NBA Player Props

LaMelo Ball Clear Frontrunner to Win Rookie of the Year

Brian Giuffra
Apr 20, 2021, 11:30 AM EDT
LaMelo Ball smiling.
LaMelo Ball smiling. | Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Guess who's back and ready to reclaim his spot as the top rookie in the NBA? You're damn right it's LaMelo Ball.

After being sidelined with a broken right wrist since March 20, it was announced yesterday that Ball had his cast removed, is cleared to resume basketball activities and is expected to return to playing in 7-10 days.

Immediately after that news dropped, Ball's odds to win Rookie of the Year skyrocketed, going from +115 to -400 on WynnBET. That means you'd have to bet $400 to win $100 now whereas you could have bet $100 to win $115 before the news was announced.

Simultaneously, Anthony Edward's ROY odds took a big hit. He was the -230 favorite to win Rookie of the Year yesterday and is now -108.

This all tracks as Ball was outplaying Edwards and the rest of the rookies by a wide margin before getting injured. In 21 games as a starter, Ball averaged 19.5 points, 6.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He leads all rookies in assists (6.1), while ranking second in both rebounds (5.9) and points (15.9).

Edwards, meanwhile, leads rookies with 18.1 points per game. But he's shooting under 40.0% from the field this season, while Ball is converting 45.1% of his attempts. Throw in the fact that the Hornets are in the playoff race while Edwards and his Timberwolves are not and you have a clear path to argue Ball over Edwards or anyone else.

A lot still depends on how Ball performs when he returns from injury. But based on the way the odds have swung heavily in his favor, Vegas certainly believes he'll take home the hardware at the end of the year.