NBA Rookie of the Year Odds Rankings: Evan Mobley is the Runaway Favorite

Evan Mobley is swatting away the competition for NBA Rookie of the Year just like he swats away shots on the defensive end. Is there any hope of other rookies catching him for Rookie of the Year?
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NBA Rookie of the Year Odds Rankings: Evan Mobley is the Runaway Favorite

Evan Mobley is swatting away the competition for NBA Rookie of the Year. Is there any hope of other rookies catching him for Rookie of the Year or does the Cavaliers young star have it locked up?

Click Here for NBA Rookie of the Year Award Odds

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NBA Rookie of the Year Odds Rankings

5. Josh Giddey (+2000, Previous: +2500) (Bet $100 to Win $2500)

All four of the rookies trailing Evan Mobley in this race are essentially playing for the silver medal. Giddey remains in this race because of his stellar all-around performances and how easy he is making the game look as a 19-year old rookie.

There are 25 players in the NBA averaging at least six assists per game, one of which is Giddey. Almost all of them (24) average double-digit points, so that's no big feat. But only 10 of them also average at least 10 rebounds, with Giddey also one of those.

As you can probably imagine, none of those 10 are rookies. In fact, LaMelo Ball is the only other player on the list with less than four years of experience. What Giddey is doing up and down the box score is unprecedented and in a different year, he would be near the top of this list.

4. Franz Wagner (+1400, Previous: +1400) (Bet $100 to Win $1400)

Rookie teammate Jalen Suggs' return on January 14th has had a direct impact on Franz Wagner including his shots and field goal percentage. In the six games since that time, Wagner is shooting a decent 47.8%, but his points per game were 13.5 and he hasn't scored more than 19 since early January when he was frequently crossing 20 around and before the holidays.

However, the minutes are still strong as he played at least 32 minutes in five of his last six games.

Here's my prediction for Wagner and the rest of this season. I believe he falls out of this top five by mid-February and is replaced by one of two players. Chris Duarte (+6600), who suddenly has increased playing time with all the Pacers' injuries, is on a team that will be sellers at the deadline, leading to secure minutes. Ayo "Chicayo" Dosunmu is also playing out of his mind right now and should be given plenty of minutes even when Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine return. He has earned it.

3. Cade Cunningham (+1000, Previous: +650) (Bet $100 to Win $1000)

I'm actually surprised to see Cunningham fall this far, but the issue has been consistency. He will have a stretch like in the beginning of January where he shoots under 30% from the field in four of five games. But since then he has hit 47% in five out of six.

All that leads to just 40% shooting from the floor and 32% shooting from three, but the five rebounds and five assists per night are strong signs of progress. With better shooting efficiency, we are looking at a future All-Star here in Cunningham.

The best part about his season is that the Pistons are letting him figure it out on the floor. Unless the game is a lopsided blowout, Cunningham is playing 32-40 minutes per night. His odds like shorten some over the rest of the season, but it's a long road to try and overtake the overwhelming favorite.

2. Scottie Barnes (+650Previous: +360) (Bet $100 to Win $650)

Barnes has really struggled since he came back from missing three games due to COVID protocols. It didn't help, of course, that the rest of the team got healthy too, but the rookie wall seems to have already found Barnes and he needs to find a way to bust through it.

In his last 10 games in that span, Barnes averages just 11.9 points on 39.5% shooting (including 23% from three). The rebounds are down, the blocks and steals are down, so this is just a classic case of a rookie struggling with the new situation and elite level of play.

He will surely develop into a fantastic player, but the core of this team is together through at least 2024, assuming the Raptors don't have a fire sale. At some point this season, Barnes will fall below Cunningham on this list, and he will remain just a nice complimentary piece to a playoff-contending team.

1. Evan Mobley (-200, Previous: +100) (Bet $200 to Win $100)

As we pass the halfway point of the season, many of the individual awards are beginning to take shape, and see a favorite run away with the award. Most Improved will likely be going to Ja Morant (-210). Sixth Man of the Year should be handed to Tyler Herro (-500). And barring something catastrophic, Rookie of the Year will go to Evan Mobley.

Mobley is now at 15 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game, but even that doesn't tell the whole story of how great he is defensively. Among centers with at least 30 minutes per night, Mobley has the best defensive rating in the league. In fact, you have to widen the filters to just 20 minutes per night to find a center with a better rate overall (Bismack Biyombo).

He has an uncanny ability to work around screens and use his length to disrupt shots and passing lanes of his opponents. So much of what he does will not show up in traditional stats, but the impact has been phenomenal. He has led Cleveland to a third-best defensive rating this season.

Just like we said in the last column: not the most lucrative choice, but he is the safe choice.

Click Here for NBA Rookie of the Year Award Odds

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insightpicks

Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.

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