With the start of the NBA’s regular season just over a week away, this NBA Wagering article will focus on the top candidates to win the 2007-08 NBA rebounding title.

With several legitimate candidates that can actually win the rebounding title, this race will undeniably be close – and one that could come down to the final game or two of the regular season.

I have broken down the rebounding race into the three separate categories for the players listed. The ‘Contenders’ category lists all of the players that have the most realistic chances at actually winning, while the Pretenders category is for players that will put up fine rebounding statistics, but aren’t really in the upper echelon of rebounders that could actually lead the season. The ‘Get Real’ category is for players that have no chance whatsoever at winning any personal title this upcoming season at all.

Here is a look at the odds on each player, followed by a comment on each player’s actual chances of winning the rebounding title.

Player to record highest rebound average.

The Contenders

Kevin Garnett +475

Garnett is the odds-on-favorite to win the rebounding title for a reason NBA bettors. Maybe it’s because has led the NBA in rebounding the last four seasons, including a whopping 12.8 per game last season. – duh.

Dwight Howard +575

Howard has been a top-10 rebounder in each of the last three seasons, finishing third in rebounding last season, (12.4 rpg) and second in 2005-06, (12.5). Just percentage points behind Garnett the last two seasons, Howard may be the next logical choice to win it all.

Marcus Camby +800

Despite his rebounding prowess, Camby almost went into the ‘Pretenders’ category for one simple reason, he gets injured every season, almost like clock-work and usually doesn’t have enough games under his belt to qualify for the race, as was the case in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, when Camby averaged double digits in rebounds each season but played in only 56 and 66 games respectively those two seasons.

Tyson Chandler +1000

At +1000, Chandler is by far, the best bet on the board for a player that actually has a chance at winning the rebounding title. Chandler finished second to Garnett last season, averaging 12.4 rebounds and has made no secret of his desire to lead the league in the category.

Carlos Boozer +900

Boozer may be the second-best wager on the board as the rugged power forward has always been a rebounding machine when healthy. Boozer finished fourth in rebounding last season averaging 11.7 per game and could improve those numbers this season.

The Pretenders

Ben Wallace +1400

Ben Wallace is a rebounding machine and defensive genius. However, playing on a team that is a jump-shooting perimeter-oriented club, led by guards Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and small forward Luol Deng, many of Wallace’s rebounds have turned in to long rebounds that start fastbreaks for the other team.

 

Tim Duncan +1400

‘Timmy’ is too busy leading the Spurs to championships to have time to worry about leading the league in any personal category these days, except a championship that is.

Shawn Marion +1600

The ‘Matrix’ is a do-it-all small forward who is a bit too busy with other aspects of his solid ‘all-around’ game to actually lead the league in rebounding.

Amare Stoudemire +1600

While Stoudemire is an absolutely fine low post player, he’ll likely never lead the league in rebounding despite being a perennial top 10 or 15 rebounder. The fact of the matter is that the Stoudemire focuses more on putting the ball in the hole than going after it.

Emeka Okafor +1000

I’ll admit that Okafor undoubtedly has the stuff to win a rebounding title - too bad he can’t stay healthy enough to actually make a go of it.

Yao Ming +1000

While ‘soft’ is not a word I’d particularly associate with Yao Ming, I wouldn’t say he’s an aggressive rebounder by any means and gets the majority of his off of height alone.

Zach Randolph +1400

The often petulant Randolph is a bona fide 20-and-10 player. His main focus is on scoring, not rebounding and defense. However, I will say that if Randolph ever decided he wanted to lead the league in rebounding, he has the necessary skills.

Chris Bosh +1400

Bosh is a fine young power forward whose athleticism and offensive game are almost limitless. However, he is not a huge rebounder and could still stand to gain a bit more weight. Maybe in another year or two, Bosh can make a run at the rebounding title, not now.

Jermaine O’Neal +2500

O’Neal may be one of the best bets on the board. If properly motivated, O’Neal could surprise everyone and lead the league in rebounding this season if he wanted to. However, playing on a team that is in the midst of rebuilding, (although they insist they’re not), O’Neal is more apt to pack his bags this season than lead the league in rebounding.

Get Real

Here are the odds on the remaining candidates in the 2007-08 NBA rebounding title race. While the majority of these players are solid players on their respective teams – and may even lead their respective clubs in rebounding this season – they may not have a realistic chance of winning the rebounding title this season, if ever, in their respective careers.

Al Jefferson +1400

Pau Gasol +2500

Dirk Nowitzki +2500

Andris Biedrins +2500

Chris Kaman +2500

Lamar Odom +2500

Shaquille ONeal +3000

Samuel Dalembert +3000

Andrew Bogut +3000

Antawn Jamison +5000

Ron Artest +5000

Wager is for regular season only All bet are action. NBA.com for results

Top 5 Rebounders Last Three Seasons

2006-07 Season

Kevin Garnett 12.8

Tyson Chandler 12.4

Dwight Howard 12.3

Carlos Boozer 11.7

Marcus Camby 11.7

2005-06 Season

Kevin Garnett 12.7

Dwight Howard 12.5

Shawn Marion 11.8

Ben Wallace 11.3

Tim Duncan 11.0

2004-05 Season

Kevin Garnett 13.5

Ben Wallace 12.2

Shawn Marion 11.3

Emeka Okafor 10.9

Troy Murphy 10.8

And the winner is… I’ve got to go with the odds-on-favorite, Kevin Garnett, with this wager. While it’s certainly not rocket science in picking the player who just won three consecutive rebounding titles, I think Garnett will win the title this upcoming season because he will be more than motivated after moving to a new team – and one that actually has a chance to play some meaningful postseason games this season.

If Garnett does somehow manage to come up short, my next pick is Tyson Chandler. While the New Orleans Hornets frontcourt player has plenty of offensive deficiencies, he wants desperately, to lead the league in rebounding.

Finally, I’m picking Orlando Magic man-child Dwight Howard to finish in third place. Howard is a voracious rebounder who will compete for the title – or win it – for the next decade or so.

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