NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2024: Spurs’ Wembanyama Takes Home The Award

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2024 - Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Chet Holmgren or Victor Wembanyama? 

Early on in the 2023-24 season, the pair of versatile 7-footers dominated the NBA Rookie of the Year odds debate.

For a while, one could make a compelling argument in support of both budding stars, each of whom had solid starts to their rookie campaigns. 

Then the 20-year-old Wembanyama shifted into fifth gear, left the 21-year-old Holmgren in his dust, and emerged as a massive Rookie of the Year favorite. It was always Wembanyama, who was recently named the Rookie of the Year.

Of course, the NBA’s policy is to name three finalists for each postseason award. The league did just that early this week, with Oklahoma City’s Holmgren — along with Charlotte’s Brandon Miller — listed alongside Wembanyama.

As the NBA Rookie of the Year odds clearly told us in the final two months of the regular season, this year’s Wilt Chamberlain Trophy was always Wembanyama’s to lose. The best sportsbooks see it that way, too.

2024 NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Player Closing odds
Victor Wembanyama (SAS) -10000
Chet Holmgren (OKC) +2500
Brandon Miller (CHA) +50000

NBA Rookie of the Year odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook

2024 NBA Rookie of the Year opening odds

Player Opening odds
Victor Wembanyama (SAS) -225
Scoot Henderson (POR) +400
Chet Holmgren (OKC) +500
Brandon Miller (CHA) +950
Amen Thompson (HOU) +1500
Cam Whitmore (HOU) +2000

NBA Rookie of the Year odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook

NBA Rookie of the Year favorites

Coming into this season, the pool of NBA Rookie of the Year candidates was about as shallow as a bathtub.

San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama — who for two years was hyped as a Michael Jordan and LeBron James type of generational talent — had the best odds to win Rookie of the Year prior to the season. BetMGM had Wembanyama as a preseason -225 chalk.

From there, only three other players — Portland guard Scoot Henderson, Oklahoma City center Chet Holmgren, and Charlotte forward Brandon Miller — had Rookie of the Year odds below 10-to-1 at BetMGM.

It didn’t take long for most of the water to drain from that shallow pool, as Wembanyama and Holmgren quickly established themselves as the two primary — and really only — Rookie of the Year contenders.

However, as Wembanyama asserted his dominance and Holmgren’s stats flattened out, oddsmakers had no choice but to make Wembanyama an overwhelming favorite to become the sixth consecutive NBA Rookie of the Year under the age of 21. The oddsmakers were clearly right, as Wembanyama was handed the award during the second round of the playoffs.

Victor Wembanyama (-10000)

In terms of the win-loss column, it was yet another miserable season for the Spurs. 

The five-time NBA champs had the second-worst record in the Western postseason, finished 22-60 for the second consecutive season, and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year (after a remarkable 22-year playoff run).

Well, imagine how much worse it would’ve been without their 20-year-old phenom from France.

Despite being a boy playing among men — at least in terms of age — Wembanyama averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, an NBA-best 3.6 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. He also recorded 43 double-doubles, two triple-doubles, scored at least 30 points in 11 games, had double-digit rebounds 44 times, and blocked at least five shots in 24 contests.

Perhaps the greatest testament to Wembanyama’s skills and importance? His team went 3-8 in the 11 games he sat out — and all three wins came after March 24.

Now you know why Wembanyama is a stone-cold lock to become the Spurs’ first Rookie of the Year winner since some guy named Tim Duncan won the award more than a quarter century ago.

Chet Holmgren (+2500)

Chet Holmgren isn’t going to win the 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year award. But if the NBA still handed out a Comeback Player of the Year trophy — like they did from 1981-86 — the former Gonzaga standout would be one of the favorites.

Holmgren had his initial rookie season wiped out after suffering a serious foot injury just two months after the Thunder selected him with the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The Minnesota native spent a year rehabbing his surgically-repaired foot, but was ready to roll when Oklahoma City’s season tipped off on Oct. 10, 2023. Holmgren had a modest debut, tallying just 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one block over 25 minutes in a 20-point victory at Chicago.

However, he would go on to score in double figures in each of his first 10 games and 36 of his first 38. 

By season’s end, Holmgren had put up per-game averages of 16.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.3 blocks, while also registering 23 double-doubles. Most importantly for the Thunder and their fans, Holmgren made it through the season injury-free, playing in all 82 games. He’s a big reason why the Thunder sit so highly on the NBA Championship odds board.

And, of course, he was a big reason why Oklahoma City (57-25) finished with the best record in the Western Conference.

