The NBA’s regular season still has two months remaining, but the Rookie of the Year race is basically a foregone conclusion. The pool of this year’s youngest players is filled with tremendous talents, but one in particular has put his full abilities on display so far.
Here’s a look at the 2022-23 NBA Rookie of the Year odds and our favorite picks to bring home the award.
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2023
These NBA gameday odds are current as of Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m. ET and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Paolo Banchero (-1000)
- Bennedict Mathurin (+650)
- Walker Kessler (+2500)
- Jaden Ivey (+5000)
- Jalen Williams (+7500)
- Keegan Murray (+10000)
- Jabari Smith Jr. (+20000)
- Andrew Nembhard (+25000)
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NBA Rookie of the Year Best Bet
Paolo Banchero, F, Orlando Magic (-1000)
If you bet on Banchero to win this award at the beginning of the year, congratulations. We’ve reached the point of the season where even if something happened and he was forced to miss the remainder of the year, he would still be the Rookie of the Year.
Banchero leads all rookies in scoring with 19.9 points, ranks fourth in rebounds with 6.6, and third in assists at 3.6 per game. Moreover, he’s already had four 30-point performances, including one 33-point, 16-rebound showing in early November.
This simply isn’t a race anymore, making this my NBA bet of the day.
NBA Rookie of the Year Favorites
Bennedict Mathurin, G, Indiana Pacers (+650)
If it wasn’t for Banchero’s spectacular play, Mathurin would be on his way to becoming the surprise Rookie of the Year. The sixth overall pick has been phenomenal for the Pacers.
The 20-year-old plays a key role off the bench for an Indiana offense that ranks 15th in the league in scoring. Mathurin’s 17.2 points per game are good for fourth on the team — trailing only Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield — and second among all rookies.
If Banchero hadn’t been so dominant to this point, Mathurin would make an excellent choice to win Rookie of the Year. However, that’s just not the case.
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (+2500)
Kessler has launched up the board in recent weeks, and for good reason. Since he became a permanent fixture of the starting rotation on Jan. 1o, the seven-footer is averaging 11.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in just 27.2 minutes per game.
Already, Kessler has had a 20-20 game, and on Feb. 1, he went for 17 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks in a three-point win over the Raptors. His defensive potential is off the charts.
He’s not worth betting on in this race, but perhaps we’ll see him pop up in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation next season.
NBA Rookie of the Year Contenders
Jaden Ivey, G, Detroit Pistons (+5000)
Ivey has expectedly been pretty great for the Pistons this year, averaging 15.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.6 assists through his first 55 games. He leads all rookies in total assists, and he’s not too far off in points and rebounds, either.
With that said, Ivey hasn’t quite been good enough to truly be in consideration to win Rookie of the Year. He’ll likely finish the year as a finalist, but unless both Banchero and Mathurin go down with injuries, it seems like Ivey will come in comfortably behind them in third place.
I wouldn’t recommend a bet on Ivey right now given the circumstances.
Jalen Williams, G, Oklahoma City Thunder (+7500)
Thunder guard Jalen Williams has been a fun story this season. The 12th overall pick, who was hardly on the radar as a potential lottery selection this time last year, currently ranks fourth in scoring and assists among rookies.
The 21-year-old Santa Clara product had the best performance of his young career on Feb. 7 against the Lakers, logging 25 points, seven rebounds, and six steals in the win.
Even though he won’t go on to win Rookie of the Year, his recent play has been a sign of potentially great things to come. Keep an eye on J-Dub.
NBA Rookie of the Year Sleepers
Keegan Murray, F, Sacramento Kings (+10000)
If Murray’s Kings weren’t in playoff contention, we’d likely see his usage skyrocket. With that said, he’s still playing a pivotal role for this surprising Sacramento squad, averaging 11.9 points per game on .442/.415/.794 shooting splits.
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Perhaps Murray’s best asset is his efficiency. As a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc, he’s maintained a spot in the starting rotation virtually all year long. He’s logged eight performances with at least 20 points as well.
Murray clearly has a bright future in the NBA, and it’s encouraging to see him fit in so well early on. However, the numbers just aren’t there for him to be considered in the running for this award right now.