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Why Scottie Barnes Should Win NBA Rookie Of The Year

Throughout the 2022 NBA playoffs, individual award winners for this seasons basketball campaign will be announced. Theres a good battle between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid for NBA MVP and some All-NBA spots up for grabs, but theres one award thats especially hotly contested. 

At most of the best basketball betting sites, Cleveland Cavaliers big Evan Mobley is a -250 favorite to win 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year. But, at +150, it’s underdog Scottie Barnes who deserves the ROY award.

Below, we’ll break down why Barnes should win this year’s Rookie of the Year honor. If you love betting on basketball and want to stay up to date on the NBA odds, check out Odds Shark’s NBA news, NBA championship odds and more. 

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Scottie Barnes Rookie Of The Year Case: The Basics

Per Odds Shark’s Odds Calculator, Mobley’s -150 line implies a 60.00 percent chance the Cleveland big snatches the 2022 Rookie of the Year award. But a look at the numbers shows the race should be much closer, if not in favor of Barnes.

Barnes vs Mobley: Stats Breakdown
Player Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Turnovers FG% eFG%
Evan Mobley 33.8 15.0 8.3 2.5 1.7 1.9 .508 .522
Scottie Barnes 35.4 15.3 7.5 3.5 0.7 1.8 .492 .524

2021-22 per-game statistics from Basketball Reference

A 20-year-old rookie, Barnes has been a Day 1 starter for a top-five seed playoff team, scoring more points and dishing out more assists than Mobley on overall more efficient shooting. While Mobley’s position and three-inch height advantage earned him more blocks and marginally more rebounds, in the stats the two can go head-to-head in, it’s advantage Barnes.

Barnes’ Team Impact

Offensively, Barnes rose to the big moments, taking over the lead ball handler and scoring roles when Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam missed contests. In games in which Barnes scored 20 or more points, the Raps were 11-6 this season. When Mobley reached 20 points, the Cavs were just 7-5. 

In many advanced team analytics like win shares, box plus/minus and VORP (value over replacement level), Barnes has the advantage over Mobley, too. Just ask LeBron James, who knew Barnes was going to be this good all along.

“It’s no surprise for me, personally,” James said after facing Barnes. “It could be to some of you guys, but I’ve been watching him since seventh grade and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

Mobley’s Overhyped Defense?

Much of Mobley’s early-season hype came from the Cavs’ team dominance. At the end of February, Cleveland sat in fourth place in the Eastern Conference (36-24), riding one of the league’s best defenses (largely credited to Mobley’s strong play). But then, Jarrett Allen got hurt.

Prior to Allen’s injury, the Cavs had the fourth-best team defensive rating in the NBA. After he went down, Cleveland’s rating dropped to 21st. In 13 late-season games when Mobley played and Allen didn’t, the Cavs’ defensive rating was even worse (23rd). Maybe Allen deserves the credit for Cleveland’s defensive dominance more than Mobley does.

By the end of the regular season, the Cavs had fallen to ninth in the East and just a game up on the final play-in tournament spot.

Rising Above Expectations

Mobley and Barnes are the clear-cut 2022 Rookie of the Year candidates. While the odds give the edge to Mobley right now, both Barnes and the Cleveland big have far exceeded expectations.

Heading into the season, Jalen Green was a +220 favorite to win the ROY award, with Barnes and Mobley both above +1000 underdogs.

When Barnes or Mobley is crowned 2022 Rookie of the Year, it’ll mean only two of the last 14 preseason ROY favorites will have gone on to win the award. For your 2021-22 Rookie of the Year bets, look down the oddsboard.

Preseason 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year Award Odds
Player Odds
Jalen Green +220
Cade Cunningham +300
Jalen Suggs +750
Scottie Barnes +1100
Evan Mobley +1200
Alperen Sengun +1400

Odds as of October 19, 2021, from Sports Odds History


How To Bet NBA Rookie Of The Year Odds

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

  • Evan Mobley -500
  • Cade Cunningham +750
  • Scottie Barnes +750

These odds show that Evan Mobley is the front-runner because he has the lowest number beside his name. In this scenario, he is considered to be the favorite.

If you bet $100 on Mobley to win Rookie of the Year, you’d get a payout of $120 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $20. If you think Barnes or Cunningham will take home the hardware, that same $100 would get you $850 – your original money is returned with your winnings of $750.