NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Favorites 2024-25

Last week, the Atlanta Hawks made Zaccharie Risacher the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, the second consecutive Frenchman to have the honor. Last year, it was the San Antonio Spurs selecting Victor Wembanyama with the top pick.

Wembanyama was the crème de la crème of last year’s rookie class, which also featured Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets. Risacher, however, isn’t expected to be that same kind of franchise altering player, nor is he expected to be a unanimous winner of Rookie of the Year, as Wembanyama was.

Alexandre Sarr – Washington Wizards (+350)

He did not go with the top pick, but No. 2 overall pick Alexandre Sarr may have landed in an even better spot when the Washington Wizards selected him. He will get all the minutes he wants with a team that is still building for the future, much like the Spurs this past season. Washington is looking ahead two or three years down the road, meaning that the 19-year-old French star will get plenty of time to develop.

Zaccharie Risacher – Atlanta Hawks (+450)

Risacher is the No. 1 overall pick, but the depth of the Hawks, and their hope of getting back into a deep playoff run, may limit his time on the court. He wasn’t drafted to sit on the bench, which is why he has the second-shortest odds to win the award. But he doesn’t have the same clear path to playing time like Sarr.

He will shoot well, he will play good defense, and when the voting is done at the end of next season, he will be in the running.

Stephon Castle – San Antonio Spurs (+700)

Wembanyama is his new teammate and Gregg Popovich is his new head coach, which makes it easy to like the future of point guard Stephon Castle. The Big East Freshman of the Year just won a national championship at UConn, and now he’ll be a part of San Antonio’s climb back to championship status.

There is a good chance that he is the Spurs starting point guard from Day 1, making Castle one of the top rookie favorites.

Zach Edey – Memphis Grizzlies (+1100)

Expected to go in the mid-teens, Zach Edey was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the ninth overall pick. The Grizzlies obviously like what they see in the two-time NCAA Player of the Year, and he will be with a team that expects to make a deep playoff run in 2024-25.

Injuries crushed the Grizzlies last year, leading to an NBA-record 51 different starting lineups and 578 total games lost to injury. That was also an NBA record. With a little lineup stability, and a good transition to the NBA by Edey, he will be hard to ignore when award season rolls around.

Four Tied at +1200

On the odds board list, players five through eight are all tied at +1200 to win Rookie of the Year.

They are Tidjane Salaun of the Charlotte Hornets, Reed Sheppard with the Houston Rockets, Donovan Clingan with the Portland Trail Blazers, and the far less-talked-about rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dalton Knecht.

For the first time in NBA Draft history, three players from outside the United States were drafted in the top 10. Salaun was the third, along with Risacher and Sarr. Sheppard extended Kentucky’s streak of having a player taken in 17 straight drafts. Clingan has a chance to become the second rookie in NBA history with 200 blocked shots (Wembanyama was the first). Knecht was the SEC Player of the Year and he may go down as the steal of the draft.

Bronny James – Los Angeles Lakers (+25000)

Does Bronny James have a chance to win Rookie of the Year, as his dad did in 2004? Is there any way that he can win Rookie of the Year in the same season LeBron James wins the MVP award?

No. There is no chance. The younger James simply has too much development to do to become a serviceable professional basketball player. There will be Lakers fans and LeBron fans that put money down on Bronny, but those are just “wouldn’t it be cool” bets. If there is a bet to make on a Laker, make it on Knecht.

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