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2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

The 2022 NBA Draft class is full of potential Rookie of the Year winners. That should make for an intriguing race, with Magic forward and first overall pick Paolo Banchero the early favorite.

Currently, no odds data available for this market.

Though the NBA Draft didn’t feature any real significant trades or wild upsets, there was intrigue at the top when the Orlando Magic opted for Duke’s Paolo Banchero with the first pick over Auburn’s Jabari Smith. The odds for who would go first overall swung dramatically in the days and hours leading up to the draft, but ultimately it was the 6-foot-7 Banchero who heard his name called first.

It’s no surprise, then, that Banchero also leads the way in Caesars Sportsbook’s first 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year odds market. He’s got competition at the top from Smith, who went third to Houston, and Jaden Ivey, who went fifth to the Pistons.

No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren, the newest member of the Thunder, is out for the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury.

2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Tips

Volume is key in Rookie of the Year race

2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 1

Throw efficiency out the window. We want cold, hard volume numbers when it comes to our NBA picks for the Rookie of the Year. From 2001 to 2022, 19 of 21 rookie award winners played at least 30 minutes per game. In that 21-year span, a total of 81 rookies averaged 30 or more minutes, or 3.8 per season.

If you can hone in on those 3 or 4 players who will average 30+ minutes, you’ll have an easier time locating your Rookie of the Year. Good candidates for this threshold include Banchero (Orlando), Ivey (Detroit), and Johnny Davis (Washington).

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History suggests pick a guard

Consider that since 2005, 12 of the 17 winners were guards (Paul, Roy, Rose, Evans, Irving, Lillard, MCW, Brogdon, Simmons, Doncic, Morant, Ball). The top four picks in 2022 were all bigs (though Banchero is certainly a facilitator) with Ivey going off the board at No. 5.

He’s a true combo guard who should play well alongside last year’s top pick, Cade Cunningham. The Pistons are going to give Ivey all the run he can handle, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see him float to the top of Rookie of the Year leaderboards the deeper we get into the season.

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Look at top picks first

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This is not breaking news, but the top picks in the draft often become Rookie of the Year NBA betting favorites and eventual winners. But let’s dig a little deeper to see how strong this correlation really is. Beginning with LeBron James in 2004 through 2022, here’s where each Rookie of the Year was drafted:

1st or 2nd: 10 winners

3rd or 4th: 5 winners

5th or later: 4 winners

The top pick actually hasn’t won Rookie of the Year since Ben Simmons in 2018 (and he was technically a redshirt), but the point here is that you’ll want to keep your Rookie of the Year picks toward the top of the class. Consider that the Rookie of the Year has come outside the top-10 just twice since 1990 (MCW, Brodgon). Don’t look for a diamond in the rough here.

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Long Shot Rookie of the Year Pick

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So if you are looking at NBA futures markets and considering a diamond in the rough (despite our advice above), then consider this: From 2000 to 2021, 14 of the 22 Rookie of the Year winners led their class in scoring. Seven others finished second or third. That’s potentially good news for Cleveland’s Ochai Agbaji, who averaged 18.8 points—including 2.6 triples on nearly 41% shooting from deep—and should step in right away on a Cavs team that finished 20th in offensive efficiency and made 3-pointers last season.

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He’s a true underdog at +2500, but Evan Mobley easily could have won the award last season—Cleveland knows how to develop its rookies. With the launch of Ohio sports betting set for Jan. 1, 2023, bettors in the Buckeye State should check in then to scout Agbaji's odds.

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Our NBA Rookie of the Year Pick

We loved Chet Holmgren's odds prior to his season-ending foot injury, but now we'll shift our odds toward the prohibitive favorite. Paolo Banchero is getting the keys to the car in Orlando, and he should average 30+ minutes right out of the gates.

With Jonathan Isaac still on the sidelines, Banchero will lead the Magic in scoring (and perhaps assists), which is a great indicator of Rookie of the Year winners. This class took a hit with Holmgren's injury, but Banchero is still elite in every sense of the word. Grab his odds, even if they don't offer terrific value at +200.

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NBA Rookie Records

Every points record is held by Wilt Chamberlain. The Big Dipper scored 58 points on 24-of-41 shooting against the Pistons on Jan. 25, 1960, still the most a rookie has ever scored. He did it again a month later against the Knicks. Chamberlain holds the rookie records for scoring and rebounding in a rookie season. San Francisco Warriors guard Rick Barry had 57 points on Dec. 14, 1965, in a game vs. the Knicks. New York still won.

