NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Betting favorites, history, and how to bet

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Top sportsbooks have NBA Rookie of the Year odds posted with the Cavaliers’ Evan Mobley and the Raptors’ Scottie Barnes as the favorites. The Rockets’ Jalen Green was the favorite on Opening Night with (+200) odds at DraftKings Sportsbook but he is now (+2200).

NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Here are NBA Rookie of the Year odds for the 2021-22 pro basketball season.

NBA Rookie of the Year futures report

The Favorites

Evan Mobley : The Cavs have been zigging while the rest of the NBA zags by playing the 7-foot Mobley alongside true center Jarrett Allen and it’s working with the second-best defensive rating in basketball. Mobley returned from a two-week stint on the COVID list to post 22 points at New Orleans and his usage should remain high the rest of the way with Ricky Rubio (knee) and Collin Sexton (knee) both out for the year.

Scottie Barnes : With Toronto’s roster decimated by COVID-related absences, Barnes was taking advantage of extra opportunities. He’s scored in double figures in 12 straight games with averages of 16.5 PPG and 8.5 RPG and a 121.6 offensive rating during that span. Now Barnes is on the COVID List, but he should resume his starting role once he returns.

Cade Cunningham : While the Pistons are 1-18 and averaging just 101.9 PPG over their last 19 contests, Cunningham is putting up solid numbers with averages of 18.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 5.8 APG on 45/44/83% shooting splits over his last 10 games. Jerami Grant (thumb) is hurt and could get shipped away at the trade deadline to ensure Cunningham remains the top option in Detroit.

The Contenders

Franz Wagner : The 6-foot-9 PF has scored in double figures in 17 straight games and really ramped up lately for the shorthanded Magic with a 38-point performance against the defending champion Bucks on Dec. 28. Wagner is getting a 28.4% usage rate over his last seven games with Orlando missing a dozen players due to injuries and protocols.

Jalen Green : After sitting for a month with a hamstring injury, Green has scored 44 points on efficient 15-for-30 FG shooting over two games since his return. The Rockets are going to give him every opportunity during the second half of the season and Houston won’t be playing much defense, so his stats should be inflated by that pace.

Josh Giddey : The 6-foot-8, 205-pound Australian PG is offering well-rounded production with averages of 11.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 6.7 APG over 10 December appearances. He failed to score in a recent win over the Pelicans, but still helped his team considerably with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Chris Duarte : Duarte has started December hot with averages of 15.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.0 SPG on 51.1% FG shooting and has been steady over his last six games with averages of 14.5 PPG on 50/40/62% shooting splits.

Alperen Sengun : The 6-foot-10 Turkish center is an intriguing prospect with crafty post moves and a flair for flashy passes. Sengun is averaging 9.8 PPG, 5 RPG, and 2.9 APG this month, but could see his playing time ramp up down the stretch once the Rockets fully embrace the tanking process.

What happened in past years?

The 2020-21 NBA season wrapped with LaMelo Ball earning Rookie of the Year honors and NBA Rookie of the Year odds are up at key sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

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.

There is plenty of precedent where a player misses too many games and members of the panel decide they shouldn’t be eligible.

Last year, Ball played in 51 of 72 games, missing 21 with a broken wrist. In 2019, Zion Williamson played 24 games and finished third in ROY voting with only one first-place vote. In 2017, Joel Embiid finished third behind Malcolm Brogdon and Dario Saric after playing in 31 of 82 possible games, but he got 23 first-place votes.

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. It’s also possible to bet Over or Under on Team Win totals, i.e. the number of games a team is expected to win during the regular season.

Odds for futures bets are set during the preseason, but can 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, Houston’s Jalen Green (+200) is considered the favorite to win the award.

These odds refer to the potential payout if the bet is successful. So, a $100 bet on Cunningham to be named ROY would profit $200, whereas a $100 bet on a longshot such as James Bouknight (+2800) would profit $2,800 if voters select him after the season.

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Where you can bet legally

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

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New Mexico
New York sports betting
Pennsylvania online sports betting
Rhode Island
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West Virginia online sports betting
Virginia online sports betting

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.