest liability at BetMGM. The Dallas Mavericks (+2500) are third in tickets while the Utah Jazz (+1000) are third in handle to make them a higher liability than the Lakers. 

FanDuel says the Lakers and Cavaliers are the two most popular destinations for Bronny.

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