Bronny James is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2024 NBA draft class — likely because selecting him could increase the team’s chances of landing his legendary father, LeBron James, in free agency. Name recognition is driving a surprising number of bets on the younger James in the draft markets.

On FanDuel, James attracted 30% of tickets to be selected first overall by the Atlanta Hawks, the most of any player in sports betting. BetMGM reports that the USC guard took 36.8% of bets, far ahead of Alex Sarr (-300), who took second place with 14%. James was not initially listed at No. 1 overall on DraftKings but found himself in the field as of Thursday afternoon.

James has consensus odds of 200-1 to be selected with the first pick of the draft — tied with Purdue’s Zach Eddy for tallest on the board. These long odds, combined with the inconsistency in bets to contend with, seem to indicate that a lot of small-money bettors are taking a wild-card scenario for granted. James is projected to be selected in the late second round in ESPN’s latest mock draft.

FanDuel reported that James had just 6% of the handle to take first place overall, while BetMGM put that number at 4.1% — a far cry from Sarr’s 65.5% of the handle in the book.

“We are not interested in taking responsibility there,” said Halvor Egeland, chief trader at BetMGM. “They’re all relatively small bets, no more than $100.”

While the odds and most pundits seem to agree that picking James with the No. 1 pick would be ridiculous, there are other betting markets working on the young player’s talents.

Both DraftKings and BetMGM list LeBron James’ current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, as the favorite to draft the younger James with +180 odds. At DraftKings, the Lakers are the leader in picks on the 19-year-old in both bets (33%) and handles (60%), while BetMGM has LeBron’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-1), as the handle leader. By 34.8%.

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