Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 11 mins

Best NBA Player Props To Jump On Before 2021-22 Season

Best NBA Player Props To Jump On Before 2021-22 Season
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The NBA season kicks off on October 19, leaving plenty of time for bettors to make a number of different NBA prop bets. From end-of-season award winners to leaders in major statistical categories, we’ve combed through sportsbooks and betting sites to put together our favorite bets.

With Canada sports betting sites now accepting single-event wagering and Arizona sports betting live, there promises to be a lot of betting on the NBA this season.

Cade Cunningham, Rookie of the Year

The Odds: +250 at BetMGM

There will be trendier picks and those with better odds, but Rookie of the Year is quickly becoming a predictable award in NBA betting. Consider the last four winners:

  • Top pick Ben Simmons had +175 odds to win during his redshirt rookie season in 2017 and wound up receiving 90 of 101 first-place votes<./li>
  • Luka Doncic was an overwhelming favorite in 2018 with comical -110 odds, and he earned 98 of 100 first-place votes.
  • LaMelo Ball was the third pick in 2020 but led his class with +450 odds, and he won easily despite playing just 51 games.
  • Zion Williamson would have won in 2019 with his -450 odds but knee injuries limited him to just 24 games.
Best NBA Player Props To Jump On Before 2021-22 Season 1

What we’re saying is … bet the favorites in the NBA Rookie of the Year odds. That’s Cunningham, a generational talent who we’ll talk about as a prospect in the same light as Anthony Davis and Williamson. Twenty-one of the last 32 winners have led their class in scoring (Cunningham averaged 20.1 points as a freshman at Oklahoma State) and 15 of the last 17 ROY winners played on losing teams (the Pistons are bad). Cunningham played 35.4 minutes per game at 19 years old, so his fresh legs will post plenty of volume numbers in Detroit to win this award over the likes of Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. Bet it at BetMGM Sportsbook.

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Steph Curry, 3-Point Field Goal Leader

The Odds: -170 at DraftKings

These NBA futures odds won’t make you rich, but Steph Curry has a track record of making 3-pointers if you haven’t heard. Curry led the league in made 3-pointers last season by a whopping 55 triples over Buddy Hield. That was the difference between Hield and fifth-place Terry Rozier.

That shouldn’t have been a surprise, either; in his last seven seasons, here’s where Curry has finished among made 3-point leaders: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd and 1st. All but one of those seasons (2021) was done with a healthy Klay Thompson, so don’t worry about his returning hurting Curry’s 3-point prowess. If Curry remains healthy — and there’s no reason to believe he won’t — he will lead the league in 3-pointers made. Bet it at DraftKings.

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Darius Garland, Most Improved Player

The Odds: +3400 at FanDuel

Best NBA Player Props To Jump On Before 2021-22 Season 2

This is far and away the most difficult bet to handicap each season — 2021 winner Julius Randle wasn’t even on most betting sites when last season began. So, while this may feel like a far-fetched play, sometimes that’s the way this award goes. And when it comes to Darius Garland, we’re focused on the way the talented point guard ended his sophomore season.

Over a six-week span between March and April, Garland averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game. He shot better than 41% from deep and even added 1.4 steals per game to a horrendous Cavaliers defense. We like Cleveland giving Garland the reins to the Cavs offense this season over Collin Sexton, and adding versatile big Evan Mobley should improve Garland’s assist numbers. A former fourth overall pick, don’t be surprised if Garland is the next up-and-coming elite point guard. We love his value here at FanDuel.

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Patty Mills, Sixth Man of the Year

The Odds: +1900 at FanDuel

The key to winning Sixth Man of the Year is a pretty simple one — get buckets. Thirteen of the last 20 Sixth Man of the Year winners have led the NBA in bench scoring, and four others have ranked second. In fact, no player has won Sixth Man of the Year since 2002 finishing worse than fourth in bench scoring.

Career bench scorer Patty Mills has never averaged more than 11.6 points per game in his career, but the 33-year-old signed in Brooklyn this offseason and will join a Nets team that finished last season first in offensive rating, effective field goal percentage and 11th in pace. Mills, a career 39% 3-point shooter, is going to feast in this offense.

Brooklyn is going to rely on its historic trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden plenty, but the Nets were surprisingly 17th in bench scoring and 14th in bench minutes last season. They’ll lean on Mills to be a volume scorer, and he should get some spot starts in games Harden or Irving miss. We like Mills to flirt with 15-17 points per game this season, which will have him in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year. Grab these NBA odds at FanDuel.


Joel Embiid, Defensive Player of the Year

The Odds: +900 at DraftKings

Best NBA Player Props To Jump On Before 2021-22 Season 3

Joel Embiid has three different All-NBA Defensive Second Team honors to his name. In those seasons (2018, 2019 and 2021), Embiid has finished second, fourth and seventh in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. In 2021, Embiid’s finish was due to him playing just 51 games. He’s worthy and he’s due.

This is all to say that a healthy Embiid is one of the game’s best defenders, and he meets the criteria of past Defensive Player of the Year winners. He’s a center, he’s going to again play on an elite Sixers defense and he’s a lock to be an All-Star for a fifth straight season. Rudy Gobert has won three of the last four seasons, but voter fatigue may be setting in, leaving the door open for a new winner. Embiid is too talented to not win this award sometime in his career. We think it happens in 2022.

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Zion Williamson, NBA’s Leading Scorer

The Odds: +1500 at FanDuel

It has been 22 years since a non-perimeter threat won the NBA’s scoring title — Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. So, wouldn’t you know it that our longshot to bring that title back into the paint is the closest thing we’ve seen to O’Neal? Zion Williamson averaged 27.0 points on 61% shooting in his second NBA season. No player in NBA history had ever reached those points and efficiency thresholds in a single season — and Williamson did it before he was legally allowed to drink.

Williamson finished eighth in scoring last season, and we think there’s still considerable room for him to improve his free-throw attempts (8.7 last season) and his 3-pointers (33.3% on 0.6 attempts for his career). The sky’s the limit for one of the game’s great scorers, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for Year 3.

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Jason Kidd, Coach of the Year

The Odds: +1800 at BetMGM

OK, so our last prop on this list is a former player, but it’s one we love. There’s certainly debate as to whether Jason Kidd is actually a good coach, but we’ll politely remind you that coaches like Dwane Casey and Mike Budenholzer have won this award and they aren’t exactly nipping at Gregg Popovich’s Hall of Fame heels. But we’re about to find out just how much a player as talented as Luka Doncic can do to make up for lackluster head coaching.

We’ve found that 50 wins is a good barometer for Coach of the Year consideration and that the last nine Coach of the Year winners have improved his team’s wins from the previous season by an average of 13.6 victories. The Mavericks won 42 games last season (a 48-win pace), and while we don’t expect them to flirt with 60 wins, it’s not outrageous to think Dallas can improve to 54-55 wins and compete for a top-3 seed in the West.

Doncic is a near lock for All-NBA consideration, and Dallas’ offense has finished 1st and 8th the last two seasons, respectively. That matters in the Coach of the Year race, too.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports.