NBA Rookie of the Year Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
Now that the NBA Draft is done and we know which young stars will be playing for which teams, we can look ahead to the ultimate prize for the recently drafted players at the end of an NBA season - the Rookie of the Year crown. It's a deep and talented field that lacks a runaway star, and we don't have a guy like Ben Simmons lurking to grab it from another draft class. That makes for an interesting race to handicap. I think there is a clear favorite, but the oddsmakers don't agree with me. How about you? ( Odds are from Bovada ):
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix (+260): I get why Ayton is favored here - and why he was the first overall pick. But I don't really like his chances that much. He will be able to score and snag rebounds. But his defense is certainly a work in progress, and I fear that that will be a distraction in his game as he grows in that area - which he needs to do to be a full-package contributor for the Suns. And while the Suns have the best collection of talent they have had in a long while, they still have work to do to be a cohesive unit and one that can exceed the sum of their parts. It's pretty easy for a team like Phoenix to not get a lot of attention from Eastern voters unless they are really shining, too. I wouldn't argue too much with someone who wanted to bet him, but the next choice is a much better one.
Luka Doncic, Dallas (+300): I think Doncic is the clear and obvious pick here. He's the best Euro prospect since Dirk, and he has Dirk himself as a mentor. He has a great backcourt partner in Dennis Smith Jr. He has a well-rounded game and is used to playing against men and with the pressure of playing as a professional. And his playing style translates to the NBA well. He is not a stunning athlete, and that could hurt with voters who care most about highlight reels. But he's a nearly-certain superstar who landed in a very good spot, and he is going to do some damage. In both real and relative terms this price is attractive.
Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento (+450): Bagley is immensely talented, and the best news for him is that there isn't anyone in Sacramento who is going to block his way to playing time. He can grab all the minutes he wants there. And he has a potentially strong pick and roll partner in De'Aaron Fox if and when they can develop some chemistry. But the Kings still aren't great, and they are very easy to forget since they play in a smaller market in a bad timezone. I'm bullish on Bagley in the long term, but don't see him as nearly the contender here that the odds suggest.
Trae Young, Atlanta (+700): Atlanta already has a point guard in Dennis Schroder, so there are obviously some pieces yet to drop in this situation. Assuming Young plays a lot, though, I am not that optimistic. He is obviously a scoring freak, but he's joining a bad team, and I am not at all convinced that his game is going to translate right to the NBA without some tweaking and growth. I will admit to not being as optimistic about Young as many are, and I certainly don't think he is the next coming of Steph Curry, so perhaps I'm not being totally fair to him. But I just see no value at all on him here. He could win it, but the chances of a challenging year with enough glimpses of greatness between the rough spots to keep us engaged feel far more likely. I would feel better about his candidacy if he wasn't on such a bad team. He doesn't have a lot of help around him on the Hawks.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver (+1100): Porter is such an interesting case. He has the tools to be a top pick, so falling as far as he did represents a potential bargain for Denver. It also puts a gigantic chip on his shoulder - he'll be looking to prove that every team that didn't take him made a massive mistake. But the NBA doesn't hire bad doctors to evaluate prospects. So, the fact that he fell as far as he did has to make you nervous about the state of his back and his readiness for a full season of grueling NBA action. He is on a pretty solid team, though, and he fits well, so if he is fit and healthy he could be dangerous. It's a total coin flip.
Collin Sexton, Cleveland (+2200): Sexton is in a weird situation because we have no idea what his team will look like. He made his case for LeBron James to stick around right after he was traded, but that won't move the needle even slightly. If James stays then he will get much more attention, and it's easier to look good when you have that guy to pass to. But if and when James leaves town, Sexton is going to be on a very bad team. I like Sexton a lot - a lot more than Young in the long term - and confidence won't be a factor for him, but neither possible scenario sets up as the best for winning the award. He either won't get enough credit because of his teammate, or he will be on a team that no one could save.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc's Sports list of expert sports handicappers. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free .
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- NBA Commissioner Weighs In on Legal US Sports Betting
- Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns NBA Playoff Series Predictions and Odds
- Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets NBA Playoff Series Predictions and Odds
- LA Lakers Could be in Real Trouble with LeBron and AD Injuries
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/20/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/13/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/1/2021 and Opening Line Report