• The Naismith Player of the Year Award is college basketball’s biggest individual accolade
  • Upperclassmen dominate the history of the award, even in the one-and-done era
  • Track the odds for the entirety of the 2019-20 college hoops season

Every season, online sportsbooks routinely post odds on who will win the Naismith Player of the Year as the country’s top college basketball player.

Here, we track the odds across all major sportsbooks and show the odds movement throughout the season.

2020 Naismith Top Contenders

Mar 18: We might not have a Tournament, but we have our five Naismith Finalists – with Obi Toppin remaining the clubhouse leader

Mar. 2: Bettors have hammered Toppin, whose odds improved from +190 to +120 over the last four days.

Feb. 27: We finally have an update to the Naismith race with March right around the corner, as Dayton’s Obi Toppin & Iowa’s Luka Garza lead the way on a field that looks drastically different from November

Nov.  14: Cassius Winston remains the favorite despite Michigan State’s struggles out of the gate

Nov. 6: With the season’s opening night behind us and a 38-point effort from Markus Howard, he has shortened to +800. James Wiseman has also shortened to +600 after an impressive debut for Penny Hardaway in Memphis

Oct. 24: Michigan State’s Cassius Winston has opened as a big favorite to win the award, with +140 odds, while Louisville’s Jordan Nwora is his closest competitor opening at +550

2020 Naismith Player of the Year Odds

Player Odds at BetOnline
Obi Toppin (Dayton) +150
Luka Garza (Iowa) +200
Udoka Azubuike (Kansas) +400
Myles Powell (Seton Hall) +600
Payton Pritchard (Oregon) +700

Odds last updated March 18th

Naismith Winners by Class

Williamson became just the third freshman to win the award last season, and Cole Anthony will look to become the fourth this year.

Naismith Winners by Position

Four of the first six Naismith Award recipients were centers, but that trend has changed in recent years as more schools have adopted small ball lineups. The last center to win the honor was Tim Duncan, who won by a landslide in 1997 during his senior season at Wake Forest.

Past Naismith Award Winners

Player Class Year
Zion Williamson (F, Duke) Freshman 2019
Jalen Brunson (G, Villanova) Junior 2018
Frank Mason III (G, Kansas) Senior 2017
Buddy Hield (G, Oklahoma) Senior 2016
Frank Kaminsky (F, Wisconsin) Senior 2015
Doug McDermott (F, Creighton) Senior 2014
Trey Burke (G, Michigan) Sophomore 2013
Anthony Davis (F, Kentucky) Freshman 2012
Jimmer Fredette (G, BYU) Senior 2011
Evan Turner (G, Ohio State) Junior 2010
Blake Griffin (F, Oklahoma) Sophomore 2009
Tyler Hansbrough (F, UNC) Junior 2008
Kevin Durant (F, Texas) Freshman 2007
JJ Redick (G, Duke) Senior 2006
Andrew Bogut (F, Utah) Sophomore 2005
Jameer Nelson (G, St. Joseph’s) Senior 2004
TJ Ford (G, Texas) Sophomore 2003
Jason Williams (G, Duke) Junior 2002
Shane Battier (F, Duke) Senior 2001
Kenyon Martin (F, Cincinnati) Senior 2000

Zion Williamson capped off his record breaking season at Duke by winning the Naismith after averaging 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while shooting an incredible 68% from the field.

Schools with the Most Naismith Winners


Mike Krzyzewski deserves plenty of credit for recruiting – and developing – talent. He coached all seven of Duke’s Naismith winners and helped shape the careers of more than a dozen Naismith semifinalists. His recent history of turning his talented puzzle pieces into more than a sum of their parts is rather shoddy, however.

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Mitch graduated from Ryerson University's Sport Media program in June of 2018, and has been with SBD since 2019. He's worked in broadcast and digital for the Score, Sportsnet, TSN & CBC and has done play-by-play work for basketball at all levels including NCAA, Pan Am Games & U Sports.