NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Betting favorites, history, and how to bet

The 2020-21 NBA season is underway and NBA Rookie of the Year odds have been up for months at most major US sportsbooks.

The NBA ROY award is voted upon by a panel of 100 media members who are not affiliated with any NBA franchises. That panel will vote for a ROY based on their regular season performance.

Each member of the panel casts a vote for first to third place selections. Each vote counts incrementally towards a player’s total and the player with the highest total wins the award.

We’ve seen 21 No. 1 overall draft picks named ROY since the award’s inception in the 1952-53 season. Over the past nine years, eight of the award winners could be considered guards, with Karl-Anthony Towns (2015-16) serving as the lone exception.

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2021 NBA Rookie of the Year odds

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2021

LaMelo Ball
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-134
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-210
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+350
Tyrese Haliburton
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+350
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+600
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+450
Anthony Edwards
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+400
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+800
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+900
James Wiseman
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+600
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+800
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+550
Cole Anthony
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+1400
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+1800
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+500
Obi Toppin
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+1400
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+1800
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+1500
Payton Prichard
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+2500
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+5500
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+1500
Immanuel Quickley
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+2500
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+10000
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+2000
Saddiq Bey
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+3300
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+5500
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+2200
Tyrese Maxey
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+5000
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+3600
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+2500
Isaac Okoro
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+5000
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+5500
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+1600
Patrick Williams
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+5000
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+5500
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+3300
Deni Avdija
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+8000
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+3000
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+4000
Desmond Bane
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+8000
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+6500
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+4000
Onyeka Okongwu
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+8000
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+12000
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+5000
Precious Achiuwa
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+10000
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+8500
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+5000
Udoka Azubuike
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+10000
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OTB
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+5000
Josh Green
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+10000
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+24000
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+5000
Kira Lewis Jr
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+10000
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+24000
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+6000
Aleksej Pokusevski
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+10000
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+10000
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+6600
Devin Vassell
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+10000
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+6500
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+5000

View all the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.

ROY Futures Report

The Favorites

LaMelo Ball (+200): Ball is ahead of the curve in terms of how long most experts predicted it would take him to adjust to the NBA game. He played professional basketball overseas and has been relatively poised with a 2.3 AST:TO ratio through his first 8 games. He’s averaging 18.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.4 steals per 36 minutes and shooting 45% from the floor.

Anthony Edwards (+400): The top overall pick has been somewhat underwhelming on a bad Wolves team. Edwards is averaging 13.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 2.0 APG while shooting 28.6% from downtown. His inefficiency from beyond the arc was his biggest knock coming into the draft and he’s going to be locked behind Malik Beasley if he can’t raise his percentage.

James Wiseman (+400): Wiseman posted his first double double with 12 points and 11 boards in a win over Portland on Jan. 3. Steph Curry went off for 62 points in that game and Wiseman served as a valuable pick and roll partner, which is a good sign for his usage going forward. He’s been a good rim protector and owns a 108 defensive rating through his first 8 games.

Tyrese Haliburton (+450): Haliburton has looked fantastic as a complementary guard in the Kings offense and he could get a chance to run the show with De’Aaron Fox (hamstring) injured. The Iowa State product was clearly a steal at No. 12 overall and his basketball IQ has been an immediate asset for Sacramento. HIs odds have jumped from +1500 to +450 at DK after just 2 weeks.

The Contenders

Obi Toppin (+1200): The Knicks look great under Tom Thibodeau, but Toppin (calf) has been injured and hasn’t played since he scored 9 points in the opener. He’s a tremendous athlete, but might get buried on the depth chart behind Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett.

Cole Anthony (+1400): Anthony will be asked to step up with Markelle Fultz (ACL) done for the year. His strong play combined with Fultz’s injuries have caused his odds to jump considerably from +4000 to begin the season. The 15th overall pick is averaging 14.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per 36 minutes and could be seeing that amount of playing time soon.

Payton Pritchard (+2000): With Kemba Walker (knee) out indefinitely and Jeff Teague already embattled by injuries, the Celtics need to find a fill-in at PG and Pritchard has been going above and beyond the call of duty. The rookie shredded the rival Raptors and provided a game-winning putback to beat the Heat 2 nights later.

The Longshots

Immanuel Quickley (+2000): Elfrid Payton is an inconsistent shooter and has been unable to hold onto a starting PG gig for much of his career. Quickley is knocking on the door and Thibodeau has public praised the rookie, who is shooting 42.9% from 3-point range and dropped a couple of big lines in the preseason.

Deni Avdija (+6000): Avdija has shown tremendous highs and lows early for the high-scoring Wizards. He’s only averaging 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per 36 minutes, so increased playing time might not lead to huge production from the 6-foot-9 Israeli.

Killian Hayes (+15000): The Pistons are horrible and Hayes still hasn’t been able to crack their rotation. Inevitable injuries to Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin should afford the 6-foot-5 rookie more usage later in the season, but Hayes has looked like a flop thus far with a 69 offensive rating and 5.5 turnovers per 100 possessions. He could also miss significant time with a hip injury.

How to bet on NBA Rookie of the Year

Betting on the ROY winner is one of the more popular options for outright bets known as “Futures,” which are usually wagers on a season-long outcome such as the NBA champion, NBA division winner, or individual award winners. Odds for futures bets are set during the preseason, but change throughout the season based on news and results.

For the purposes of ROY betting, players will be listed in order of the favorites. So, No. 3 overall pick LaMelo Ball (+400 on DraftKings Sportsbook) is considered the favorite to win the award.

These odds refer to the potential payout if the bet is successful. So, a $20 bet on Ball to be named ROY would only profit $80, whereas a $10 bet on a longshot such as Cole Anthony (+4000) would pay out $410 if voters select him after the season.

Residents of Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia have access to online sportsbooks, including the platforms created by industry titans DraftKings and FanDuel. William Hill and other online books also offer great opportunities to bet on NBA games and Futures.

In order to bet on MVP, users can click on the NBA tab and find the tab labeled “Futures” and move to “Player Futures.” Regular Season MVP should be one of the categories along with Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and more postseason awards.

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Where you can bet legally

Sports betting is currently legal at a regulated sportsbook in the following states:

Arkansas
Colorado
Delaware
Indiana
Iowa
Mississippi
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Nevada
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tennessee
West Virginia

Legislation is on the table in a number of states with more states sure to legalize sports betting in the upcoming years.

NBA ROY trends and history

Twenty-one winners were drafted first overall. Sixteen winners have also won the MVP award in their careers; Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld earning both honors the same season. Nineteen of the 42 winners have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Three seasons had joint winners — Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie in 1970-71; Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in 1994-95, and Elton Brand and Steve Francis in 1999-2000.

As mentioned above, stats matter most. So when choosing a player to wager on, minutes played if often a good place to start … the thought being that the more minutes a player plays, the more he can stuff that stat sheet.