Trying to pinpoint value for the NBA Rookie of the Year has been mostly guesswork.
Although the field is littered with potentially large payouts, it's a one-man race featuring Zion Williamson. Still, anything can happen - and that's why South Point sportsbook supervisor Rex Beyers is skeptical of jumping into the market right away.
"Rookie of the Year would be a great prop to book because even though there might be a few clear-cut choices at the top before each season, so many things can happen," Beyers told theScore. "None of these kids have ever played in a season longer than a few months, or in more than 30-35 meaningful games. Suddenly, you're playing twice as many and for twice as long. Some obviously adapt and adjust to it better than others. As a bettor, I'd look to try to get into that market after the season starts and you can get a sample size to work with."
The odds-on favorite for the award played only one half of one NBA Summer League game before being shut down with a bruised knee. Nonetheless, Williamson is the chalk heading into the season.
|Michael Porter Jr.||25-1|
(Odds courtesy: Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Though Summer League is strictly an exhibition, the tournament tends to have a market effect. Thanks to quick starts with their new teams, Chicago's and Miami's first-round picks have been popular so far.
"Coby White got some love thanks to a nice Summer League run; same with Tyler Herro but nothing big yet," Caesars senior oddsmaker Alan Berg told theScore. "There's been minimal action thus far, as I think the majority of people believe this is the Zion award that just hasn't been handed out yet."
White's results were a mixed bag, but the 19-year-old Bulls guard showed flashes. He finished the summer circuit averaging 15.0 points and 4.8 assists per game. Meanwhile, Herro got off to a hot start, averaging 20.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists through his first five games for the Heat. The University of Kentucky product is getting love at other shops, too, along with a handful of other notable dark horses.
"So far, we have been taking mostly long-shot bets on guys like Michael Porter Jr. and Carsen Edwards," Westgate director of race and sports John Murray told theScore. "Porter Jr. has gone from 100-1 to 25-1 and Edwards from 1,000-1 to 50-1 due to the liabilities we have built up on them. Tyler Herro has been another popular choice and we lowered him from 100-1 to 50-1 off a handful of bets. We opened Zion at -150 and are still there. So far just a few small bets on Zion, Morant, and Barrett, and no need for major odds adjustments on any of the favorites. Generally speaking, people like to bet a little and win a lot on long shots in pools like these."
And a long shot it would be for someone out of the field to unseat Williamson.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer at theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.