NBA Rookie of the Year: Betting Wembanyama vs. Holmgren

Now that we have a moment to take a breath before the chaos of Wild Card Weekend begins, lets take a look at the NBA Rookie of the Year market.

The Boys of Bet the EDGE pivoted during today’s episode away from the NFL (do not worry, its back to deep dives into the NFL weekend tomorrow) and looked at the NBA including awards markets and individual team discussions.

The NBA Rookie of the Year market was supposed to be one-sided this season. It was to be Victor Wembanyama’s award without a challenger in sight. However, his start while solid could never have lived up to the hype and the Spurs were dreadful. The betting markets reflected it as Wemby’s odds “regressed”.

At the same time, OKC got off to a better than anticipated start. SGA has been the North star for the Thunder, but Chet Holmgren has been more than a contributing factor. The second-year rookie debuted in the Association following a rookie season spent on the sidelines due to a Lisfranc injury of his right foot. Holmgren has been everything the Thunder expected him to be this season. Coupled with OKC’s surge to the upper crust of the Western Conference and Holmgren became the favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

It’s a race between those two for the year-end award.

2024 NBA Rookie of the Year – Current Odds

Victor Wembanyama (+135) vs. Chet Holmgren (-200)

Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) admits to being a flip-flopper.

“I can't remember a market where I flip flopped so much in the first 35 games of a season. I came into the season thinking that Wemby was just going to walk it. Then 15 games in, Chet was going to walk it, and then flip flop back to Wemby. I think when he's going to win.”

Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper) has an investment in each rookie as he has bought in as the odds shifted and offered value at different points for each.

“I've cornered this one with a 4:1 and a 2:1 with equal payout. I kind of don't really care (who wins). But to answer the question of who will win? It's going to be Wemby. He's playing phenomenally well right now, like incredibly well. He is the prince who was promised.”

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He went on to further explain his reason for selecting the Frenchman playing on one of the league’s worst teams over the Minnesota native playing on one of the best teams in the league because it is not just as easy as believing Wembanyama is the better player.

“I think people will kind of have to really rationalize and think hard about why the Thunder are winning. It's a team effort. It's coaching. It's SGA’s emergence as a superstar…and Chet is helping as opposed to Wemby who looks like exactly who we thought he would be…maturing into a real deal NBA star. I worry a hair about betting Wemby at this price because we could get to March, and he could pick up a nagging injury and they shut him down for the year because they're just not playing for much and it's more important to have him 100% to start the next campaign than it is to play him deep into this season.”

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As mentioned, Croucher is back on the Wemby train.

“I think there's a couple of factors in play. The biggest one to me is Trey Jones and the fact that Trey Jones is now starting…and now that he is playing with a point guard…Wemby’s stats with Jones at the point? They're just so startling. Wemby’s true shooting 50% with Trey Jones off the court. Wemby’s shooting is 60% with Trey Jones on the court. Wemby’s scoring goes up nine points per 100 possessions with Trey Jones on the court. The difference in production is startling. In addition, I think ultimately people just want to vote for the Phenom.”

But Croucher is not counting 100% on Wemby tickets cashing.

“I think the key inflection point for this market and what it kind of hinges on is, are people going to punish Wemby for being on a bad team relative to Chet being on an awesome team, or are they going to excuse his inefficiency relative to Chet because of his context? And I really didn't know the answer to that. My thought is wanting to vote for the Phenom colors people's perceptions.”

Assuming each stays healthy, the Wembanyama v. Holmgren battle may well go into March or even April before a clear winner is determined.