The AP College Basketball Player of the Year award was established in 1961 to recognize the most outstanding college basketball player in the nation, as determined by the Associated Press. Duke has produced the most winners with Art Heyman, Christian Laettner, Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Jay Williams and J.J. Redick taking home this prestigious award.
The table below displays every winner since the award’s inception more than fifty years ago.
|2016||Denzel Valentine||Michigan State||46.2%||44.4%||85.3%||19.2||7.5||7.8|
|2011||Jimmer Fredette||Brigham Young||45.2%||39.6%||89.4%||28.9||3.4||4.3|
|2010||Evan Turner||Ohio State||51.9%||36.4%||75.4%||20.4||9.2||6|
|2008||Tyler Hansbrough||North Carolina||54.0%||0.0%||80.6%||22.6||10.2||0.9|
|2004||Jameer Nelson||Saint Joseph's||47.5%||39.0%||79.2%||20.6||4.7||5.3|
|1998||Antawn Jamison||North Carolina||57.9%||40.0%||66.7%||22.2||10.5||0.8|
|1997||Tim Duncan||Wake Forest||60.8%||27.3%||63.6%||20.8||14.7||3.2|
|1991||Shaquille O'Neal||Louisiana State||62.8%||N/A||63.8%||27.6||14.7||1.6|
|1990||Lionel Simmons||La Salle||51.3%||47.7%||66.1%||26.5||11.1||3.6|
|1986||Walter Berry||St. John's (NY)||59.8%||N/A||70.2%||23||11.1||N/A|
|1984||Michael Jordan||North Carolina||55.1%||N/A||77.9%||19.6||5.3||2.1|
|1979||Larry Bird||Indiana State||53.2%||N/A||83.1%||28.6||14.9||5.5|
|1975||David Thompson||North Carolina State||54.6%||N/A||73.1%||29.9||8.2||N/A|
|1974||David Thompson||North Carolina State||54.7%||N/A||74.5%||26||7.9||N/A|
|1971||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||51.7%||N/A||81.1%||38||7.4||N/A|
|1970||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||44.7%||N/A||77.3%||44.5||5.6||N/A|
|1964||Gary Bradds||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1962||Jerry Lucas||Ohio State||61.1%||N/A||79.9%||21.8||17.8||N/A|
|1961||Jerry Lucas||Ohio State||62.3%||N/A||76.4%||24.9||17.4||N/A|
On Wednesday morning, Bovada posted odds for the 2017 AP Player of the Yeard award. Although most of the discussion this season has centered on the talented freshman class, it’s actually an upperclassmen that’s listed at the front-runner.
This season, senior guard Frank Mason III has efficiently averaged 20.3 PPG, 5.1 APG and 4.3 RPG while leading the Kansas Jayhawks to a 21-3 record and the #3 ranking in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. He’s opened as the favorite at +250, but has since moved to +150.
Not many sportsbooks offer AP Player of the Year odds and, for that reason, these odds are somewhat exploitative. This prop takes low limits and features a high hold percentage. It’s also worth noting that there’s no option for the field, and all wagers have action. That means if an unlisted player wins this award — e.g. Joel Berry, Josh Jackson or De’Aaron Fox — Bovada would clean up.
The table below displays the latest AP Player of the Year odds at Bovada. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
|Player||School||Bovada (3/6)||Bovada (2/9)||Bovada (2/8)|
|Justin Jackson||North Carolina||N/A||+1200||+750|
|Dennis Smith||NC State||N/A||+2000||+2000|
|Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame||N/A||+2500||+1600|
Based on the low limits and subjectivity of the vote, I won’t be placing a wager on the AP Player of the Year. That said, history says that one-dimensional scorers don’t win this award unless they’re an extreme outlier like Jimmer Fredette or J.J Redick. For that reason, I would recommend avoiding players like Malik Monk or Justin Jackson.
Two players who may be slipping under the radar are Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss; both of whom opened at 16/1. Swanigan (19.1 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 2.8 APG) has led the #16 Boilermakers to a 19-5 record including impressive wins over Notre Dame, Northwestern, and Maryland. When this article was first published I liked Swanigan at +1600, but he has lost some value at 10/1.
Williams-Goss, on the other hand, has thrived since transferring from Washington to Gonzaga. The 6’3″ guard has been the best player on the nation’s best team; leading the Bulldogs to an undefeated record (24-0). Although Gonzaga is frequently a trendy Cinderella pick, this Zags team is a legitimate title contender. Neither player is actionable at the current price, but Williams-Goss looks like the superior value.
Bettors can keep up with the latest college basketball odds, betting trends, injuries, futures and more by visiting our free NCAAB odds page.
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