Can You Bet On The NBA Draft In Iowa? No, But DraftKings Has A Free Contest For You

Written By Russ Mitchell on July 29, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
nba draft odds iowa 2021

It doesn’t matter which Iowa sports betting site you visit, legal NBA Draft betting is still out of reach for now. However, basketball bettors in Iowa still have options.

ABC and ESPN will carry the first round of the draft from 7-10 p.m. Round 2 then moves over to ESPN until about 11:30 p.m.

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DraftKings offers free NBA Draft pool

DraftKings is hosting the free Crocs Draft Position Challenge for a chance to win part of a $10,000 prize pool.

The sportsbook asks:

  • Who will be the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 overall picks? (separate questions)
  • Which player finds a team first? Jonathan Kuminga, SF, Congo or Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State?
  • What will the draft position be for Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor? Over 8.5 or under 8.5?
  • What will the draft position be for Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan? Over 9.5 or under 9.5?
  • How many players from non-NCAA teams will be drafted in the top 10? Over 2.5 or under 2.5?
  • How many players from the SEC will be drafted in the first round (over 7.5 or under 7.5)? From the Big 12 (over 3.5 or under 3.5)? From the Pac 12 (over 2.5 or under 2.5)? (separate questions)

Top odds for the NBA Draft

For the record, William Hill Sportsbook (New Jersey edition) thinks Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham is an overwhelming favorite to be Thursday’s top pick at -8000. G-League shooting guard Jalen Green is +1600.

Moneyline bets for the rest of the top 10 candidates for the first pick at out-of-state William Hill are:

  • Evan Mobley, C, USC (+2000)
  • Jalen Suggs, PG, Gonzaga (+2500)
  • Jonathan Kuminga, SF, Congo (+4000)
  • Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State (+4000)
  • Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor (+8000)
  • Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee (+8000)
  • Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas (+10000)
  • Jalen Johnson, SF, Duke (+10000)

Watch the NBA Draft’s impact on futures bets, too

Sportsbooks in Iowa can’t take bets on the draft order, but keep an eye on the draft anyway. Draft night trades and surprise picks can shake up NBA Championship futures. Bettors in Iowa might see some major odds shifts, based on what happens Thursday night.

As of now, sportsbooks favor the Brooklyn Nets to win the NBA title.


Why can’t I bet on the Draft in Iowa?

As Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) administrator Brian Ohorilko explained in April:

“I’m not sure if it was an intentional omission or not, but currently, it is not something that is authorized in the state of Iowa. The statute would need to be changed.”

A proposed bill in the Iowa Legislature called for the legalization of player selection bets, esports wagers and athlete of the year awards. It just didn’t muster enough timely support to advance beyond the committee level.

Iowa Gaming Association president Wes Ehrecke thinks the Iowa Legislature will have a chance to consider additional wagers when the regular session reconvenes in January 2022. Earlier this month, he told PlayIA:

“Professional sports team drafts and player of the year awards, like the Heisman Trophy seem to be some popular requests.”


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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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