NBA Rookie of the Year betting: Can Chet outlast the Wemby hype?

NBA Rookie of the Year betting: Can Chet outlast the Wemby hype?

Betting against perhaps the most hyped prospect in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year is a fool’s errand. Given the notoriety and attention surrounding Victor Wembanyama, it’s hard to imagine a world where he doesn’t win an award that’s often given based on narrative rather than actual performance.

However, Wembanyama is currently +105, lengthened from -210 following the draft. I’m still not convinced there’s value in him. Given the sky-high expectations with which Wembanyama is entering the NBA, if he underperforms in Year 1, it would certainly hurt the perception around him.

Injuries also happen.

If Wembanyama misses a significant portion of the season and isn’t eligible for the award – the new CBA states a player must play at least 65 games to be eligible for any postseason awards – the honor is wide open, which is why it’s worth looking down the board at other candidates. The Spurs may also decide to sit Wembanyama periodically to ease his transition to the NBA.

Rookie of the Year odds


Victor Wembanyama

Scoot Henderson

Chet Holmgren

Brandon Miller

Amen Thompson

Ausar Thompson

Aleksander Vezenkov

Cam Whitmore

Keyonte George

Gradey Dick

Odds via theScore Bet

All of these names were drafted this past June except one. Chet Holmgren was the second overall pick in the 2022 draft but missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury. As a result, he’s eligible for the award this season. There have been multiple instances of players winning the award in their second true season in the league.

Blake Griffin missed his entire first season and won Rookie of the Year the following campaign. Ben Simmons did the same in 2018. Holmgren has the talent and is in the right situation to be next.

Holmgren’s skinny frame had draft evaluators worried about his durability when the 7-footer was coming out of college last spring, and he later suffered a season-ending foot injury. But if Holmgren can stay healthy, he has the opportunity to thrive in a young Thunder system.

There’s a reason he went No. 2 in the 2022 draft. The Gonzaga product averaged 14.1 points on 39% shooting from three in his lone college season. Before he got injured last year, he had the second-best odds to win the award behind eventual winner Paolo Banchero.

His shooting touch, combined with his height and foot speed, bodes well for his NBA future. The Thunder are also further along in their rebuild than expected. They went 40-42 last season behind All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. There won’t be much pressure on Holmgren to come in and be a superstar right away. Pairing him with Gilgeous-Alexander could produce a lethal duo, especially in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations.

Another rookie who’ll compete for the award is third overall pick Scoot Henderson, who has the same odds as Holmgren. With Damian Lillard out of the picture, Henderson will have a huge role on one of the worst teams in the league.

Down the list are other candidates at greater odds, like Brandon Miller and Amen Thompson. Miller will have high usage on the Hornets in his first year, which could produce good numbers and persuade voters. But he’s still a long shot.

It would certainly be a shock if Wembanyama isn’t the Rookie of the Year, especially if he stays healthy. But at +300, there’s value in Holmgren to play spoiler and remind the league why he was taken second overall in 2022.

Although preseason basketball is mostly meaningless, the Spurs and Thunder played each other Monday night, and Holmgren and Wembanyama guarded each other at various points throughout the night.

Holmgren finished with 21 points and nine boards in 16 minutes, while Wembanyama poured in 20 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes.

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.

Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

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