- James Wiseman’s opening week vaults him to Rookie of the Year betting favorite
- Top pick Anthony Edwards rising with volume production
- See below to see who we like for a wager at this point of the season
Just a week into the NBA season, and we’ve got a new favorite at the top of the Rookie of the Year odds.
And wouldn’t you know it? Everyone is looking up at the best big man in the draft, 19-year-old James Wiseman of the Golden State Warriors.
2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Odds taken December 29th from FanDuel
The 7-foot Wiseman, who was in Memphis for a cup of coffee, had average odds as high as +700 as the rest of the field was able to showcase some during the preseason. It was the same figure No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards had, and he’s now the outright second best bet in the field. Is now the time to jump in and wager Wiseman? Or can someone else emerge?
Ideal Start For Wiseman
Sitting out the preseason after contracting COVID wasn’t in anyone’s plans, but it sure did take a little shine off the second overall pick. Draymond Green, the incumbent big man on the Dubs, also contracted COVID, and then hurt his foot in the final practice before the season opener, leaving no choice but to throw Wiseman into the fire.
James Wiseman has 17 on 60% shooting pic.twitter.com/gpuYTMwS1n
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) December 23, 2020
After three games, it looks like he’s locked into starting lineup and will be a key component of the Warriors going forward.
He debuted with 19 points and six rebounds on 53.8% shooting against Brooklyn, and followed that up with 18 points and eight boards against Milwaukee, while also showing the touch from distance, drilling three of four triples. Does it matter both were blowout-loss eviscerations?
James Wiseman in his 2nd game
3-4 from 3
3 blks pic.twitter.com/CwGLEWrF82
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) December 25, 2020
Overall, Wiseman’s averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24 minutes a night. We knew he had talent, but we just didn’t know how desperate Golden State was for NBA-caliber players. With Klay Thompson out for the year and Green yet to suit up, the youngster looks like the running-mate-by-default for Curry. That should equal plenty of opportunity to take the ROY crown.
Edwards Firing Away
At least James Edwards isn’t bashful. The top pick of the draft leads all rookies in scoring at 16 points per game. Edwards leads in field goals made with 19, but he’s also the runaway leader in field goal attempts, jacking up 45 at a less-than-stellar 42.2% shooting clip.
No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards with an impressive start to the regular season @theantedwards_
The rookie guard finished the night with 15 PTS, 4 AST and 4 REB 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kzkZro1bHW
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) December 24, 2020
Edwards’ best outing was an 18-point, 2-steal effort in a win over Utah, as he shot 8-for-12 from the field and 2-for-3 from deep. His worst was last game, when he was out of sorts in a blowout loss to the Lakers. He was 6-for-21 shooting (28.6%), including just 1-for-9 from deep. Edwards is the most gifted scorer of all rookies, he’ll just need to find that consistency.
The Rest Of The Field
LaMelo Ball started the season as the favorite, but he’s had trouble finding his way in the regular season. He got his most minutes last time out in a win over Brooklyn, logging 20 minutes and piling up a career-high five assists to go with six points. He’s easily the best passer in this draft, and could still have value if he can carve out a bigger role in Charlotte.
15 PTS in 27 MINS
5/7 FG, 3/4 3PT
6 AST, 0 TO
The Kings rookie is averaging 5 AST & 0.3 TO in 3 games while shooting 50% FG, 41.7% 3PT, 100% FT. pic.twitter.com/o2i778FGXU
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 28, 2020
Tyrese Haliburton has shown he can do it all in a reserve role in Sacramento. He’s logged the most total minutes of any rook, and minus a Boxing Day dud against Phoenix, he’s been really good. Haliburton is averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 assists, while showing real range, shooting 41.7% from deep on a rookie-high 4.0 attempts a contest.
Sit back and watch this 1:42 of Deni Avdija on offense and defense.
— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) December 24, 2020
And Deni Avdija has found the regular season a little less open for him to wheel — which is the life of riding alongside volume dudes like Russ Westbrook and Bradley Beal. Still, Avdija has averaged seven points and 5.3 rebounds, but he’s an efficient 53.3% from the field and 50% from three in his eight attempts. He can still shine and looks most pro-ready.
What’s The Best Bet?
What a difference a week makes. At this time, Obi Toppin was charging up the charts, only for the regular season to hit and, like most rookies, he’s in a holding pattern. We liked Wiseman almost sight unseen, and that doesn’t change. There should be plenty of jockeying still to go, so, unless you made a bet in the preseason, hold off before making him your go-to wager as his odds could still lengthen.
For extra value, I’d suggest sprinkling some on Haliburton. He’s getting more minutes than any rookie right now, and should be entrenched as the first guard off the bench in Sacramento.
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