Anthony Edwards Overtakes LaMelo Ball in NBA Rookie of the Year Race

When the 2021 NBA Season began, fans and experts wondered how Anthony Edwards would perform for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There was no denying Edwards’ skill and potential, especially as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Entry Draft. However, he made pre-draft remarks about how he’d rather be a rapper and “can’t watch basketball.” That led to some questioning his commitment to the NBA and if that would hurt his development.

Well, several months later, Edwards has been proving the doubters wrong. BetOnline is listing him as the -175 favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He overtook Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball for top odds after the latter suffered a season-ending wrist fracture last week.

Read on to see the full Rookie of the Year odds.

2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, March 25

  • Anthony Edwards -175
  • LaMelo Ball +150
  • Tyrese Haliburton +275
  • Immanuel Quickley +1400
  • James Wiseman +6600

Anthony Edwards Favored to Win Rookie of the Year

With a 10-34 record, the Minnesota Timberwolves are the worst team in the league this season. Although, that hasn’t stopped Anthony Edwards from showing why he’s deserving of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

Through 44 games, Edwards is averaging 16.9/4.3/2.9 on 0.386/0.315/0.774 shooting splits. His shooting percentages could be a bit higher, but it’s still impressive on the NBA’s worst team.

For the rest of the season, this is Anthony Edwards’ award to lose. Ball was his main competition and his season is over. Edwards is averaging 25.2 points per game in his last 10 games and is showing his potential. To keep the top odds as the NBA’s best rookie, he needs to keep performing that way.

Ball Still Has Second-Best Odds

Even with a season-ending injury, LaMelo Ball (+150) still has the second-best odds at winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Before his fractured wrist, Ball was taking over the league by storm and was the favorite to win the award by far. His 15.9/5.9/6.1 stat line had him looking like a seasoned veteran rather than a first-year pro.

Ball’s injury is similar to what happened in hockey during the 2015-16 NHL Season. Connor McDavid was leading all rookies in points with 48 in 45 games before going down with a season-ending injury. The award ended up going to Artemi Panarin, who wound up scoring 77 points in 80 games.

However, Ball is reportedly seeking a second opinion for his injury, so perhaps a return this season is possible, although unlikely.

Can Anyone Upset Anthony Edwards?

Aside from Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball, BetOnline is giving three other rookies odds at winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

Tyrese Haliburton (+275) has been looking good for the Sacramento Kings this season. He’s been coming off of the bench for a majority of the season, but he’s still been averaging 12.9 points and 5.1 assists per game. He also has some of the more impressive shooting splits (.482/.421/.865) among rookies.

Immanuel Quickley (+1400) has been a part of the New York Knicks having a surprisingly good 2020-21 NBA Season. The Knicks, who’ve been laughed at for several years now, are sixth-place in the East and Quickley’s 12.7/2.2/2.3 has been helpful. However, he’s only started three games this season, which doesn’t look great compared to a guy like Anthony Edwards, who’s started in 27.

Lastly, Golden State Warrior James Wiseman is a long shot to win the award at +6600. A lot of pressure was put on last year’s No. 2 pick since the Warriors were thin at center. While Wiseman’s 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game aren’t bad for a rookie, it’s probably not good enough to win Rookie of the Year.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.