Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
NCAA Basketball Wooden Player of the Year Odds and Picks
Dayton’s Obi Toppin is the Odds-On Favorite to be the Wooden Player of the Year
This has been the year of the mid-major in college basketball. Teams like Gonzaga, San Diego State, and Dayton are in line to earn either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and all three of those teams are among the favorites to win the national championship.
The most surprising team of the bunch has been Dayton. The Flyers were ranked behind Davidson and VCU in the Atlantic 10 at the start of the year, but Obi Toppin has led Dayton to a 27-2 record and a 16-0 conference mark. Dayton’s only two losses came in overtime against Kansas and Colorado, and that has led the Flyers to their highest ranking in the AP Poll since 1956.
That has also made Toppin the top player in college basketball this season, as the high-flying sophomore has surpassed all expectations.
2020 Wooden Player of the Year Betting Online Odds at DraftKings
Obi Toppin -143
Luka Garza +115
Malachi Flynn +650
Payton Pritchard +900
Markus Howard +1000
Devon Dotson +2000
Cassius Winston +2000
Filip Petrusev +2000
Freddie Gillespie +3000
Udoka Azubuike +5000
Jared Butler +5000
Ayo Dosunmu +5000
Tre Jones +5000
Jordan Nwora +5000
Nick Richards +5000
Lamar Stevens +5000
All Others at +10000 or More
2020 Wooden Player of the Year Odds Overview
It’s not often that we see a player listed as an odds-on favorite to win the Wooden Award before the end of the regular season. However, it’s been a down year in college basketball, and Obi Toppin has been one of the bright spots. Dayton has the longest active winning streak in the game with 18 straight victories, putting a large spotlight on Toppin.
Iowa’s Luka Garza is seen as Toppin’s major competition for the award. Garza has been the best big man in the Big Ten this year, and his play has the Hawkeyes in the mix for a Big Ten title even though the conference is loaded with eight ranked teams.
Obi Toppin is averaging 19.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG, and he has made Dayton the most efficient offense in the country. The Flyers lead the nation in effective field goal percentage (59.7 percent), and they are sinking 63.1 percent of their two-point field goals on the season. Toppin’s size and athleticism have helped the sophomore make 63.2 percent of his baskets, but it’s his rim-rattling dunks that lead highlight segments.
That led Jay Bilas to declare that Obi Toppin was the best player in the country as early as December. The buzz around Toppin has only grown from there as Dayton continues to compile big wins, and he is sure to dazzle casual fans in March Madness. However, it’s tough to bet on Toppin as an odds-on favorite.
While Dayton has run away with the Atlantic 10, Iowa is stuck in the toughest conference in college basketball this season. The Big Ten is loaded with talent, and that has made Luka Garza somewhat overshadowed as there are as many as ten potential tournament teams in the conference.
Garza has been the second-best player in the nation according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, as he is averaging 23.7 PPG while knocking down 54.1 percent of his shots and pulling down 9.8 RPG. However, he needs to shine while Iowa makes a deep run in the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament to feel good about his chances.
Malachi Flynn has been instrumental to San Diego State’s success this season. The junior guard has flourished after sitting out a year following his transfer from Washington State, and he is one of the best in the country at creating his own shot. Flynn has made 44.7 percent of his field goals and 37.2 percent of his threes, but no player from California has won the Wooden Award since UCLA’s Marques Johnson claimed the inaugural trophy in 1977.
The best value lies in the longshots. This has been a rather lackluster year in college basketball, and a few dominant performances in big games this March could be enough for a player to claim the award out of nowhere. Along those lines, three 50-1 shots constitute the best value as being great players on very good teams. Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike, Louisville’s Jordan Nwora, and Baylor’s Jared Butler have all had excellent seasons, and they can all take over a few games in March Madness.