After a terrific showing by the 2018 rookies, the 2019 class is similarly living up to high expectations. There have been a few standouts early in the season, but this appears to be a race that will come down to the finish line.
Here are our favorite Rookie of the Year bets as the season gets going for fans of NBA betting to consider:
Jaren Jackson, Grizzlies
The No. 4 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft wasn’t heavily used in his lone year at Michigan State. But don’t expect that to be an issue in Year 1 with the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s averaging 17.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 26.5 minutes, and that number should only go up as the year progresses.
It’s clear he’s a perfect interior defender to pair with Marc Gasol, his outside range gives the offense another weapon and he’s getting to the free-throw line at will.
The minutes are always key with Rookie of the Year candidates, and Jackson is in line for plenty of them. Early returns on one of the youngest players in the draft are good. To get him at +1000 on 888Sport is a steal.
Deandre Ayton, Suns
Yeah, the Suns chose the right guy at No. 1. If you had never heard of the Arizona center and watched him play, you’d swear he was a 10-year veteran. He’s athletic as can be, poised around the rim, has range and is even showing off a little bit more defense than was expected of him early on.
He’s averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds and has a serious chance to flirt with 20 and 10. A rookie hasn’t done that since Blake Griffin in 2011. If he accomplishes that it’d be hard not to give him the award, making him smart value as the frontrunner at +150 on SugarHouse
Trae Young, Hawks
Five of the last seven Rookies of the Year have been point guards. So it makes sense that Trae Young has some of the best odds to win this award. He’s been given the keys to the Atlanta offense, so the raw numbers are going to be there at the end of the year. Thus far he’s averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 assists in 33.0 minutes. The key might be getting Atlanta to win a few games. The Hawks are off to a rough start and they’ll need to show more improvement for Young to have a shot at winning this. Then again, that’s possible in an ugly Eastern Conference. He has solid odds of +1000 at 888Sport.
Luka Doncic, Mavericks
The best international prospect ever was the EuroLeague MVP last season. Now, after being drafted third overall by the Mavericks, he’s looking to earn some more hardware in the NBA. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the most NBA-ready rookie also has lofty expectations. Doncic has been part of a high-powered Mavericks offense early in the year, averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He’s so versatile that Rick Carlisle will find a spot for him to succeed in every night, meaning the minutes will be there. If the Mavericks continue to show improvement Doncic will be an easy finalist for this award. You can bet him at +225 with 888Sport.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers
Let’s toss in a darkhorse candidate. The Clippers probably won’t compete this season which means the young guns are going to need to see action. That’s great news for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the NBA Lottery pick who the Clippers are hoping will be a replacement for Chris Paul in the future.
He’s a defensive whiz at 6-foot-6, has excellent court vision and attacks the basket well. In the early season he’s averaging 8.3 points and 4.0 assists. Not massive numbers, but let’s wait until he gets rolling.
It’s a long season and his best days are clearly in front of him. He’s a longshot, but at +4000 on 888Sport it’s probably worth a look.