The NBA season is fast approaching its conclusion and Toronto Raptors star forward Scottie Barnes is among the favorites to be named rookie of the year.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley is the only player with shorter Ontario sports betting odds to win the award (-650), making him the heavy favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook odds. Barnes is second at +500 followed by Detroit Pistons forward Cade Cunningham, the overall No. 1 pick in 2021, at +600.
To make $100 on Mobley winning the award, bettors would need to place a wager of $650. A $100 bet on Barnes would give bettors $500 if he were to win the award. According to most oddsmakers, this is a three-man race between Mobley, Barnes, and Cunningham. They are the only three players with odds below +1000 at DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario.
The NBA announced Thursday that Barnes has been named Eastern Conference rookie of the month for February. He is the 10th Toronto Raptor to receive the honor. If he wins Rookie of the Year, which will be announced in June, he would be the third Raptors player to do so, joining Vince Carter and Damon Stoudemire.
In Ontario, bets can only be placed through PROLINE+. But the full, competitive market is expected to launch on April 4.
NBA Rookie of the Year Contenders
|Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
|14.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg
|Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
|15 ppg, 7.6 rpg
|Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
|16.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg
|Josh Giddey, OKC Thunder
|12.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg
|Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
|15.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Odds are courtesy of DraftKings.
Barnes a Triple Threat
Barnes, a 20-year-old forward, has averaged 15 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game this season. He has started all 56 games that he has played while averaging slightly over 35 minutes a game.
Toronto selected him fourth overall in the 2021 draft after his freshman season at Florida State, where he helped lead the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 in March. That team success has translated over to his pro career.
The Raptors currently occupy an Eastern Conference playoff spot at five games above .500. This may play a role when it comes time for writers to cast their ballots, and that is reflected in the odds, as Mobley and Barnes both appeared headed to the playoffs and Cunningham is not.
If you were to simply look at the stats you could present a valid argument Cunningham and his 16.6 points a game average should win the award, but voters will also take note of the impact each player has had on their respective team’s successes.
Mobley Leads NBA ROY Rankings
As they do weekly, the NBA released its KIA Rookie Ladder Rankings on March 9 and Mobley leads the way as he has for much of the season. Cunningham overtook Barnes for second on that list with a nice stretch of four 20-point games in a row. Behind Barnes are Franz Wagner of the Orlando Magic and Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Wagner and Giddey are the only other players with odds shorter than +10000 to win the award. Giddey has been the most impressive rookie in the Western Conference, winning rookie of the month award four consecutive months. Unfortunately, he is going to miss at least the next two weeks with hip soreness and may wind up getting shut down for the season which would all but eliminate his hopes.
The Rookie of the Year will be announced at the NBA Awards ceremony in June, and Ontario bettors and sports fans are hoping to see Barnes etch his name onto the same trophy as fellow Raptors legends Carter and Stoudemire.