NBA Rookie of the Year long shot

The NBA is obligated to name three finalists for all of its postseason awards. That’s the only reason why Charlotte forward Brandon Miller is “officially” among the NBA Rookie of the Year contenders.

Unofficially? Miller has far less of a shot than Chet Holmgren to win the honor — and Holmgren has no shot. Hence Miller’s +50000 (or 5000-to-1) NBA Rookie of the Year odds at BetMGM.

Still, Miller is to be commended for an outstanding rookie campaign, as he more than justified the Hornets’ decision to select him with the second overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft.

The former Alabama star played in 74 of 82 games, and averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. And while he shot just 44% from the field, Miller made 37.3% of his 3-point shots and 82.7% of his free-throw attempts.

So it’s safe to predict that Miller has a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, that future won’t include the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy on his mantle.

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

How is Rookie of the Year decided?

Members of the print and broadcast media are responsible for deciding who wins the NBA Rookie of the Year of the Year award.

At season’s end, those media members cast a total of 100 ballots. Each ballot includes three names, ordered from first to third place.

Upon tallying the ballots, the league assigns five points for each first-place vote; three points for each second-place vote; and one point for each third-place vote. The player with the highest point total — regardless of the number of first-place votes — is declared the winner.

In 2022-23, Orlando power forward Paolo Banchero ran away with the NBA Rookie of the Year award, earning 98 of a possible 100 first-place votes. Banchero’s 494 total points dwarfed the 241 points awarded to runner-up Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

How to read Rookie of the Year odds

Betting odds for NBA Rookie of the Year are the same as odds for other popular postseason awards, including NBA MVP, NFL Coach of the Year, and MLB Rookie of the Year.

Sportsbooks post NBA Rookie of the Year odds prior to the season, then adjust them regularly after the season tips off. Injuries, player performance, and the ebbs and flows of the betting market impact how odds shift throughout a given season.

As such, it’s not uncommon for the NBA Rookie of the Year preseason favorite to become a long shot as the season progresses.

In most years, players at the top of the NBA Rookie of the Year odds board have single-digit odds to win NBA Rookie of the Year — for example, +500, +650, +800. From there, the odds increase for players who are less likely to win the award, with the longest of long shots priced beyond +10000 (100-to-1).

NBA Rookie of the Year betting trends

  • The NBA Rookie of the Year award has been handed out every year since the 1947-48 season, when the league was known as the Basketball Association of America.
  • Going back to the 1991-92 season, when New York Knicks forward Larry Johnson won NBA Rookie of the Year, the award recipient has ranged in age from 19 to 22 years old — with one exception. Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon was 24 years old when he won the honor following the 2016-17 season.
  • Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons took home the trophy the following year as a 21-year-old. Since then, however, five consecutive NBA Rookies of the Year have been either 19 or 20 years old.
  • Ten of the last 12 winners averaged fewer than 20 points per game. And the only exceptions were Orlando’s Banchero last year (exactly 20 ppg) and Dallas’ Luka Doncic in 2018-19 (21.2 ppg).
  • Only two Rookie of the Year winners in the last 34 years  — Hall of Famers Allen Iverson in 1996-97 and Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93 — have averaged as many as 23 points per contest.
  • Since the 2003-04 season — when LeBron James won Rookie of the Year for a Cleveland Cavaliers team that went 35-47 — only two of 20 winners have played on teams that finished with a winning record.
  • Finally, during that same 20-season stretch, the No. 1 overall pick has gone on to win NBA Rookie of the Year just seven times. The most recent instance was last year, when Banchero earned the honor.

Previous Rookie of the Year winners

Year Winner

2023

Paolo Banchero (ORL)

2022

Scottie Barnes (TOR)

2021

LaMelo Ball (CHA)

2020

Ja Morant (MEM)

2019

Luka Doncic (DAL)

Our best NBA Rookie of the Year betting sites

To make sure you get the most value on your NBA odds, go to the best NBA betting sites prior to placing your wagers throughout the postseason.

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Want more insights on NBA betting markets?

Take a look at other Oddspedia Insights articles that give you everything you need in order to become a successful bettor.

NBA Rookie of the Year odds FAQs

Who is the NBA Rookie of the Year favorite?

Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs has almost certainly locked up the award for the 2024 season. Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder will likely be the runner-up.

Who won NBA Rookie of the Year 2023?

Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic won the award in 2023. Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors won it a year earlier.

When will NBA Rookie of the Year award be decided?

The award will be decided during the NBA Playoffs, so stay tuned!

How is the NBA Rookie of the Year award decided?

A group of American and Canadian sports journalists and broadcasters determine the winner by casting votes for first, second, and third place, each carrying five points, three points, and one point, respectively.

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