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2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Ja vs Zion, Who Ya Got?

NBA Rookie of The Year Betting Odds February 11 2020

An NBA award race that was seen to be all but locked up has gotten very interesting. Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant currently sits as the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year but No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson is making a strong case to steal the award back from Ja.

The New Orleans Pelicans forward’s odds have shifted all the way to +210 to win the NBA Rookie of the Year with Morant sitting at -250. Williamson has been just as advertised for the Pellies through 14 games and what’s incredible is that his odds were +800 back in January before his return to the lineup.

With under 25 games left for both the Grizzlies and Pelicans, let’s make the betting case for each of them to take home the hardware. It’s worth noting these teams face each other twice within three days, on March 21 and 24, which could swing the odds heavily for this prop.

Why Ja Will Win

Opening as the second betting option on the oddsboard for the Rookie of the Year, it’s not like Ja Morant snuck up on voters to start the season. He was the second overall pick in the NBA draft and in any other year that didn’t include an athletic marvel like Zion, Ja would’ve been the favorite.

Morant has been one of the best things to watch on NBA League Pass this year and he’s been the driving force in carrying the Memphis Grizzlies to a potential playoff spot. The Grizz sit at 28-31 SU through 59 games but only have a two-game lead over the Pelicans for the 8 seed in the West.

Morant has been playing nothing like a rookie for Memphis this season as he leads the team in points, assists and steals and is typically the closer in tight games. His assist numbers also show that it’s not just him jacking up shots – his 7.1 dimes per game ranks 11th in the NBA.

With his odds at -250, it’s not overly enticing to bet on him at this stage but if the Grizzlies make the playoffs and Ja continues to be a star, it’s his award to lose.

Why Zion Will Win

Although Zion Williamson has played only 14 games this season, it’s been enough to remind bettors (and more importantly, voters) of just how damn good he is. The No. 1 overall pick has scored 20 or more points in 11 of those games and poured in 30-plus points in back-to-back contests prior to the all-star break.

He has been an athletic force with dazzling dunks and quick-twitch reflexes that make him easily the most dangerous player on the floor, with coach Alvin Gentry picking up his minutes game by game. One facet that has really stood out is his ability to get to the foul line, with an average of 8.2 free throws per game and six games of 10 shots or more from the charity stripe.

The issue with betting on Zion to win Rookie of the Year is simply games played. The Duke Blue Devils product was held out of the first 41 games of the campaign due to a knee injury and at most can play 23 more games over the remainder of the regular season. By that count, he would finish the season with only 37 games under his belt.

Only two players have ever won Rookie of the Year while playing fewer than 60 games – Brandon Roy (57) in 2006-07 and Patrick Ewing (50) in 1985-86 – and Zion would likely need to average 30 points and 15 rebounds per game just to surpass the feats of Morant and perhaps carry the Pelicans to a playoff spot. Given how great Zion has looked thus far, those statistical feats don’t seem far-fetched.

2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award Odds
PlayerOdds
Ja Morant-250
Zion Williamson+210
Kendrick Nunn+4000
RJ Barrett+5000
Rui Hachimura+5000
Michael Porter Jr. +5000
Eric Paschall +6000
Tyler Herro+7000

Odds as of February 29 at Bovada


Understanding NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

When you go to any basketball sportsbook, you’ll see prop odds displayed like this:

Zion Williamson +200

Tyler Herro +800

De’Andre Hunter +1200

Generally, you’ll see the front-runner with a minus sign (-) beside his odds. In this scenario, all players have plus signs (+) which means that the guy with the lowest odds is the favorite (Williamson). The rest are considered underdogs.

If you think Herro is going to live up to his last name, and you bet $100 on him, you’d get a payout of $900 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $800. To find out what you’d get based on the odds and betting amount, check out our Odds Calculator.

What is a Prop Bet on NBA Rookies?

Any bet that is made on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain player or team milestones that don’t necessarily correlate to the result of a particular game is a prop. In this case, you’re betting on a player’s chances of winning Rookie of the Year.

The oddsmakers will move the lines as the season progresses. As more games are played and different players show their skills on the court, the odds will shift. If you see odds you like, it’s best to take them early so you can get the most value should you win your bet.