Now that we’re facing a shorter NBA betting season, the 2020 NBA rookie of the year betting odds are bound to be crazy this season. Below we’ll be taking a look at the current landscape before making our BetUS sportsbook pick!
2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Landscape
For all intents and purposes, there are only two candidates for this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year award – Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and New Orleans Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson.
The vote for the best freshman in the NBA this year will be somewhat similar to the 2016-17 vote that saw Malcolm Brogdon claim the award over Joel Embiid despite underwhelming statistics.
In that season, Embiid was clearly the most dominant rookie. However, he played in only 31 games. Brogdon got the award based on his 75 games despite averaging a pedestrian 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Morant is such an overwhelming favorite to win the Rookie of the Year based on the betting odds that there’s almost no reason to bet here. There’s a good reason for the Grizz guard to be such a heavy favorite because unlike Brogdon in Embiid’s rookie year, Morant is actually a bona fide, rim-rattling superstar who has led his team to the brink of an unlikely playoff bid.
The rookie from Murray State has played in all but six of his team’s games this year, averaging 17.6 points, 3.9 boards, 6.9 assists and has shot 49.1 percent from the field and close to 37 percent from deep.
Along the way, Morant has provided dozens of highlight-reel dunks. The number-two pick in last year’s draft is setting himself up for an All-Star career in the NBA, and he deserves this award.
Making Up Ground
Williamson has been the talk of the NBA since his Jan. 22 debut. Therein lies the problem – he did not debut until the season was close to halfway over and has played sparingly.
The Pelicans have been wise to bring Williamson along slowly from his knee injury. Even in limited action, Zion has absolutely wowed the NBA. In under 30 minutes per game, he has put up 23.6 points per game, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting an unconscious 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Somehow, Zion has exceeded the hype that followed him to the NBA from Duke. He has taken over games and gone shot for shot with some of the league’s premier players.
The highlight so far is his 35-point outing against LeBron James and the Lakers on Feb. 28 that came on 12-for-16 shooting with 11-for-13 from the line. That’s greatness.
In this unprecedented season, it’s hard to rule anything out. Zion has been so spectacular in his abbreviated rookie season that he certainly could shock the world and persuade the voters to overlook his total number of games played. For that to happen, the Pelicans absolutely must overtake the Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
It’s still an extreme longshot, and if Joel Embiid couldn’t garner enough support to top Malcolm Brogdon, there’s not much reason to think Zion will vault over Ja. There’s little reason to take Morant as such an overwhelming favorite, but if you’ve loved watching Zion as much as everyone else has, put on a small bet and hope for fireworks in Orlando.