NBA Rookie of the Year betting preview

The 2021 NBA Draft had some BIG names in it. Let's take a look at the favorites to win ROY (4 minute read)👇

With the NBA season kicking off on October 19th, now is the time to start looking at which rookies to bet on to win Rookie of the Year 🏆


The last four Rookie of the Year winners have all been top five picks. Top prospects are given more playing time, and benefit from patience from their organization when growing pains inevitably kick in

  • 2017 ROY: Ben Simmons

  • 2018 ROY: Luka Doncic

  • 2019 ROY: Ja Morant

  • 2020 ROY: LaMelo Ball

Get this…in the last 33 years, only three players drafted outside the Top 10 have won Rookie of the Year 👇

  • 1987 ROY: Mark Jackson, 18th pick

  • 2013 ROY: Michael Carter-Williams, 11th pick

  • 2016 ROY: Malcolm Brogdon, 36th pick

Needless to say…if you’re looking to place a bet, you might want to stay inside the Top 10

2021 Favorites

This year’s draft features a group of rookies compared to the famous 2003 draft class of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. With expectations high, here’s our first look at ROY favorites:

  • Cade Cunningham: +200 (bet $100, win $200)

  • Jalen Green: +210

  • Jalen Suggs: +600

  • Evan Mobley: +850

  • Scottie Barnes & Alperen Sengun: +1100

  • James Bouknight: +1200

The last three ROY’s are from non-playoff teams, showing that the award is mainly judged on statistics and opportunity. Here are a few reasons why (or why not) to bet on a few of the players above

  • Why Cade: immediately path to start, established player in Jerami Grant to take off some pressure, rebuilding team willing to ride the ups and downs of rookies

  • Why NOT Green: back-court of John Wall/Kevin Porter Jr./Eric Gordon will eat into minutes, Sengun might steal some of the rookie hype in Houston

  • Why NOT Suggs: back-court depth in Cole Anthony/Markelle Fultz/R.J. Hampton/Gary Harris, likely the best of the five but will have to earn playing time

  • Why Mobley: immediate path to start, strong back-court in Darius Garland/Collin Sexton/Ricky Rubio/Isaac Okoro, Jarrett Allen at Center will allow Mobley to play the four and exploit mismatches

ROY Long Shots

Are we due for another Malcolm Brogdon type ROY underdog? If you’re looking for a riskier bet with a higher payout, here’s a few players to keep an eye on:

  • Chris Duarte: +2300 (bet $100, win $2300)

  • Jared Butler & Corey Kispert: +3500

  • Ayo Dosumnu: +4000

  • Cameron Thomas: +4500

While none of these players will start, all are either decorated collegiate players who know how to win, or joining situations that might showcase their best skills

Butler and Dosumnu are no strangers to pressure, as the former was this year’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player and the later runner up for Naismith College Player of the Year. Cameron Thomas, who just averaged 27 PPG in Summer League, will share the floor with Harden, Kyrie and Durant, which should result in open looks

History Lesson

Quick throwback - in 2010, Blake Griffin averaged 23 PPG as a rookie, won ROY and was named an All-Star at the age of 21. While he missed his first season due to a knee injury, he was then named an All-Star for five consecutive seasons. Pretty impressive

Any Rookie of the Year predictions? Let us know in the comments below 👇