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Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds

Naismith Player of Year Odds Favor Luka Garza of the Iowa Hawkeyes, seen here on Nov. 20, 2020.

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 with the Iowa Hawkeyes is the leading candidate in 2021 Naismith College Player of the Year odds.

Luka Garza, a fifth-year senior with the Hawkeyes, is the +375 favorite at the best basketball betting sites in Naismith Award odds heading into the 2020-21 NCAA college basketball season. The big man was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last season and will look to carry the Hawkeyes deep into the March Madness tournament.

Right behind Garza at +500 is another Big Ten baller, Ayo Dosunmu of the Illinois Fighting Illini, a six-foot-six point guard ready to take over the conference. A third-year player from the Big 12, Jared Butler of the Baylor Bears, is third on the oddsboard at +600.

Here is the full list of the leading contenders in the 2021 Naismith Player of the Year odds:

Who Will Be The Best College Basketball Player in 2021?

Odds to win the Naismith POY Award
PlayerOdds
Luka Garza+375
Ayo Dosunmu+500
Jared Butler+600
Marcus Garrett+1000
Corey Kispert+1000
Remy Martin+1000
Cade Cunningham+1500
Joel Ajayi+2000
Marcus Zegarowski+2000
Kihei Clark+3000
Kofi Cockburn+3000
Collin Gillespie+3000
Ochai Agbaji+4000
Sam Hauser+4000
MaCio Teague+4000
McKinley Wright IV+4000
Garrison Brooks+5000
Seth Towns+5000
D’Mitrik Trice+5000

Odds as of November 20 at Bovada

Why Luka Garza is the Naismith Odds Favorite

Arguably the best offensive big man in the country, Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza deserves to be the preseason favorite for this award because he probably should’ve won it last season. Garza was a finalist for the Naismith Award in 2020 before COVID-19 wiped out the rest of the college basketball season.

The good news is he’s back, he’s stronger and he’s reportedly been working on his shooting range, which is bad news for competing big men in the Big Ten. Garza shot 54.2 percent from the floor last season while also shooting 35.2 percent from behind the arc, so defenders have to worry about his range and his bruising post game on the block.

Another aspect about Garza that doesn’t get talked about much is his defense, which has improved each year he’s been at Iowa. Opponents shot just under 40 percent on shots he contested last season while he also averaged 1.8 blocks. Barring injury, Garza should win this award easily and the odds of +375 before the season starts are decent.

Long-Shot Pick – Collin Gillespie – Villanova

When a team is favored to win the NCAA championship, you may want to pay attention to its point guard, and a good long shot to consider in Naismith Award odds is Collin Gillespie of the Villanova Wildcats.

The fourth-year senior was awesome for Villanova last season by averaging 15.1 points and 4.6 assists and being a knock-down shooter from the free-throw line. The Wildcats are bringing in some reinforcements this season in recruit Zion Bethea and have some returning players like James Robinson-Earl and emerging Brian Antoine, but Villanova will need to rely on Gillespie to be the leader. If the Wildcats run the Big East and get a No. 1 seed going into March Madness, Gillespie will be on the radar for Naismith POY so grab him now at +3000.

Another factor to consider is there are also players we may not even be talking about right now who 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 he 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:

Luka Garza +375

Ayo Dosunmu +500

Jared Butler +600

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 Garza, even though each player’s odds have plus signs (+) in front of them. The others are considered underdogs.

If you’re loving Garza at +375 and you bet $100 on him, you’d get a payout of $475 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $375. 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.