NBA Rookie of the Year odds, early values: Banchero opens as favorite after draft surprise
This year's NBA draft was full of surprises at the top, but it should come as little surprise who leads the field in the initial Rookie of the Year market.
Paolo Banchero, who surprised many when the Magic called his name as the No. 1 pick, tops the early oddsboard as the +350 favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Fellow big men Jabari Smith (+400) and Chet Holmgren (+500) are right behind him, while top-five picks Jaden Ivey (+650) and Keegan Murray (+1100) are the only other players priced shorter than 15-1.
Which of them are worth betting this far out? Here are the opening odds, courtesy of Barstool Sportsbook, and our favorite early values:
|Wendell Moore Jr.||+5000|
|TyTy Washington Jr.||+6000|
|Patrick Baldwin Jr.||+10000|
Paolo Banchero, Magic (+350)
There's nothing sexy about betting on the favorite this far out, but the top pick in this year's draft ended up in the best spot to make an instant impact, too.
Banchero has a legitimate chance to be the top scorer for the Magic, who ranked 29th in points per game (104.2) in 2021-22 and were led by second-year guard Cole Anthony (16.3 PPG). He should pair well with Banchero in the pick-and-roll, and the former Duke star will have plenty of opportunities to create for himself as a Day 1 starter.
Banchero won't win any awards with his play on defense, but the 6-10 scoring forward could flirt with 18 points per game in his first year, which would likely vault him to the top spot in the Rookie of the Year race.
Jaden Ivey, Pistons (+500)
This is traditionally a guard's award - 10 of the last 14 winners have been primary ball-handlers - and no guard in this class has Ivey's ceiling or pro-ready skill set.
The former Purdue star showed his explosiveness in college and should have plenty of opportunities to attack with the Pistons. Yet his improved 3-point stroke (35.8%) could be the biggest key to his success as an off-ball threat alongside former top pick Cade Cunningham.
Don't worry about Cunningham's presence taking too much away from Ivey, either. Scottie Barnes won last year's award as the fifth-leading scorer (15.3 PPG) for the Raptors. Runner-up Evan Mobley was the third wheel behind two All-Stars in Cleveland. Even if Ivey takes a back seat to Cunningham, there's still plenty of opportunity for a Ja Morant-like rookie season for the explosive scoring guard.
Johnny Davis, Wizards (+3400)
Davis is no stranger to having the ball in his hands. He owned a sky-high usage rate (31.6%) in his final year at Wisconsin, where he averaged 19.7 points and had the fifth-lowest turnover rate (12.7%) in this draft class. That sort of instant offense is exactly what the Wizards need after ranking near the bottom of the league in points (108.6) and 3-point shooting (34.2%).
Washington still needs another capable ball-handler after trading Spencer Dinwiddie in the middle of last season - an issue that would be exacerbated if Beal isn't around. Whether Davis gets a shot in the starting lineup or is the first guy off the bench, he has the scoring punch to surprise as a long shot.