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Hello, favorite reader, and welcome to a special edition of the CBS Sports HQ PM Newsletter. That's right, with the NBA Draft tonight, this newsletter is focusing on draft props. I've got a few over/unders for you to wager on to help keep you interested while the event itself moves far slower than you think it should have to.

It's somewhat crazy how long drafts take, isn't it? I mean, I understand that part of the reason for this is that drafts have become television events, and it's in the best interest of the networks broadcasting them to extend them as long as possible to sell ad time, but still. Think about your fantasy drafts, whether you're doing them online or in person. Somehow a group of 12 people or more can get together and draft entire teams in under two hours, but a 60-pick event needs like five hours.

Do you really need five minutes to make your pick? Did you not prepare for this draft over the last year? Did you forget your draft board at home?

How funny would it be if we made it more like a sport than an event and lowered the clock to a minute? Think of all the dumb mistakes that would happen to add to our entertainment, and I'd bet the hit-or-miss rate of selections wouldn't be any different than what it is now.

Let's try it for one draft. Just to see how it feels.

With that, the following prop bets are now on the clock.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

NBA Draft, 8 p.m. | TV: ABC/ESPN
The Pick: Jonathan Kuminga Draft Position Over 6.5 (-210)
: All right, let's get this out of the way right at the top. I do NFL mock drafts for CBSSports.com because I cover college football, and I know enough about player evaluation and the NFL to have a decent idea of what's likely to happen and what teams are likely looking for. This is not the case for the NBA Draft. I watch college basketball strictly as a fan, and, since I'm a gambler, I look at the game from the team perspective. I don't break down individual players, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they project to the NBA.

So there isn't an exact science to any of my NBA Draft props tonight. Instead, these picks are all based on intel, both publicly available to all and the kind of private intel you're privy to when you work in this industry and have friends willing to talk to you. So, based on all of that, this is my favorite prop for tonight's draft.

Jonathan Kuminga has long been considered a top-five pick in this draft since the process began before last season, but his stock has suffered in recent weeks. People I talk to tell me that a lot of teams picking early in the draft weren't all that impressed with what they saw in person. Also, in recent mock drafts, Kuminga has started slipping. Finally, look at the juice! Clearly, this is a case of the book not wanting to move the number any further, but there's a good idea of which direction this is going. We're laying a heavy price, yes, but based on many factors, it sure seems like this is the right side to be on.

What SportsLine is saying about tonight's draft: NBA analyst Ameer Tyree has combed over 2021 NBA Draft props ahead of Thursday and has identified five ideal plays ahead of the action.


💰 More NBA Draft props

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The Pick: Sharife Cooper Over 23.5 (-140) -- From what I'm told, there are plenty of teams that like quite a bit about Auburn guard Sharife Cooper, but the few things they don't like are weighing heavier on their minds. Cooper is exciting to watch because he's a great ballhandler, and he's aggressive, but he's also only 6'1 and doesn't have the kind of wingspan to make up for it. Players of his size just have a limited ceiling in the NBA, and players with limited ceilings don't tend to go very early when teams are more inclined to swing for the fences.

Cooper is more the kind of player that an established playoff team in the back of the first round is more inclined to take a shot on as some instant offense for the bench unit. I'm also told there's little defense to speak of with Cooper, which further limits how attractive he'll be to many teams.

Key Stat: Cooper shot only 22.8% from three last season while attempting 4.75 per game.

The Pick: Miles McBride Under 29.5 (-125) -- McBride is kind of the other side of Sharife Cooper. He's not as flashy or as exciting on the offensive end, but he's a much better shooter, as he shot 41.4% from three for West Virginia last season. Also, while he's only 6'2, he's bigger and has a much longer wingspan (6'9) than Cooper. He's also known as a terrific on-ball defender, and it's believed his wingspan and tenacity will allow for him to be at least an average defender across a few spots at the NBA level.

Those are all important and attractive qualities to teams picking at the end of the first round looking to round out their roster. So, for me, this is essentially a bet on whether or not McBride will be a first-round pick. I think he will be.

Key Stat: McBride averaged 15.9 points and 4.8 assists per game for the Mountaineers last season.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Advanced Computer Model has an A-graded money line play on tonight's banger between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.


💸 The DFS Rundown

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Getty Images

Top Three Starters

  • Freddy Peralta, Brewers
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox
  • Joe Musgrove, Padres

Value Starter

  • Casey Mize, Tigers

Today's Top Stack

  • Fernando Tatis, Padres
  • Manny Machado, Padres
  • Tommy Pham, Padres

Value Hitter

  • D.J. Stewart, Orioles

 ⚾ Chalk Parlay

A two-leg money line parlay of two of tonight's biggest favorites because we're keeping it easy while watching the draft. It pays +109.

  • Brewers (-190)
  • Padres (-270)