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
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.
Haliburton gettin crafty with it. (via @SacramentoKings) pic.twitter.com/JdtjrbgPx7
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) March 20, 2021
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.
https://t.co/wWGNmWnCY9’s updated rookie ladder:
1) LaMelo Ball
2) Anthony Edwards
3) Immanuel Quickley
4) Tyrese Haliburton
5) James Wiseman
6) Saddiq Bey
7) Jae’Sean Tate
8) Patrick Williams
9) Desmond Bane
10) Kenyon Martin Jr.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 17, 2021
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.
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.