- Roughly 30-percent through the season a huge favorite has emerged
- Only two players are receiving any significant support
- Bettors should take advantage of Luka Doncic’s odds now before they become any shorter
Going into June’s NBA Draft there was some minor debate about who the top pick should be. In the end, manchild Deandre Ayton was picked ahead of the more polished Marvin Bagley III, with the ultimate wildcard, Luka Doncic, selected third. The picks were logical. Six months later they seem crazy.
We had Doncic as the favorite before the season began, but not the overwhelming chalk he has become. Doncic has been nothing short of spectacular, taking a Mavericks team most assumed would be near the bottom of the standings and making them Western Conference playoff contenders. While it is hard to imagine anyone catching him to win Rookie of the Year honors, remember we aren’t even at Christmas yet, the unofficial start of the NBA season.
Whether it be Ayton, or someone else, if you think the Doncic train can be slowed down (be it on the court or via injury), there are some juicy odds to ponder. Let’s examine the numbers and see if there is an angle worth pursuing.
2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|Player||Odds to Win the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Award|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||15/1|
|Marvin Bagley III||15/1|
|Wendell Carter Jr.||25/1|
The Favorite: Luka Doncic
The implied probability Doncic takes home the hardware is 67%. While that is a tough pill to swallow, if the voting took place right now he would be the unanimous choice or close to it. Every week his chances are getting better, and at some point soon there will be no way to bet him unless you are forking over $10 for every dollar you’ll win.
On the court, Doncic has been a revelation. While he has been inconsistent at times, 18 points a game, 6.5 rebounds a contest, more than four assists a game, and 38% shooting from outside the arc is outstanding.
Better than his numbers though are his electric highlights.
Top Challenger: Deandre Ayton
While Luka has been the talk of the league, Ayton’s numbers are equally as terrific. However, he plays for the Suns, arguably the worst team in the league, and there have been some questions about whether there are limits to his game that will prohibit him from being a superstar.
He is averaging 16 points and 10 boards a game while shooting 60%. Ayton has been more consistently productive than Doncic too. That said, his impact does not feel as great, and certainly has not led to victories.
Trae Young is the clear third choice, and his 16 points a game are great, but he just isn’t shooting a high enough percentage to be seriously considered.
Jackson has played very well recently, and Memphis is solidly in a playoff position. That said, his impact at this stage does not come close to Doncic.
Bagley III has helped the Kings to a much better start than many expected, and he has been solid (13 ppg, 7 rpg). However, the plan is to take it slow, and he’s hurt right now.
How to Bet
Nobody likes betting on the favorite, and the odds keep shrinking, making it even less fruitful. That said, baring an injury there is no reason to believe Doncic is getting slowed down. Don’t wait another month and watch the odds go to 1/5.