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NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Preview and Odds

Zion Williamson would have an incredible freshman season with Duke University, which would eventually transition into a fantastic offseason that would see him as the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. And then that would turn into an impressive preseason by the rookie, Mix all of that in, and it brought some hefty expectations and positive vibes surrounding the kid. And then, it happened: Zion would suffer a knee injury.

As a result, online sportsbook BetOnline has shown Williamson’s odds drop down to +150 to win the NBA Rookie of the Year, and he’s actually favored at -200 to not win the award. That’s his individual status, however. As far as the entire league is concerned, Zion Williamson still takes the cake with the sportsbooks as the odds-on favorite. As you see, the injury may have declined his top figure a little bit, but he’s still a distant favorite to win the Rookie of the Year over the rest of his competition.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Zion Williamson is the favorite to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award at +125 odds. In second place comes Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) placed at +260, with RJ Barrett (New York Knicks) behind him in third at +450. In the No. 4 position is Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards), and he separates himself a bit further at +1100. Rounding out the top five is Tyler Herro (Miami Heat) at +1400 odds.

Starting out the rest of the top 10 in sixth place is Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets) at +1600, with Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Coby White (Chicago Bulls) in a seventh place tie at +2000. Rounding out the top 10, we have yet another tie, this time for ninth at +3300 odds between both De’Andre Hunter (Atlanta Hawks) and Jarrett Culver (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Let’s break down Zion Williamson’s chances to win the NBA Rookie of the Year a bit more, review some other betting options and go over their odds, and then afterwards, I’ll be providing you with my betting prediction (and long shot pick) for who I have as the winner of the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Who do you have as your ROTY? After you read and get your advice from me, you can then place your NBA bets over at one of the top basketball betting sites for who you think will win the award.

Zion Williamson’s Knee Injury Left People Scrambling

When it was first announced that Zion Williamson had suffered a knee injury, it had surprised a lot of people and had most of the basketball community scrambling to find out what exactly had happened with Williamson. At first, there was an original announcement that stated that Zion was going to be inactive due to some kind of knee soreness, and even then that had people confused with how serious it really was. Before things got too out of control, however, Adrian “Woj Bomb” Wojnarowski would clear everything up for us.

With that being said, we became completely sure of how serious (or not serious) the injury was with Zion Williamson and found out he would be inactive for just a few weeks — a few weeks that could potentially turn into a couple of months. From the beginning of the New Orleans Pelicans schedule which is now until October 31, the Pelicans have a loaded schedule with five games on the calendar. After that, they then slow down a bit with just two games in the start of November. With this being the case, Williamson is sure to miss a good number of these games.

Will the New Orleans Pelicans Limit Zion Williamson’s Work Load?

With the injury not being that serious, Zion Williamson should return back to full health when the second week of November rolls around. No issues there, but the big question surrounds the New Orleans Pelicans and how they’ll handle his work load when he returns, especially considering he’s coming off of an injury — a knee injury at that.

We could be looking at a realistic situation where the Pelicans take Zion’s 82-game season and crank it back to just 60 played instead. But can you blame New Orleans? After all, he is their franchise player and their key piece for millions upon millions in revenue — why push him in his rookie season? Don’t be surprised to see the New Orleans Pelicans take their time with this one.

One of the biggest reasons for this, if not the biggest, is the fact that this isn’t Williamson’s first time dealing with a knee injury. Last season at Duke University, he would miss action due to a mild sprain in his right knee — this would be when his shoe exploded in literally the first 30 seconds of a Duke-North Carolina rivalry game.

Another incident would take place back in the Summer League when Williamson would be forced to sit out with a knee injury, this time on the left side, after bumping knees with an opposing player. So with the circumstances, it’s understandable why New Orleans would want to take their time with Zion Williamson here in his rookie year.

Zion Williamson Was Extraordinarily Dominant in Preseason

Right now with Zion Williamson’s injury circumstances, it’s going to be pretty tough to bet on this prop. From the looks of his preseason, it appears that he’s going to be unbelievably dominant when he plays — but how much exactly will he play? During the preseason, it was simply amazing with numbers like his 23.3 points-per-game average and he was also shooting 71% on top of that. And it wasn’t just his scoring either, he was also impressive on the glass as well pulling down 6.5 rebounds-per-game. He would do all of this with an average of 27.3 minutes-per-game. Just look at Williamson’s all-around play for yourself.

Now I understand this was just preseason basketball, but it was still impressive how Zion Williamson came into the league right away to dominate. It’ll be interesting to see if he can carry that kind of play into the regular season when he returns back to action. If he doesn’t though, it appears he may not need that kind of dominance anyways to win the Rookie of the Year Award. His main competition for ROTY — which includes Ja Morant, R.J. Barrett and Darius Garland — have all been shaky to start out the preseason. They’ve done a flashy thing here and there, but there’s certainly room for improvement. Zion Williamson, on the other hand, has been a monster.

