2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year Picks, Predictions, Odds and Best BetsSep 14, 2021 at 5:52AM
We don't need the season to start to begin betting for the 2021-22 NBA ROTY! The early favorites for the award are Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green at around +250, which is shorter than last year's winner LaMelo Ball who opened at around +400.
Unsurprisingly, the top of the board is mostly packed with the top picks from the 2021 NBA draft, with Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs and Alperen Sengun rounding out the top five favorites for the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
NBA ROTY Odds
Cade Cunningham +250
Jalen Green +275
Evan Mobley +800
Jalen Suggs +800
Alperen Sengun +1000
Scottie Barnes +1300
Davion Mitchell +1600
Jonathan Kuminga +2500
James Bouknight +3300
Cameron Thomas +4000
Now, let's get into our expert ROTY picks and predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season ⬇️
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NBA ROTY Predictions
NBA ROTY Best Picks
The position with the most ROTY titles throughout the years is Point Guard, with 19 former winners playing the one guard role. But in saying that, there has been 15 Power Forwards and 15 Centers win the award, with the last big man being Karl Anthony-Towns in 2016.
But this is the year the trend is bucked, with Cavs' top star recruit, Evan Mobley, entering the season as my top pick. Mobley showed that he can do it all when playing in the 2021 Summer League, in particular when he filled the stats sheet against the Magic.
Cleveland has a host of young talent on their team now and with the continuously-improving backcourt of Garland and Sexton taking a lot of the attention, Evan Mobley is a big chance to post a sneaky stats line of around 15-8-3 with some nice steals and blocks to boot.
It's hard to go past the No.1 pick here for a magnitude of reasons. Guards have won nine of the last ten ROTY, with the only exception being Karl Anthony-Towns back in 2016. Cunningham comes to Detroit as the savior of the Pistons and a city who has been starved of success in all pro leagues for oh so long. The man out of Oklahoma comes to Motor City as a readymade NBA player who will be given all of the opportunities and high minutes. Book it.
NBA ROTY Value Picks
Although I have a big man as my top pick, there's too much value down the board on guards that could light it up this season.
First off, it's Baylor alum, Davion Mitchell, who is another dude that impressed greatly at Summer League, namely for his defensive efforts.
Any man who has the nickname 'Off-Night' due to the fact he defends his opponents so well, they constantly claim to have had an off-night after playing him, is going to get attention from both experts and Twitter fans throughout the season.
Adding to his defensive efforts, Mitchell is constantly improving his shooting on offense, and if the Kings can figure out the balance of their four guards, Mitchell will be right up there with Cunningham, Green and Suggs as the best guards in their class.
Jalen Suggs slipped to Orlando at 5 and he may make Toronto regret their decision come the end of the year. Suggs was fancied as a sure-thing top four pick for most of last season and he'll have the potential to make an impact with Orlando instantly who will have playoff aspirations with a young core of Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton and Markelle Fultz, just to name a few. This isn't the worst team if they can stay healthy and if it does shake out that the Magic are in the postseason behind a meaningful contribution of Suggs, this is a great value bet.
NBA ROTY Sleepers
These odds are too long. Simple.
Sharife Cooper is a guy I earmarked as a college guy who could make the leap to the NBA and now that he's here, I can't not take these odds for him to explode and win the Rookie of the Year.
Cooper will need to force his way into the second unit of the Hawks, with Delon Wright and Trae Young (obviously) ahead of him on the PG depth chat, but as someone who continues to prove people wrong, it may not take long for that to happen.
Sharife also had one of the highlights of the Summer League, with this buzzer-beating game winner (and his whole performance that night) seeing his odds move in from +6600.
Bouknight has become something of a cult hero among the media already who saw him rise through the mock drafts throughout the college season, eventually landing in the 11th spot, taken by the Hornets. The shooting guard out of UConn now links up with last year's ROTY, LaMelo Ball, who coincidentally is one of the best playmakers in the Association.
It would take a big effort for him to take away some of the limelight from the some of the players taken before him in the draft, but he has found himself in a great situation with motivated players.
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