NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Banchero’s Price Tightens With Holmgren Out for Season

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NBA Rookie of the Year odds were shaken up when No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren suffered a season-ending foot (Lisfranc) injury.

Fans and bettors have to wait until at least 2023-24 to see Holmgren in his first NBA action. That still leaves a class of talented first-year players vying for Rookie of the Year honors. Forward Paolo Banchero owns the shortest Rookie of the Year odds, but others are worth watching as well.

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NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Paolo Banchero Preseason Favorite

The NBA world was surprised when the Orlando Magic called Banchero’s name first overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. Still, he opened as the betting favorite to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors, and his price shortened upon news of Holmgren’s injury. Listed in the +280 range earlier in the week, Banchero is a consensus +200 around the sports betting market, with Caesars offering a nicer price than most.

PlayerDraftKingsFanDuelBetMGM: Code TODAYCaesars: Code TODAYFULL
Paolo Banchero+200+200+200+225
Keegan Murray+450+500+500+430
Jabari Smith Jr.+700+600+600+650
Jaden Ivey+700+500+550+575
Bennedict Mathurin+1000+1100+1000+1100
Shaedon Sharpe+1800+3000+2000+1500
Dyson Daniels+2000+3300+2000+2000
Ochai Agbaji+3000+4200+3000+3500
A.J. Griffin+3500+5500+4000+5000

Before the devastating news, Holmgren was the +350 second betting choice.

Banchero, 6-10 and 250 pounds, waltzes onto a roster whose leading scorer averaged 16.3 points per game. That was point guard Cole Anthony, who was followed by Franz Wagner (15.2) and Wendell Carter Jr. (15.0). The expectation is that Banchero will leapfrog all three to emerge as the Magic’s primary scorer.

NBA rookie of year odds Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero is favored in NBA Rookie of the Year odds (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Shouldering the scoring load is what Banchero did in his lone season at Duke, where he averaged 17.3 points in 33 minutes per contest. It won’t be surprising to see Banchero lead the Magic in usage rate as well, providing him plenty of time on the ball to rack up assists to complement his scoring. He averaged 3.2 dimes per game with the Blue Devils, suggesting he can do more than just put the ball in the bucket in Year 1.

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Toronto’s Scottie Barnes earned top rookie honors in 2021-22, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. He also helped lead the Raptors to the postseason.

Detroit’s Cade Cunningham is another comparison Banchero bettors should consider. Cunningham finished at or near the top of a number of categories for the Pistons en route to finishing No. 3 in ROY voting. His 17.4 PPG also led rookies, so Banchero backers will want to see him do more than just pile up empty stats.

Considering how putrid the Magic have been in recent seasons, it’s difficult to envision them earning one of the Eastern Conference’s eight playoff berths. But his projected shot volume and usage should allow Banchero to rack up considerable statistical production.

Rookie of the Year Betting Values, Sleepers & Dark Horses

NBA bettors are wise to think beyond the top of odds tables when considering Rookie of the Year wagers. Perhaps there are exceptions — LeBron James, for example — but generally, there are too many variables to simply lock into the presumptive favorite.

Keegan Murray (Sacramento Kings), Jabari Smith Jr. (Houston Rockets), and Jaden Ivey (Detroit Pistons) are the next three rookies on odds boards. Each has his own case to make as the best bet to finish as the league’s top rookie.

Murray and Ivey both played two seasons in the rugged Big Ten. College experience doesn’t necessarily set an easier course toward Rookie of the Year honors, though. There have been 17 drafts since the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement closed the NBA Draft to prep prospects. Eight “one-and-dones” — players who played one year of college ball before jumping to the NBA — won Rookie of the Year. That’s good news for Smith. The 6-10 wing has garnered, perhaps unfairly, Kevin Durant comparisons due to his scoring ability and frame.

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Team success often plays a role in individual awards. All four of the top rookies are on young, inexperienced rosters short on expectations. The Magic’s Over/Under for wins sits at 26.5. However, it’s not rosy for the Kings (32.5), Rockets (23.5), or Pistons (28.5) either.

The table is set for Banchero and his top challengers to fill up the stat sheet this season. In order for a sleeper to emerge from the pack, he needs to produce and play for a winning team.

Dyson Daniels (New Orleans Pelicans), Ochai Agbaji (Cleveland Cavaliers), and AJ Griffin (Atlanta Hawks) are three players worth a look from those seeking long-shot wagers. All three are more likely to contribute to playoff berths. The question is, will it be to a degree that yields impactful statistical production?

This year’s class of under-the-radar first-year players may underwhelbm. However, it’s never a bad idea to cast a wide net on ROY odds.

Also check: NBA Championship odds move with Durant/Nets news | Best sports betting bonuses

About the Author
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based writer for Gaming Today, who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy sports, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.

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