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Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 4 mins

Chet Holmgren Rookie of the Year Odds Surge After Summer League Debut

Chet Holmgren Rookie of the Year Odds Surge After Summer League Debut

We knew Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren was a unique talent and had the chance to be special. But his performance Tuesday night in Salt Lake City exceeded even our wildest expectations. 

The No. 2 overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft was spectacular in his Summer League debut, and in the span of a few hours saw his 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year odds shrink from +550 to +375 on Caesars Sportsbook.

It’s almost unthinkable movement based on a single game—a Summer League game, at that—but Holmgren really was that impressive. Here’s a look at how it all went down.

Holmgren Rookie Of The Year Odds

It didn’t take long for Holmgren to make his presence felt. While the expectation was that the No. 2 pick in his class, playing alongside a few other talented young Thunder prospects, would look the part, Holmgren went above and beyond.

He buried three triples in the first quarter and even added three blocks, including two on 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall. Holmgren wasn’t done, adding another 3-pointer in the first half and swatting three more shots after halftime. He finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and a Summer League record 6 blocked shots—all in his NBA debut. It was as impressive as it sounds.

Holmgren's ROY Odds Movement

  • Before Summer League Debut: +550
  • After Summer League Debut: +375

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook and accurate as of publication

Online sportsbooks began moving his Rookie of the Year odds as early as the first quarter. They’ve settled in somewhere between +375 and +425 depending on which operator’s odds you’re looking at—and the movement is justified. 

Yes, it’s too early to draw any real comparisons, but consider this side-by-side…

Rookie of the Year Contenders

Holmgren took NBA Twitter by storm because he was the only top prospect playing in Salt Lake City. The other top NBA betting contenders for Rookie of the Year like Orlando’s Paolo Banchero (+350), Houston’s Jabari Smith (+400) and Detroit’s Jaden Ivey (+650) will need to wait until Thursday in Las Vegas to make their respective debuts. 

Holmgren will be there, too, and we’ll get a few direct matchups between these young prospects that could once again swing the Rookie of the Year odds. Here are a few dates to keep an eye on:

  • Thursday, July 7: Houston (Smith) vs. Orlando (Banchero)
  • Saturday, July 9: Oklahoma City (Holmgren) vs. Houston (Smith)
  • Monday, July 11: Orlando (Banchero) vs. Oklahoma City (Holmgren)

This is an ultra-talented class, so we expect line movement on betting apps while these one-on-one matchups are taking place.

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Is There Value On Holmgren to Win ROY?

It’s no secret that Thunder GM Sam Presti is playing the long game in Oklahoma City. Since losing Kevin Durant in free agency and dealing Russell Westbrook to the Rockets, Presti has been stockpiling draft picks, young prospects and NBA Lottery balls. A byproduct of the strategy has been some comical tanking toward the end of the regular season to better position the Thunder in that upcoming year’s Lottery.

Just three players appeared in more than 60 games for the Thunder last season, and Lottery pick Josh Giddey (54) was not one of them. Just three players tallied 60+ games in 2021, too. 


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Evan Mobley was the ROY frontrunner for the majority of the 2021-22 season but saw Scottie Barnes jump ahead of him in the final two weeks of the season after Mobley missed time with an ankle injury. 

If the Thunder are hell-bent on doing all they can to secure the top pick and uber-prospect Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft, it could hurt Holmgren’s ROY chances.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting 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. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.