- Ja Morant is the favorite amongst rookies to win the NBA rookie of the year award.
- Zion Williamson is back from injury, adding doubt to those who supported Morant.
- Online sportsbooks are also offering odds on Kendrick Nunn and Michael Porter Jr.
NEW ORLEANS – After waiting three months for the NBA-debut of Zion Williamson, NBA fans have not been disappointed.
In just six games, Williamson has totaled 117 points (from 61.5% shooting), 49 rebounds, and has helped his team win three games.
With one of the more recent games coming against NBA Rookie of the Year leading candidate Ja Morant, NBA bettors were finally able to pin the top two picks against each other.
Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans got the better of the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, where Zion scored 24 along with six rebounds, while Morant was responsible for 16 points and added an additional three assists.
The Pelicans ended up winning the contest by 28 points, leaving many at online sportsbooks to question whether Morant is the rookie of the year of not.
NBA Rookie Of The Year Betting Odds
There is no denying what Morant has brought to the table for the Grizzlies. His team, floating around .500, has been led by the rookie, who is posting 17-7-3 in the first half of his season.
Morant has scored 20 points or more in 18 (of 44) games this season and has recorded at least five assists in 35 of those matchups. With these numbers, Morant (-400) is leading all candidates with the rookie of the year race.
However, Williamson (+400) is right on his tail. For the first time post-Zion injury, the two future All-Stars are being given odds opposite at the same level.
In short, this is a critical juncture for those betting on the NBA rookie of the year. Do they take Morant – whose total numbers are well ahead of Williamson – or do they take Zion – who will likely catch the eyes of the sports media.
Morant is currently leading the race, but can he hold on? The Memphis Grizzlies guard has averaged 17-8-4 over the course of January, showing no signs of slowing down. Still, Williamson has been responsible for two double-doubles in the last four games, with a third just a rebound away.
Locking In A Profit
No matter who a bettor believes will win the award, the current odds for NBA’s rookie of the year present a proper betting moment. For those who believe Williamson will challenge Morant for the award would be wise to take Zion on the underdog status. For those who believe Morant can not be caught, they would be wise to bet on Morant’s odds.
Either way, these lines are sure to move again. In Williamson’s case, if he continues down the path of media fame, Morant’s odds will likely become closer to EVEN moving through February. In Morant’s case, if Williamson reinjuries himself or the Pelicans decide to put him on load management, Morant’s odds will become even more of a favorite.
The lines don’t need to move much for NBA bettors to make a small profit. Should a bettor wager on Williamson to win the award at the current moment, they would only need a slight shift in favor of the dunking master.
Even if the odds shift to -300 in favor of Morant, those who took Williamson at +400 can lock in a 5.26% return:
- Williamson (+400): $100 wager to return $400 in winnings.
- Morant (-300): $375 wager to return $125 in winnings.
No matter which way the award falls, if a bettor can secure these odds, they would walk away from both wagers up $25. While putting $475 on the line to win $25 may not seem worthwhile, when the risk is almost entirely removed and a bettor can return over 5% of their total risk, this mindset should shift.
Odds will surely change sooner than later, as Williamson and the Pelicans take on the NBA’s best in the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will be on the road in their next game against the Dallas Mavericks, which starts Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Michael spends most of his time betting on over/unders and analyzing algorithms in attempts to beat the book. His focus on statistics comes from an early understanding of mathematics as well as knowledge of opportunity costs. Michael enjoys playing basketball and reading about the NBA whenever he has the free time. When he is not writing, he can be found in Mississippi hitting the sportsbooks and enjoying a margarita… on the rocks, no salt.