Last Updated Apr 13, 2022, 9:05 AM

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds and Best Bet

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds and Best Bet

It’s a two-man race for Rookie of the Year. The top two picks in last year’s NBA Draft have lived up to the hype, so it’s no wonder that either Ja Morant or Zion Williamson will win Rookie of the Year barring something absurd.

Morant and Williamson have clearly been the most valuable rookies in the league, but Morant is the favorite by the NBA futures odds having played the full season.

Williamson missed over half the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery just before the season opener. He would certainly be the favorite to win Rookie of the Year if he hadn’t missed so much time, but his substantial absence means that it will take something special for the No. 1 pick to wrest the Rookie of the Year Award away from Morant.

2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Online Odds

Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

Ja Morant -550
Zion Williamson +300
R.J. Barrett +7500
Kendrick Nunn +7500
Eric Paschall +10000
Michael Porter Jr +10000
Tyler Herro +10000
Brandon Clarke +10000
Coby White +10000
All Other Rookies +12500 or More

Morant is a Heavy Favorite Over Williamson to be Named Rookie of the Year

Morant has been the favorite to claim the award since Williamson’s injury, and he would be the first No. 2 overall pick to be named Rookie of the Year since Kevin Durant if he were to earn the honor. Other lottery picks like R.J. Barrett, Darius Garland, and Coby White were among the preseason favorites to win Rookie of the Year, but there odds have risen substantially as they have not made much of an impact on some of the worst teams in the league.

The No. 1 overall pick has gone on to win Rookie of the Year in six of the last 11 seasons, and the winner of this award is nearly always a lottery pick. The lone exception to this rule in the last 30 years was Malcolm Brogdon, who won Rookie of the Year in 2017 as the No. 36 overall pick.

Ja Morant

The last two years have been a whirlwind for Morant. In the summer of 2018, Morant was an unheralded player entering his sophomore season at Murray State, but he exploded in his second season in college, and he rode that momentum to be the second player taken off the board.

Morant has proven the Grizzlies wise with their selection, and his play has been instrumental to Memphis’ playoff push. The Grizzlies are currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the franchise.

He has been Memphis’ leading scorer with 17.6 PPG, and he is also running the offense, dishing out seven assists an outing. Morant is making 49.2 percent of his field goals and 37.3 percent of his threes, so the future is bright for the rookie.

Zion Williamson

Williamson has only played in 19 games this season, but he has made his impact felt on the court. The most exciting player in college basketball over the last decade has been one of the most talented rookies we have seen enter the league in quite some time, and that has made the Pelicans a contender to catch the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.

Since making his debut two months ago, he is averaging 23.6 PPG and 6.8 RPG. Opposing players are finding Williamson very difficult to defend, and he is making 58.9 percent of his field goals and 46.2 percent of his threes. We’ve never seen a player with his frame and athleticism, and the Pelicans are 10-9 with Zion in the lineup.

The Pelicans have the easiest schedule in the NBA the rest of the way. New Orleans will only play one team with a winning record after this week, and that will give Williamson the chance to build momentum over the last month of the season.

The Longshots

R.J. Barrett has shown flashes during his rookie campaign, but he still needs time to develop a shooter’s touch. Barrett has scored at least 10 points in seven straight games, but he has failed to fill out the stat sheet in other ways and is an inefficient shooter.

In another season, Kendrick Nunn might have a chance to be named Rookie of the Year. He is one of the top players on a Miami team that will win its division, but his numbers pale in comparison to both Morant and Williamson.

2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Selection Summary

For Williamson to be named Rookie of the Year, he will need to do something special over the last month of the season. The No. 1 pick probably needs to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs while averaging over 25 PPG to beat out Morant, and that’s a lot to ask for a player that is still adjusting to the NBA.

2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Free Pick at FanDuel:
Ja Morant -550

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