Where Should You Place Your Money?

This bet all comes down to how many games out of the scheduled 82 that Zion Williamson will play, and how great his season will be compared to his competition, particularly the ones who maintain their durability throughout the entire season and produce solid numbers.

Let’s be honest here though: Zion Williamson is already way ahead of the competition based on his name alone, and then you have his status as a No. 1 pick and the incredible amount of hype surrounding him to add to the mix as well. And let’s be even more honest: We already know he’s going to ball out when he’s back in action, and he doesn’t even have to put up his preseason numbers to win the award — and then there’s the potential that he could really be that dominant. Regardless, he’s going to distance himself from everyone else. He’s injured and still away from his competition, just imagine how it’s going to be when he returns.

At the current moment, I’m not really too concerned about Zion Williamson’s knee, especially with Adrian Wojnarowski clearing everything up about the severity of it. With that being said, you still have to make Zion the favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

But what about the other betting options? Could they pull a major upset to win ROTY? Let’s go over some, followed by my official prediction and long shot pick for the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Other Betting Options to Win 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year

Ja Morant | +260

Ja Morant might not have the hype of Zion Williamson, but Morant is definitely getting his fair share, with many pundits and NBA general managers saying that Williamson and Morant are the two best rookies in the league — as well as the two top candidates for the Rookie of the Year. Of course, Williamson is the favorite. No duh there. But if Morant can take advantage of Zion’s injury and really shows out, he could potentially become the first player for the Memphis Grizzlies to win the award since Pau Gasol did so back in the 2001-02 season. When you break down the numbers, Morant has the potential to put up a stat line of 15.0 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds. If he accomplishes those numbers, he’ll be just the sixth rookie to do so — four of those rookies would go on to win Rookie of the Year. I’m not saying Morant is your guy, obviously, but he’ll have something to say about it, especially if Williamson’s injury lingers.

R.J. Barrett | +450

There’s a lot pressure on R.J. Barrett with him being a member of the New York Knicks, but this thoroughbred talent is definitely going to get his on the stat sheet. Though his shooting from behind the arc isn’t the best, Barrett already has a body build of an NBA player and showed similar athleticism as he did while he was at Duke University. Yeah, it may only be preseason, but from the looks of it right now, Barrett is going to be pretty good at the professional level. Barrett becomes even more lethal for the Knicks with how he can play at both the shooting guard and point guard positions. If New York is happy with their depth chart at shooting guard in particular and they want to, they could actually use Barrett at the point, possibly at the end of the season to give them an answer at the spot. With this being the case, Barrett able to put up numbers and Zion Williamson missing a possible two months in the beginning of the season, R.J. Barrett could very well put himself into contention for Rookie of the Year.

Rui Hachimura | +1100

Rui Hachimura has an incredible amount of hype surrounding him both in the United States and around the globe, and it didn’t just come out of anywhere. Out of Gonzaga University, Hachimura would have impressive career at the collegiate level, showing amazing flashes of greatness at such a young age. Not only does Hachimura have the talent either, but he’s work ethic is absolutely incredible. Needless to say, Hachimura’s potential to succeed in the National Basketball Association is out of this world — especially with his marketing leverage being from Japan and having his whole country’s support. Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are certainly the top two favorites, and R.J. Barrett will be apart of the discussion for Rookie of the Year, but Hachimura will draw some attention his way as well. He’s too good of a scorer, and he can also rebound the ball exceptionally well, meaning he’s going to get his numbers. He is a bit weak in three-point shooting and on defense, but his overall numbers should put him in at least the top three or four in voting, possibly even contending against Zion and Ja.

Rest of the Betting Odds to Win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

  • Tyler Herro | +1400
  • Michael Porter Jr. | +1600
  • Darius Garland | +2000
  • Coby White | +2000
  • DeAndre Hunter | +3300
  • Jarrett Culver | +3300
  • Cam Reddish | +6000
  • Brandon Clarke | +6000
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker | +6000
  • Matisse Thybulle | +6000
  • PJ Washington | +10000
  • Romeo Langford | +10000
  • Ignas Brazdeikas | +10000
  • Cam Johnson | +10000
  • Goga Bitadze | +10000
  • Nassir Little | +12500
  • Kevin Porter Jr. | +12500
  • Jaxson Hayes | +15000
  • Sekou Doumbouya | +15000
  • Ty Jerome | +15000
  • Keldon Johnson | +15000
  • Bol Bol | +27500

Betting Prediction to Win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

  • Zion Williamson (+125)

Betting Long Shot to Win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

  • R.J. Barrett (+450)

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