It will be months until players from 2022 draft class play in their first official NBA games, but that didn’t stop oddsmakers from establishing a pecking order to win Rookie of the Year.
It shouldn’t come as a total surprise that No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic leads the pack, according to BetMGM. While Chet Holmgren went No. 2 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it is actually Jabari Smith Jr., who was selected third by the Houston Rockets, with the second-best odds to take home the award just behind Banchero.
New Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey offers enticing odds to become Rookie of the Year, as does Bennedict Mathurin, who the Indiana Pacers picked at No. 6 overall.
Here are the top 10 players on the BetMGM betting sheet:
Paolo Banchero +300
Jabari Smith Jr. +350
Chet Holmgren +475
Jaden Ivey +600
Keegan Murray +900
Benedict Mathurin +1200
Shaedon Sharpe +1300
Dyson Daniels +1600
Johnny Davis +2000
Ochai Agbaji +2500
Over the past 10 seasons, the No. 1 overall pick has earned Rookie of the Year honors three times, with the last time coming in the 2017-18 season when Ben Simmons grabbed the title. During that same span, eight out of the 10 winners were picked in the top six, including the most recent recipient of the award: Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes, the fourth overall pick in 2021.
The only outliers over the last decade were Michael Carter-Williams, picked 11th overall in 2013, and Malcolm Brodgon, who didn’t come off the board until early in the second round in 2016.
Even with that in mind, it’s likely that the Rookie of the Year is one of the top six selections from this year’s draft.