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Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds

Naismith College Basketball Player Of Year Odds June 23 2020 Cade Cunningham

NCAA college basketball may be one of the most exhilarating sports to bet on because of the sheer talent we get to witness and the thrill of watching a team make a championship run through March Madness. Well, one of those talents we won’t get to see in March is Cade Cunningham, who is the favorite to win the Naismith College Player of the Year Award in 2021.

Cunningham has opted to stay with Oklahoma State despite a postseason ban for the program but oddsmakers at the best basketball betting sites have seen enough of his game to comfortably place him at +300 in the odds to be named the best player in college basketball for the upcoming season.

Even though the combo guard won’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys will still be featured in Big 12 action during the regular season so he can showcase his game to scouts. But that opens the door for other incoming freshmen like PF Evan Mobley at USC (+950) or swingman Jalen Johnson at Duke (+1000) to showcase themselves to the voting committee.

Here are the full odds to win the 2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year:

Odds to win the Naismith POY Award
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)+300
Evan Mobley (USC)+950
Jalen Johnson (Duke)+1000
BJ Boston (Kentucky)+1200
Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)+1200
Scottie Barnes (Florida State)+1400
Terrence Clarke (Kentucky)+1400
Ziaire Williams (Stanford)+1400
Greg Brown (Texas)+1600
Keon Johnson (Tennessee)+1800
Caleb Love (North Carolina)+2500
Jaden Springer (Tennessee)+2500
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)+2500
Josh Christopher (Arizona State)+2500
Moses Moody (Arkansas)+2500
Terrence Shannon (Texas Tech)+2500
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)+2500
Wendell Moore (Duke)+2500

Odds as of June 23 at Bovada

Why Cunningham Is The Favorite

With some talent evaluators comparing him to former NBA all-star Grant Hill, that’s high praise for combo guard Cade Cunningham as he enters his freshman college season. The 18-year-old was the No. 2-ranked high school prospect coming out of Texas and despite Oklahoma State being served a one-year postseason ban, he has decided to stick with his commitment and play out the season with the Cowboys.

Let’s start with his game, which is silky smooth because he can handle the ball at six-foot-seven and play point but has the athleticism to finish in transition as a swingman. Position-less basketball players are all the rage now because they can play anywhere and impact the game, especially in the NBA where players can be asked to guard an opponent anywhere from 6-1 to seven feet tall.

Just watch the two-minute clip below to get a preview of his talents:

Like any player his age, he needs to continue to work on his jump shot but the factor that could work against him may simply be sheer body type. To win the Naismith award as an NCAA freshman, you need to be a matchup nightmare (Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis) or an athletic freak (Zion Williamson) to catch voters’ eyes.

He may still win the award but he’s got an uphill battle compared to some of his contemporaries on the oddsboard, considering Oklahoma State isn’t a basketball powerhouse and won’t be on national TV every weekend like Duke and Kentucky. This makes him a risky bet at this stage at +300.

What About Upperclassmen?

At this point, it’s hard to say if any legitimate juniors or seniors will crack this list because there’s still a chance that certain players may opt to go to the NBA or return to school. The early withdrawal date for the NBA draft is currently set for August 17 with the draft lottery on August 25.

That’s why bettors should keep an eye out for players like Filip Petrusev of Gonzaga or Luka Garza of Iowa because as soon as they announce their intentions, we may see another shift on the oddsboard. If either returns, they would immediately be vaulted to the top of the list because they are scoring machines with winning basketball teams.

There are also players we may not even be talking about right now that could force their way into the conversation. The 2020 Naismith winner, Obi Toppin of the Dayton Flyers, wasn’t even on the list prior to the season starting in October and dominated the Atlantic 10 Conference en route to getting the hardware.

Understanding Naismith Odds

At your college basketball sportsbook of choice, you’ll see prop odds to win Player of the Year listed like so:

Cade Cunningham +300

Evan Mobley +950

Jalen Johnson +1000

Where there is no clear favorite due to the lack of minus signs (-), the player with the lowest odds is the fave. In this case it’s Cunningham, even though each player’s odds have plus signs (+) in front of them. The others are considered underdogs.

If you’re loving Cunningham at +300 and you bet $100 on him, you’d get a payout of $400 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $300. To see what you’d win based on the odds and the amount you bet, check out our Odds Calculator.

What is a Prop Bet for College Basketball?

A prop is a bet made on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain player or team milestones that may not directly influence the outcome of a specific game. Here, you’d be betting on the odds for the Naismith honor. When oddsmakers set the lines, they are subject to change as the season moves along. If a player gets hot, the odds will reflect that.

If a player suddenly goes cold and stops scoring, the odds will change to reveal that too. When you see action you like, we suggest taking the odds as soon as possible to ensure you’re getting optimal betting value. Getting a player at great odds will assure you a bigger payout if you win.