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Zion’s ROY Odds Fade to -150, Now Longest They’ve Ever Been; Should You Bet it Now?

Hayley Graham

by Hayley Graham in NBA Basketball

Aug 28, 2019 · 6:26 AM PDT

Zion Williamson's ROY odds recently faded. Photo by Keenan Hairston (Flickr)
  • Zion Williamson is still the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year.
  • Williamson’s current -150 odds are the longest they’ve been.
  • Are the 18-year-olds injury risks enough to stay away from as a bettor?

Standing at 6’7 and weighing in at 285 pounds, 18-year old Zion Williamson is the most talked about rookie to enter the NBA since LeBron James.

Expectations for the rookie have been set very high, but it has been clear up to this point that Williamson can be that franchise-changing type of player.

2019/2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Player 2019/20 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Zion Williamson -150
Ja Morant +300
RJ Barrett +600
Darius Garland +1200
Coby White +1600
Michael Porter Jr. +1800
De’Andre Hunter +2000
Jarrett Culver +2000
Rui Hachimura +2200
Cam Reddish +4000

*Odds taken 8/27/19

Zion has always been the favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year. But recently his Rookie of Year odds have dipped from an average of -200 in just July to -150 now.  So the question is, is the ROY trophy still Zion’s to lose? Or should this slight change in odds make you look somewhere else?

Worth the Hype?

Williamson has yet to play an NBA game, and the expectations for his debut season with the Pelicans are at an all-time high. During his one season with the Duke Blue Devils, he started in all of his 33 game appearances, averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks. He also averaged 68.0% from the field and 33.8% from behind the arc.

What Does History Say?

Usually people talk about history repeating itself, but let’s hope for Zion’s sake, that it won’t this year. In this year’s NBA.com ROY Survey, 35% of responders picked Zion. Now in the past 10 years of this survey, the front runner has only gone on to win just once, Kevin Durant in 2007.

But what’s different about this upcoming season, and Williamson himself, is the amount of coverage  surrounding this 18-year old is unprecedented. And it’s unprecedented because there’s never really been someone of his size at his age, with his athletic ability. If he stays healthy, he has the opportunity to be a generational player.

Injury Worries

The biggest asterisk that has been hanging around the unanimous ACC Player of the Year’s name is the injuries that have lingering around him for the past year.

Williamson only managed to play nine minutes at Summer League in July, which isn’t the biggest issue, but to be shut down for the rest of the tournament he was supposed to take over was a big story. With him being out, he wasn’t as active as I’m sure he would’ve liked, but if he’s able to stay healthy, he’s a game changer.

Williamson’s to Lose?

Not only is Zion a player that can change the outcome of a team, we saw this year that one player can’t necessarily carry an entire team on his back, but he’s joining a team with a group of guys that can support him. Fellow rookies, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker should be his running mates for the future as they join an already talented cast that includes Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.

At this rate, the ROY trophy is still Zion’s to lose, even though he’s odds have faded slightly. Despite being the longest they’ve been, the closest player behind him is Ja Morant who still sits at +300. Unless Zion goes down for a significant amount of time this regular season, the trophy is his.

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