2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

After weeks of non-stop coverage and analysis, the 2014 NBA Draft is finally behind us. Although we didn’t see the type of blockbuster trades many experts were expecting, we did see a number of surprises including the Orlando Magic’s selection of Aaron Gordon with the fourth pick, the Chicago Bulls trading up to draft Doug McDermott, and the Toronto Raptors selection of previously unknown Brazilian forward Bruno Caboclo.

That said, much of the draft went largely as expected with the Cavaliers selecting Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins, the Bucks selecting Duke forward Jabari Parker and the 76ers selecting injured center Joel Embiid.

On Friday morning, Bovada posted their initial 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year odds with the more polished Parker (+500) listed as a slight favorite over the raw and athletic Wiggins (+550).

Then on Saturday morning, The Greek, BetOnline, 5Dimes and Sportsbook.com posted their own odds which varied greatly from Bovada. We will continue to monitor the sports betting marketplace as more books post their odds, but as always, we recommend that all bettors should shop for the best line before placing a wager.

5Dimes (7/11)
BetOnline (7/1)
Sportsbook.com (6/28)
Greek (6/28)
Bovada (6/28)
Bovada (6/27)
Jabari Parker Milwaukee Bucks +300 +300 +250 +250 +300 +500
Andrew Wiggins Cleveland Cavaliers +600 +650 +800 +500 +750 +550
Julius Randle Los Angeles Lakers +700 +800 +800 +600 +900 +900
Doug McDermott Chicago Bulls +1500 +1000 +1500 +650 +1400 +1000
Dante Exum Utah Jazz +1000 +1200 +1000 +1200 +1000 +1000
Nerlens Noel Philadelphia 76ers +1000 +1200 +1800 +1200 +1200 +900
Marcus Smart Boston Celtics +1000 +1400 +1500 +1200 +1500 +1200
Shabazz Napier Miami Heat +1800 +1600 +1800 +1000 +1200 +1200
Nik Stauskas Sacramento Kings +1800 +2000 +1800 +1500 +1800 +1200
Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic +2000 +2000 +1500 +1500 +2000 +2000
Elfrid Payton Orlando Magic +2500 +2000 +2500 +2500 +1400 +1000
Noah Vonleh Charlotte Hornets +3000 +2000 +2500 +3000 +1800 +1500
PJ Hairston Charlotte Hornets +3000 +2500 +2500 +2000 +1500 +1500
TJ Warren Phoenix Suns +3000 +2500 +3000 +3000 +2500 +2500
Gary Harris Denver Nuggets +4000 +2800 +3000 +2500 +2000 +2000
Adreian Payne Atlanta Hawks +3000 +3300 +2500 +2000 +2500 +2000
Jordan Adams Memphis Grizzlies +4000 +4000 +3500 +3500 +2500 +2500
Kyle Anderson San Antonio Spurs +5000 +5000 +5000 +5000 +2500 +2500
Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers +7500 +5000 +4000 +5000 +5000 +3300
Mitch McGary Oklahoma City Thunder +4500 +6600 +5000 +5000 +3300 +3300
Zach LaVine Minnesota T'Wolves N/A N/A N/A +5000 N/A N/A
Rodney Hood Utah Jazz N/A N/A N/A +2000 N/A N/A
Cleanthony Early New York Knicks +4000 N/A +4000 N/A N/A N/A
James Young Boston Celtics +4000 N/A +4000 +3000 +3300 +3300
Tyler Ennis Phoenix Suns N/A N/A N/A +2000 N/A N/A
Field N/A N/A N/A N/A +800 N/A N/A

Adding to the intrigue are a large number of prop bets that Bovada posted on Friday morning. Not only is Parker a slight favorite to be named the Rookie of the Year, he’s also expected to outscore fellow top-pick Andrew Wiggins.

Whie Bovada has the top two picks neck-and-neck for the Rookie of the Year race, Sportsbook.com took a dramatically different stance. While Parker’s odds improved greatly (+500 vs. +250), Wiggins odds actually fell off significantly (+550 vs. +800).

