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2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Ja Morant Putting League On Notice

NBA Rookie of The Year Betting Odds January 1 2020 Ja Morant

In the NBA, 2019 was supposed to be the year of New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, as the No. 1 overall pick was a huge favorite to win Rookie of the Year. But as we start 2020, it’s actually the No. 2 pick, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, who has become the odds-on favorite.

Morant’s odds have shifted to -250 for him to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award according to online sportsbook Bovada. After the 2019 draft, the shop had Zion as a -250 fave with Morant at +500.

When the season was about to start and Zion was expected to miss eight weeks with a knee injury, they still had him at -135 odds with Morant at +350. Williamson is now at +800 to win this award and is expected to make his season debut in January.


For the record, it’s not like Ja Morant snuck up on bettors for this award. He was the second betting option for this prop in the preseason at +350 and in any other year when you don’t have an athletic marvel like Zion in the draft, Ja would’ve been the top pick.

But much like Zion, whom we haven’t seen play since the preseason due to a knee injury, the hard falls and high-flying drives to the rim are starting to take a toll on Morant. He’s missed six games this season due to bumps and bruises and his playing style is like a Russell Westbrook/Dwyane Wade hybrid with his layup and dunk attempts.

It’s fine for this season to let him figure out when to pick his spots but the injury concerns can’t be overlooked when betting this prop. That’s especially true with the Grizzlies’ tendency to cloak their rookies in bubble wrap – they held out Jaren Jackson Jr. for the final three months of last season due to a thigh bruise.

That being said, I think Morant has the award locked up because while there are a few rookie standouts, none are matching the highlights and numbers that Ja is putting up. He currently leads all rookies in points, assists and free throws per game and Zion bettors who are looking at the -250 odds must be kicking themselves at this stage of the season.

2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award Odds
Ja Morant-250
Zion Williamson+800
RJ Barrett+850
Kendrick Nunn+850
Eric Paschall+1400
Tyler Herro+1600
Rui Hachimura+1800
Coby White+4500
Brandon Clarke+5500
PJ Washington+7000
De’Andre Hunter+7000
Jarrett Culver+7000
Darius Garland+7500

Odds as of January 1 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.