Anthony Edwards Becomes Odds-on 2021 Rookie of the Year Favorite After LaMelo Ball Suffers Season Ending Injury


Georgia’s Anthony Edwards takes up a position at the edge of the court during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Missouri on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • As LaMelo Ball is expected to have season-ending surgery on a fractured wrist, Anthony Edwards has succeeded Ball as Rookie of the Year favorite
  • Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton sits third in the latest odds at +500 behind Ball
  • See fully updated odds and who presents the best bets below

LaMelo Ball was a lock for Rookie of the Year. Ball has suffered a fractured right wrist, which is set to rule him out for the rest of the season. At this stage, the Hornets rookie is getting second opinions on the injury, but the outlook is bleak. Many reports indicate he will require surgery.

Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a major shift in NBA Rookie of the Year odds. Ball has been the heavy favorite throughout the season. He has relinquished that status to Minnesota Timberwolves wing Anthony Edwards.

Ball’s price has slipped to +170 with FanDuel.

2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Player Odds
Anthony Edwards -155
LaMelo Ball +170
Tyrese Haliburton +500
Immanuel Quickley +2400
James Wiseman +6500
Patrick Williams +10000
Saddiq Bey +10000

Odds taken on March 22nd from FanDuel

Edwards on Fire

Anthony Edwards has been playing like a first overall pick of late. Even with Ball healthy, Edwards was playing at a standard which could potentially re-ignite the Rookie of the Year debate. The former Georgia wing is scoring 24.9 points per contest over his last 10, more than Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum and Kawhi Leonard.

Minnesota is playing better basketball since the hiring of Chris Finch, and the return of Karl-Anthony Towns has helped Edwards find a role.

Had Ball avoided injury, this was probably an irrelevant surge in the Rookie of the Year race. Edwards has been great, and enjoyed marquee moments, but the efficiency hasn’t always been present, and playing on the Timberwolves deep in lottery wilderness does not help his case.

He’s the natural successor if Ball is out for the year, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Edwards has been inconsistent this season, and Ball has made such a spectacular impact. Some voters could be lured into voting for the Charlotte guard even if he finishes the season with 41 games played.

2021 NBA MVP Award Odds Tracker

Haliburton Still In Contention

Tyrese Haliburton was second-favorite in Rookie of the Year betting earlier in the campaign. Where Edwards started poorly, Haliburton’s season has been a mirror image. His numbers have declined in recent games, reaching double figures scoring in just two of his last six outings.

The trade deadline could be key in Haliburton’s Rookie of the Year push. Sacramento is adamant they don’t want to deal Buddy Hield or Harrison Barnes, but trading either will open up more minutes for Haliburton. He’s played 27.3 minutes per game in March, markedly fewer than Edwards, who sits above 36 this month.

Increasing workload would be a boost for Haliburton, yet he doesn’t exactly warrant it at the moment. His shooting numbers have dropped off (33.3% from three over his last 11). The Kings have been marginally worse with Haliburton on the court – their offense scores almost four points fewer per 100 possessions with Haliburton in the game.

His early season performances keep him in the mix, but the former Iowa State guard has a long way to go to rival Edwards down the stretch.

Knicks Wins Could Help Quickley

Winning games doesn’t usually matter in Rookie of the Year. With the Kings and Timberwolves slumping deep into the lottery, though, Immanuel Quickley playing considerable minutes on a playoff team seems relevant. Add in the Knicks factor, and Quickley has more eyes on him that Edwards or Haliburton. It’s not impossible he makes a late run for the award, and it’s a surprise for the 25th overall pick to be at such long odds.

Like many rookies, inconsistency has been the issue with Quickley. He’s had 16 games scoring fewer than 10 points, and the cluttered Knicks backcourt means his minutes go up and down. Continuing to shoot well from three, though, Quickley brings floor spacing the Knicks desperately need. They’re a better team with him on the court.

If Edwards slumps, Quickley could rapidly play his way into Rookie of the Year contention. Having scored 20 or more nine times this season, the former Kentucky point guard could get hot down the stretch and make that +2400 price look like great value.

Author Image

Sam Cox

NBA MLB Soccer Sports Writer

NBA MLB Soccer