- BetOnline is offering a series of prop bets on Zion Williamson’s long-awaited NBA debut
- The #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is slated to start for the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs
- Among props on offer are how many dunks he’ll get and how many points Zion will score?
It’s Zion time. The long-awaited debut of who everyone anticipates will be the NBA’s next dominant superstar is slated for Wednesday.
Williamson, the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, will start for the New Orleans Pelicans in Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
BetOnline is out with a series of prop wagers on an array of outcomes from Williamson’s initial NBA regular-season experience.
Zion Williamson NBA Debut Props
|Prop||Over Odds||Under Odds at BetOnline|
|Total Dunks Made||Over 1.5 (-175)||Under 1.5 (+135)|
|Total Minutes Played||Over 15.5 (-120)||Under 15.5 (-120)|
|Total Points Scored||Over 9.5 (-120)||Under 9.5 (-120)|
|Total Rebounds||Over 5.5 (-120)||Under 5.5 (-120)|
|Will Zion’s First Basket Be A Dunk?||Yes (-150)||No (+100)|
Odds taken Jan. 21st
Zion missed the first two months of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus just prior to the start of the regular-season, delaying his rookie campaign.
Dunking Is What He Does
Asking whether Zion will dunk the basketball in his NBA debut is a lot like asking if President Donald Trump is going to lie during a press conference.
Of course he will.
During preseason play, Williamson shot 71.4 percent from the field. But a chart of his shots showed very few were from outside the paint.
This will be the New Orleans gameplan going forward – get the ball inside to Zion, let him pound away on defenders, and throw down a whole bunch of dunks.
Pick: Over 1.5 (-175).
How Long Will Zion Go?
There’s been a lot of talk during this NBA season about load management of players. Certainly, a player coming back from knee ligament surgery isn’t going to be asked to log major minutes in his debut.
Zion Williamson's NBA debut is on deck! 🗓
The 2019 No. 1 pick is expected to play on Jan. 22, per David Griffin. pic.twitter.com/ibspaHunCw
— ESPN (@espn) January 15, 2020
Regardless, the Pelicans insist that Zion won’t be placed on a minutes restriction. What they’ll most probably opt to do is play Williamson in short bursts of a few minutes at a time.
Still, clearing 15.5 minutes should not be an issue.
Pick: Over 15.5 (-120)
What’s the Score?
In 2017-18, small forward Jimmy Butler, then with the Minnesota Timberwolves, missed two months due to a torn meniscus.
In his return to the floor, Butler played nearly 23 minutes and scored 15 points.
— Pelicans Nation (@PelsNationCP) January 21, 2020
Last season, when Williamson sprained his right knee playing for Duke, he missed three weeks. Upon his return in the ACC Tournament against Syracuse, he poured in 29 points.
Pick: Over 9.5 points (-120).
Zion On the Rebound
Again, let’s look at the comprables. In his comeback game, Butler grabbed just two boards. But rebounding really isn’t his game. His career average is just seven per game.
Zion makes his living at the rim. Part of his role with the Pelicans will also to be to create havoc while defending the hoop.
He averaged 8.9 rebounds per game while at Duke. During that comeback game against the Orange, he pulled down 11 boards.
Will It Start With a Dunk?
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry talked about getting prepared for the circus that will accompany the Zion show. Once Williamson debuts, the Pelicans won’t be just playing games.
Four of New Orleans’ first seven games with Zion are already slated to be national broadcasts. Everywhere Zion goes, it will be an event, much like the rookie season of LeBron James.
Zion Williamson’s debut next Wednesday will be shown on ESPN.
They are replacing the Rockets/Nuggets game with the Pelicans/Spurs and changing the start time to 9:30 ET pic.twitter.com/Vkv1ZjDeUP
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 17, 2020
And when people come to the show, they expect to be entertained.
You don’t go to a Fast and Furious film for the dialogue. You go for the explosiveness.
One thing you have to give NBA players – they understand the theater of sports better than most athletes.
Mario Lemieux’s first NHL goal was a highlight-reel breakaway in his debut game. Count on Zion’s first basket in his NBA debut being a highlight-reel dunk.
ESPN wants to show it. The fans want to see it. And you know Zion and the Pelicans will seek to make it happen.
Pick: Yes (-150).
Let's have fun and keep it civil.