NBA Awards: Paolo Banchero Heavy Favorite for Rookie of the Year
With the first quarter of the NBA season complete, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero is the consensus favorite to win the 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year at -450 odds, according to a recent update by DraftKings.
Shooting guard Bennedict Mathurin from the Indiana Pacers is the closest competition to Banchero. Mathurin is +250 odds to win Rookie of the Year, which is an improvement from his preseason odds of +10000.
|PLAYER||ROOKIE OF YEAR ODDS|
|Jabari Smith, Jr.||+20000|
Before the season began, Banchero was the early favorite at +190 odds on DraftKings’ NBA Awards board. Forward Keegan Murray from the Sacramento Kings was a close second at +450 odds after he won the MVP of the Summer League in Las Vegas. Murray has slipped to +1000 odds, while Banchero saw his odds vastly improve.
Paolo Banchero -450
Heading into the 2022 NBA Draft, forward Jabari Smith from Auburn was the consensus betting favorite to become the first player selected. The Magic surprised all the experts and fans, especially Banchero, when they made the Duke forward the #1 pick in the NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets drafted Smith when he slipped to the #3 pick.
The Magic’s scouts look like geniuses right now, after Banchero emerged as an impact player for the young Magic. Banchero was inserted into the starting lineup on opening night, and he lit up the Detroit Pistons for 27 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Banchero leads all NBA rookies in scoring, averaging 21.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in 17 starts this season. His 3-point shooting needs work, with a 25.8% success rate. But that’s always the big knock against rookies adjusting to a deeper 3-point line versus college. Banchero is shooting 46% from the floor and 72.3% from the 3-point line.
Banchero dropped 33 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings in early November for his best all-around game this season. He became the first teenager since LeBron James to accomplish a 33-point and 16-rebound performance.
Banchero, who recently turned 20-years old, already looks like he’s been playing in the league for a couple of years. So long as he remains healthy, Banchero is the front-runner to get named the Rookie of the Year at -450 odds.
Bennedict Mathurin +250
The Indiana Pacers selected Mathurin with the sixth-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Arizona State.
Through the first quarter of the season, Mathurin looks like the steal in the draft. He’s second overall in rookie scoring, averaging 18.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game for the Indiana Pacers. He’s also shooting 40% from 3-point range, and already proved he’s one of the most dangerous long-range shooters from his rookie class.
Meanwhile, Mathurin is putting up strong stats coming off the bench as the Pacers’ sixth man. After an impressive first quarter of the season as a valuable reserve, Mathurin saw his NBA Sixth Man of the Year odds jump to +600 as the fourth-betting favorite at DraftKings.
Mathurin scored a season-high 32 points in an upset victory against the Brooklyn Nets in late October. He shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range and shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Even All-Star Kevin Durant was impressed with Mathurin’s performance in just his seventh game as a professional.
The rook cooked,” Durant told reporters after the loss.
If you’re looking for a value bet in NBA year-end awards, Mathurin is +450 odds to win Rookie of the Year.
Jaden Ivey +2500
The Detroit Pistons selected Ivey, an All-American guard from Purdue, with the fifth-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Numerous teams were interested in trading up in the draft to sag Ivey, including the New York Knicks. However, the Pistons stood pat because they liked Ivey’s playmaking ability.
Ivey started in 19 out of 20 games for the Pistons this season. He averages 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He’s shooting 42% from the field, but only 31.6% from 3-point range.
The Pistons are in the middle of internal debates on shutting down Cade Cunningham, the first pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, for the rest of the season. Cunningham is nursing a shin injury, which is an unusual injury for a guard, but somewhat serious. Without Cunningham in the starting lineup, Ivey has become one of the few highlights this season for the Pistons, who started 6-18 with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Ivey dazzled fans with an impressive performance against the Boston Celtics, who boast the best record in the NBA. He scored a season-high 26 points and knocked down four 3-pointers in a loss against one of the premier defensive squads in the league.
During the preseason, Ivey was +700 odds to win Rookie of the Year. He’s since dropped off to +2500 odds, which has more to do with the success of Banchero and not a true indictment of his rookie campaign with the Pistons.
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