Betting Value in NBA ROY?

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The NBA season is almost at the end of the line, and awards season is right around the corner. There are very few close races left as the MVP race is almost certainly decided. Most Improved Player will be Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson is going to take home 6th Man of the Year. 

The one race I’m keeping my eye on is the Rookie of the Year. For a while, the current frontrunner, Anthony Edwards (No. 1 pick of the Timberwolves) was not even a top candidate. Before March 21st, LaMelo Ball was as high as -775 on some sites to win the award. Then he got injured, which suddenly opened the door for other candidates. 

This somewhat resembles the draft. Ball was the favorite to be drafted No. 1 overall for months, then at the last minute, Edwards took over and became the favorite. Let’s take a look and see if we can expect the same thing, or something different. 

Player A: 15.9 ppg; 6.1 apg; 5.9 rpg; 1.6 spg; 45% FG; 37.5% 3-PT

Player B: 18.0 ppg; 2.6 apg; 4.1 rpg; 1.1 spg; 39.8% FG; 31.2% 3-PT

Player C: 13.0 ppg; 5.1 apg; 3.1 rpg; 1.2 spg; 47.8% FG; 41.0% 3-PT

There isn’t much separation between the three players. To me, Player A is the most consistent, Player B is just scoring the most, and Player C could be a great shooter for a long time. Those players, in order, are Ball, Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton.  

With fewer than 20 games remaining, it doesn’t look hopeful for Ball to return and make a final case for the award. One report out of Charlotte (obviously a bit biased) says that a survey of 12 voters from 2020 would give Ball the award and Edwards was in third place in their voting. There is not much history of a player missing roughly half the season and still winning the award.

The case here is that Edwards’ stats don’t jump off the page at you, and he plays for one of the worst teams in the league. He has not made much of an impact. Ball helped the Hornets get into contention. Even Haliburton had the Kings at least in playoff consideration. Personally, I plan to grab a small share of LaMelo stock at +210 on FanDuel and hope that his half-season showed that he really was the cream of this rookie crop. The value is absolutely there, and if Edwards is just decent these last few games, Ball could take the award home. 

Written by OutKick Bets

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