Posted on February 19, 2019, by Travis Pulver

The All-Star was just held on Sunday. The regular kicks back off again on Thursday with most teams still having 20-25 games left. There is still a lot of basketball left to be played but one sportsbook has decided it has seen enough to go ahead and make a call a winner for a certain end of season award.

The book,, thinks it is safe to say who is going to win the Rookie of the Year in the NBA this year—Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic.

Via @luka7doncic

Rather than force bettors to wait until the award is made official in June, they decided to go ahead and call it and pay those who wagered on Doncic.

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“With Luka Dončić a lock to win the 2019 Rookie of the Year, we saw no reason to make people wait until the end of the season to receive their winnings,” said David Strauss, Chief Oddsmaker at MyBookie in a press release. “As a result, we are paying out more than $150,000 in winning tickets for those who wagered on Dončić during the season.”

Doncic is a heavy favorite to win but with 20 or so games left in the regular season, anything can happen. Should someone else play so well down the stretch that they are named the Rookie of the Year instead of Doncic, MyBookie will double the payouts.

MyBookie doesn’t have odds for this season’s rookies listed on their site. But at BetOnline the odds on the favorites are:

  • Luke Doncic -1200
  • Deandre Ayton +800
  • Trae Young +1600
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. +1600

Should someone else win, it would be a nice payout as is. But since the site is doubling the payout, it makes it tempting to put some money down. But who has the best shot of scoring the upset?

None of the four are on a team expected to make the playoffs. So, there will be no ‘winning team’ bias to sway votes. More than likely, it will all come down to who has the best game. Statistically speaking, Doncic lead all rookies in minutes per game and points. He is second in assists (Trae Young is first) and rebounds (Deandre Ayton is first).

He is also third in double-doubles behind Ayton and Young. Ayton leads the three in efficiency with Doncic a close second and Young brining up the rear.

So—who has a shot to win other than Doncic?

Jackson Jr. is not a factor. While he is having a fine season and is playing well for the Grizzlies. But if Doncic doesn’t win, it will come down to Ayton and Young.

Young has done well as the primary ball-handler for a poor Hawks team. However, there are some glaring issues with his game.  He is committing 3.9 turnovers a game, has the worst defensive +/- among starting point guards (-4.5), and he is not real efficient.

As for Ayton, he is a beast in the paint just like a 7’1’’, 250-pound center should be. He is averaging a double-double (16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds). However, his defense has been lacking at times this season. But as good as he is playing, he will need to pick it up a notch down the stretch and hope that Doncic flops the rest of the way to have a real shot at winning.

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