Other key statistical groups are owned by players who didn't win Rookie of the Year honors. Mark Jackson of the Knicks has the most assists in a rookie season (868), while the steals leader is the Pacers' Dudley Bradley (211), 7-foot-7 center Manute Bol had 397 blocks his first year with the Washington Bullets, and Nets rookie Kerry Kittles hit 158 3-pointers.

Who is the best NBA rookie of all time?

Wilt Chamberlain was the most statistically dominating player in NBA history, from the first time he stepped onto an NBA court. For his entire rookie year, he averaged 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds per game, winning the NBA MVP award his first season as well. Oscar Robertson of the Cincinnati Royals is the closest challenger. He recorded a whopping 26 triple-doubles his rookie year in 1960-61, in an era when players weren't recording triple-doubles. No other rookie has ever managed more than 12. The "Big O" averaged 30.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 9.7 apg his first year.

NBA Rookie of the Year FAQ

What is the NBA Rookie of the Year Award?

The NBA Rookie of the Year award is given annually to the top first-year player in the league. It has been handed out since the 1952-53 season and the winner is given the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, named after the former coach and owner of the Philadelphia Warriors.

Who is the favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award?

Magic forward and first overall pick Paolo Banchero is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. He has +200 odds, meaning a bettor would earn $200 on a $100 bet. Keegan Murray of the Sacramento Kings is right behind Banchero at +450.

Who won Rookie of the Year honors in 2021-22?

Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2022 after he averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Raptors.

Has anyone won NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Most Valuable Player awards in the same season?

Only two players have ever accomplished won the ROY award and NBA MVP in the same season, though it hasn't happened in more than 50 years: Wilt Chamberlain in 1960 and Wes Unseld in 1969. Wes Unseld, the No. 2 pick of the Baltimore Bullets in 1968, averaged 13.8 ppg and 18.2 rpg his first year, turning around the Eastern Conference's last-place team into a 58-25 contender. In 1960, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 37.6 points and 27 rebounds per game in winning both awards as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, both NBA records.

Which NBA Rookie of the Year winners have gone on to win an NBA MVP?

A solid 15 NBA Rookie of the Year winners have gone on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award during their careers, totaling a whopping 34 MVPs in all. But it hasn't happened lately. The last dual-winner was Derrick Rose, who opened his career with Rookie of the Year honors with the Bulls in 2008-09, then won 2010-11 MVP in Chicago. Six players have won Rookie of the Year then multiple MVPs: Lew Alcindor (1970 ROY), Larry Bird (1980), Michael Jordan (1985), Tim Duncan (1998) and LeBron James (2004).

Which NBA position has won the most Rookie of the Year awards?

Of the 73 NBA Rookie of the Year awards to be handed out through the 2022 season, 31 have gone to forwards, 27 to guards and 15 to centers. Specifically, point guards have won the award 19 times and small forwards have won it 16 times. Just one center has won the award since 2005, while guards have made up 13 of the last 16 winners.

How many games does a rookie need to play to be eligible for Rookie of the Year honors?

A rookie is a rookie in the NBA for the entire first season they step onto the court for regular-season game action. In 2014, Lakers first-round draft pick Julius Randle broke his leg just 13 minutes into the team's season opener. He came back the following year and had a Rookie of the Year-quality season but was not considered a rookie due to those 13 minutes.

How long are you considered a rookie in the NBA?

Players are only a rookie in their first season of actual NBA action. That's regardless of how long a player may have played professionally overseas. There was a debate on whether the rule should be changed in 2017. Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, sat out his entire rookie year with the 76ers due to a foot injury. Because he didn't play in a game, he was able to return in 2017 and still be considered a rookie. He ended up winning Rookie of the Year honors, besting Jazz standout Donovan Mitchell.

Who won the first Rookie of the Year award in the NBA?

Donald "Monk" Meineke was the first recipient of the NBA Rookie of the Year award, for the 1952-53 season. The 6-7 forward of the Fort Wayne Pistons averaged a modest 10.7 ppg on 38.1% shooting, along with 6.9 rpg. But he made his mark elsewhere, setting an NBA record that has yet to be broken. His rookie season, Meineke fouled out a whopping 26 times, a feat that has yet to be topped. He led the NBA in fouls that season at 334, an average of 4.9 per game (68 games). Meineke played five NBA seasons before moving into a career in broadcasting sales.