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Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds

Naismith College Basketball Player Of Year Odds October 28, 2019 Cassius Winston

The 2019-20 NCAA college basketball season is just a transition jump shot away from starting and coming into a season that doesn’t have a typical star freshman, a returning senior from the Michigan State Spartans is the favorite to win the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.

According to online sportsbook Bovada, point guard Cassius Winston of the Spartans is a +140 fave to win the award that’s given to the best NCAA college basketball player.

Following Winston is Jordan Nwora of the Louisville Cardinals (+550), Cole Anthony of the North Carolina Tar Heels (+550), Devon Dotson of the Kansas Jayhawks (+750) and freshman James Wiseman (+800) of the Memphis Tigers to round out the top five candidates on the oddsboard.

Winston Has A Clear Path To The Naismith Award

Cassius Winston of the Michigan State Spartans may not be the most talented basketball player in college hoops but he definitely has all the variable factors surrounding him to make him an easy choice for the Naismith Player of the Year Award.

He’s playing on a loaded defensive team that is the current favorite to win the national title, has a Hall of Fame coach in Tom Izzo to guide him and has a winning playing style that voters love to reward. Winston averaged 18.8 points per game and 7.5 assists last season while guiding the Spartans to a Final Four appearance.

Given the strength of the Big Ten Conference every season, if the Spartans are at the top of the pack again and Winston is in the middle of the action, it would be very difficult to dissuade voters from giving the award to the senior point guard.

Freshman Impact

Since Kevin Durant won the Naismith Player of the Year award as a freshman with the Texas Longhorns in 2007, it’s become en vogue to consider first-year players for an award typically reserved for upperclassmen. Only two freshmen have won this award since Durant was the first player to do it and both are considered generational talents – Anthony Davis in 2012 and Zion Williamson in 2018.

That’s why it’s difficult to envision Cole Anthony of North Carolina (+550) or James Wiseman of Memphis (+800) winning the hardware because while they will likely be good pros, no scouts have the generational box checked for these two prospects. The case to support Anthony’s candidacy is that the Tar Heels play in arguably the best conference in the ACC, so if he balls out on the national stage against high-end competition, he will certainly get consideration.

Wiseman is currently projected to go first overall in the 2020 NBA Draft but his skill set is fairly raw at this stage and it may be hard for him to showcase his talents considering the way that college basketball is played compared to the NBA. He will likely show flashes of his talent all season but won’t have the stats to make a strong case compared to the likes of Michigan State’s Winston.

Dark Horse Candidate

Based on odds, skill set, the strength of schedule and statistical output, a great long-shot pick would be Markus Howard of the Marquette Golden Eagles. The senior averaged over 25 points per game last season and was mentioned in last year’s Naismith Award race despite being significantly overshadowed by Zion Williamson.

Howard gets to play in the Big East with Marquette and, along with the Villanova Wildcats, the Golden Eagles will likely make a strong bid for the top spot in the conference.

If the Golden Eagles can get off to a hot start and take down some Big Ten teams they face before conference play, Howard will be the key reason why they’re successful. At +1000 odds, it’s worth the risk for a guy who can score 20 in his sleep.

Odds to win the Naismith POY Award
Cassius Winston (Michigan State)+140
Jordan Nwora (Louisville)+550
Cole Anthony (North Carolina)+550
Devon Dotson (Kansas)+750
James Wiseman (Memphis)+800
Tre Jones (Duke)+850
Myles Powell (Seton Hall)+850
Kenny Blackshear Jr. (Florida)+1000
Markus Howard (Marquette)+1000
Sam Merrill (Utah State)+1500

Odds as of October 28 at  Bovada

Understanding Naismith Odds

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

Cassius Winston +250

Jordan Nwora +600

Devon Dotson +800

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

If you’re loving Nwora at +600 and you bet $60 on him, you’d get a payout of $420 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $360. 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 nonoccurrence 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.