Now it’s hardly a surprise to see the top two overall picks listed as the favorites, but many bettors may be surprised to see Nerlens Noel on this list — let alone holding down the number three spot at Bovada. Last season Philadelphia selected the 6’11″ Noel with the 6th overall pick in the 2013 draft, however, Noel missed the entire season as he recovered from knee surgery. Yet again, these two offshore sportsbooks disagree on a player as Noel has the 3rd best odds at Bovada (+900) yet the 8th best odds at Sportsbook.com (+1800).

Because he did not play in a single game last year, Noel is considered a rookie for the 2014-15 season. This is not unheard of as Blake Griffin, who was drafted in 2009, was eventually named the 2010 Rookie of the Year after breaking his left knee cap in a ’09 pre-season game.

Although most of the names atop this list were selected in the lottery, one potential sleeper is former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier. At the urging of LeBron James, the Heat were able to trade up in the draft and select the 2014 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

As a senior Napier showed off a very well-rounded game, averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. In fact, despite being just 6’1″ Napier was just 0.1 rebounds/game away from leading his team in all four categories. With Mario Chalmers set to become a free agent, Napier could start for the Eastern Conference Champions on opening night.

It’s also worth noting that the Canadian sportsbook Sports Interaction has already posted a prop bet for #1 pick Andrew Wiggins, and there seem to be very lofty expectations for the Kansas product:

Another interesting prop bet from Bovada concerns injured center Joel Embiid. The 7-foot center was expected to be the number one overall pick before suffering a broken foot which will require four-to-six months of discovery. Despite this serious injury, Bovada hung an odd prop bet:

This bet only pays out if Joel Embiid plays in the first game of the season, and considering the severity of his injury that seems extremely unlikely. If not for that condition, I would highly recommend bettors take the under — especially considering the 76ers were willing to let Nerlens Noel spend the entire 2013-14 season recuperating from his injury.

In an interesting draft day trade, the Chicago Bulls packaged their 16th, 19th and 49th draft pick for the Denver Nuggets 11th pick and forward Anthony Randolph. With Denver’s selection, the Bulls selected Creighton forward Doug McDermott.

Last season’s National Player of the Year, McDermott finished as the NCAA’s 5th all-time leading scorer (3,150 career points) and should help provide the offensive spark that Chicago desperately lacked last year. Although considered as something of a tweener, McDermott is the type of NBA-ready player who should be ready to contribute from day 1.

Other major discrepancies between Bovada and Sportsbook.com include: Orlando’s Elfrid Payton (+1,000 vs +2,500), Charlotte’s Noah Vonleh (+1,500 vs. +2,500), San Antonio’s Kyle Anderson (+2,500 vs. +5,000) and Denver’s Gary Harris (+2,000 vs. +3,000).

Over the past decade rookie of the year’s have included Michael Carter-Williams (#11 in 2013), Damian Lillard (#6 in 2012), Kyrie Irving (#1 in 2011), Blake Griffin (#1 in 2009), Tyreke Evans (#4 in 2009), Derrick Rose (#1 in 2008) , Kevin Durant (#2 in 2007), Brandon Roy (#6 in 2006), Chris Paul (#4 in 2005) and Emeka Okafor (#2 in 2004). As you can see, outside Carter-Williams last season, no player have been named the Rookie of the Year after being drafted outside the top 6.

Wondering what the odds have been for past winners? You can view pre-season Rookie of the Year odds for the last five seasons in the table below:

2013-14 Michael Carter-Williams +1200
2012-13 Damian Lillard +500
2011-12 Kyrie Irving +500
2010-11 Blake Griffin +200
2009-10 Tyreke Evans +700

So who do you think will win the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year? How will Nerlens Noel bounce back after missing the entire 2013-14 season? Is Parker really a safer bet than Wiggins? Leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

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