Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-5 unicorn from France and one of the most anticipated prospects in history, is almost certain to be 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 standpoint, how much of a slam dunk is it to reach #1? It currently stands at -20,000 [$20,000 wins $100] it will be drafted first thing next month. For comparison, Zion Williamson went as low as -10000 to be the first pick in the 2019 draft.
To highlight just how much of a No. 1 favorite Wembanyama is, FOX Sports Research looked at some of the other most notable “sure things” in the historical sports landscape. Let’s take a look at some other favorites from the past.
Warriors Tangle (2017-18)
In sports betting, it is extremely rare to see lower odds on preseason title charts due to several factors. However, the Golden State Warriors they 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 tried and tested trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompsoni Draymond Green, sportsbooks had no choice but to make Golden State a heavy title favorite entering those two seasons. For perspective, the Warriors are the only eventual NBA champions with the least odds of winning 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 went a whopping -1075 in 2018.
Roger Federer dominates in 2006
In 2006, Roger Federer had three Wimbledon titles and was the consensus No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world. Going into the Australian Open that year, he was a -250 favorite before the tournament and entered the final at -1000 to win.
Reflecting on that data, those -1,000 odds are the largest of any men’s champion to enter a Grand Slam final since at least 1992.
That same year, he won Wimbledon (-250 pre-tournament odds, -500 entering the final) and the US Open (-200 pre-tournament odds, -667 entering the final). Finally, Federer became the first man to win 20 Grand Slams and is one of only three men to have achieved this feat.
Nick warns fans to curb Victor Wembanyama hype
Victor Wembanyama is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to the San Antonio Spurs.
Bart Starr and Packers cover as all-time favorite (1966)
Historically, one-off games in the NFL regular season don’t usually garner attention. But the next 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 they were favorites with 27 points going into the game. Not only did the Packers cover, they won by 53 points. This Packers team would win the first Super Bowl. This victory marked the largest coverage in a regular season game in the Super Bowl era.
For reference, teams favored by 23 or more points in the regular season have gone 5-10 against the spread (ATS) during the Super Bowl era.
Clemson wins six consecutive ACC titles (2015-20)
By Dabo Swinney Clemson Tigers put together a historic streak the ACC had never seen before, racking up six straight conference titles in football.
From 2015 to 2017, their preseason odds to win 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 post three straight seasons with preseason odds to win their conference of -200 or less since at least 2008.
Kansas leads as heavy favorite in NCAA Tournament (1998)
When it comes to massive point spreads, the Kansas Jayhawks they were favorites with 36.5 points 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, capping the second-largest spread in a NCAA Tournament game since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks were upset by the Rhode Island Rams in the next round.
Massive favorite flops
While this list focuses on heavy favorites and winners, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up boxer Mike Tyson, whose odds of to defeat Buster Douglas were -4200 entering their fight. Douglas shocked the world, knocking out Tyson in the tenth round. Let it be a possible cautionary tale for betting big favorites blindly.
When commissioner Adam Silver calls the draft on June 22, fans and bettors will be able to officially add Wemby to at least a couple of lists Once selected first overall, he will join the likes of LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing, among others. And at -20,000 to be the #1 pick, he’ll go down as one of the biggest favorites in sports betting history.
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