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Sixth Man of the Year Odds Favor Thunder’s Dennis Schroder; Clippers Montrezl Harrell +175, Lou Williams +200

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 30, 2021 · 10:13 AM PDT

Los Angeles Laker Dennis Schroder going up for a layup during a NBA game.
January 8, 2021, Los Angeles, California, USA: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes for a layup during their regular season NBA game with the Chicago Bulls on Friday January 8, 2021 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PI/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • Dennis Schroder has moved from longshot to best bet in NBA Sixth Man of the Year odds
  • Clipper teammates Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell could both win the award
  • Check below for our analysis and best bet for the award

Here’s hoping that you were purchasing Dennis Schroder stock in the preseason before Dennis Schroder stock became a thing.

The pesky Thunder guard has vaulted from a movable contract that Oklahoma City could use to hoard more assets in a post Russ/PG rebuild to the current betting favorite for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

The leap has been impressive.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Odds

Team Odds on October 15 Current Odds
Dennis Schroder +2000 +125
Montrezl Harrell +900 +175
Lou Williams +170 +200

Odds taken March 2.

With teams passing the three-quarter mark of the year, does Schroder — who once had +2000 odds to win the award — have the staying power to take home the hardware, or should you be looking at the talented Clippers’ bench duo to surpass him?

Schroder Impressive in Thunder Lineups

Credit Thunder head coach Billy Donovan for being innovative or desperate: with veteran point guard Chris Paul still playing at an all-star level, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ready to play now, Donovan decided to put all three point guards on the floor in a non-conventional lineup, alongside Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams.

It’s their best unit, and has helped power OKC to a 37-23 mark that has them firmly entrenched in the middle of the playoff pack and possibly in contention for home court in the first round if things fall the right way.

The 26-year-old Schroder has definitely been one of the pillars of this success story. He’s averaging 18.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 31 minutes of action a night. His 47% mark from the field, 38.1% clip from beyond the arc (on more than five attempts a game) and his effective field goal percentage of 53.5% are all career-highs, smashing his previous best marks. He’s already posted 30 games of 20 points or more, and has four 30-point outbursts on the season.

Clipper Teammates Worth a Look

Lou Williams is instant offense, and the reigning two-time winner of the award is in the midst of taking home his third straight trophy. He started the year as the betting favorite, and while teammate Montrezl Harrell and Schroder have passed him, he’s only faded from +170 to +200.

As professional a scorer as they come in the game of basketball, he’s slightly down from the 20+ point average from the last two seasons, to 19.2 points on 41.8% shooting from the field, his lowest shooting mark since he since he was with the Lakers in 2016.

He has however, started eight games this year out of injury necessity, which might be a slight against him when voters start nitpicking.

Williams’ teammate Harrell has been an absolute beast inside this season, and heading into free agency this summer, the timing couldn’t be any better for him.

Harrell has upped his scoring every year since entering the NBA in 2016, currently posting 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, shooting a crisp 58% from the floor.

Despite the arrival of both Kawhi Leonard and George to the Clipper lineup, Williams and Harrell still present one of the Clippers’ best go-to options, with Williams handling and finding his big man diving in and around the hoop.

But it’s going to be tough for Harrell to break through, as the voting for this award goes mostly to combo guards and wings.

Since 2000, only three big men have won the award: Lamar Odom in 2010-11 and Antawn Jamison in 2003-04. But even then, Odom and Jamison aren’t your traditional paint players, and it was their versatility that was more appreciated than their work inside. The other player to win the award that might come close to how Harrell plays is Corliss Williamson, who won the award in 2001-02.

What’s the Best Bet?

There is one thing that works against Williams, as it does any perennial contender: voter fatigue. Because he’s always in the sixth man conversation, if someone can have a similar statistical year with impact, they should have the upper hand. While having Williams and Harrell on the court together is good for wins, it hurts their chances for the award as their votes split.

If you happened to put something down on Schroder back in October, good on you. If you’re still interested, the payout won’t be as great now, but I think it will still be a payout.

The pick: Schroder (+125)

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