Now that the NBA Draft is a past event, the early NBA odds for the Rookie of the Year award have surfaced. It’s not surprising that the players at the top of the draft are favored to win, but is there any value on the NBA betting odds further down the board? Here’s a look at the favorites and the longshots.
Paolo Banchero (+300), the league’s recent No. 1 overall selection, is tied as the leading candidate to win the Rookie of the Year award. Banchero was drafted to the Orlando Magic and has the opportunity to immediately see the floor. Couple that with what he brings to the table and and he’ll have ample time to solidify himself as a “frosh.” Though the Magic were bad last season, they are some good, young players on the roster, so it’s not as if Banchero will be out there by himself.
Jabari Smith Jr (+300) is co-favorite in the sportsbook. The Houston Rockets’ top pick should get plenty of time on the floor. Houston is a team still early on in its rebuild, and thus in need anyone who can contribute. Smith has a strong three-point shot, and the size to defend at a high level, too. He isn’t as creative with the ball, but he brings all traits needed in today’s game, He’ll be able to stuff the stats in Space City.
One other player among the favorites is Chet Holmgren (+450), who some thought could go first overall at one point in the draft. The only true concern for Holmgren has been his weight and strength, as the seven-footer isn’t the biggest guy around. Perhaps that becomes a hindrance here. However, he’s certainly a one-of-a-kind type of player. He was shooting 39 percent from behind the arc at Gonzaga last season, and was averaging over two blocks per game. If he adds bulks throughout the offseason, and then more during the season, Holmgren may be a real force for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
One player that could offer some value is No. 5 selection Jaden Ivey (+550), the guard for the Detroit Pistons. Ivey was one of the more prolific scorers in college last season, playing at Purdue. Now, there’s a similar opportunity in front of him. Detroit badly needs scoring, and Ivey could have less pressure with last season’s top choice, Cade Cunningham, sharing the backcourt. Ivey will contend for the award, and is worth a look.
The No. 4 overall pick, Keegan Murray (+800), is another player who could gain some steam. Murray was taken by the Sacramento Kings, filling a large need at forward. Murray has the ability to score, averaging over 20 points a game last season. He had a big scoring night in his first Summer League game. Sacramento has some skill on the roster in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, along with new acquisitions Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter. Murray won’t have a ton of pressure here.
One other player that’s worth a look is Bennedict Mathurin (+1000). Mathurin, taken by the Indiana Pacers, is in a bit of a murky situation. Indiana as a team have a confusing assortment of players, having just traded Malcolm Brogdon away to open some space in the backcourt. Mathurin will share the floor with other youngsters like Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte, but may be the dynamic scorer this team so desperately needs.
After evaluating the board, go with Murray with your NBA picks as he offers the value.