Tacko Fall eyeing the prize. Photo courtesy of Chris Elise - NBAE/Getty Images
If I was a betting man (and no one is saying that I’m not), I would not be putting too much coin on Tacko Fall to win the Rookie of the Year. With no guarantee to make the Boston Celtics roster, one would think it is smarter to put your wager(s) elsewhere.
However, with odds of +10,000 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), multiple bettors have approached the counter and placed bets on Tacko Fall. The undrafted free agent is currently receiving the fifth most wagers for Rookie of the Year. Whoa!
Zion Williamson is -140 to win ROY. Tacko Fall is currently getting more tickets at Westgate than Zion Williamson, with Michael Porter Jr. leading in tickets: https://t.co/VOFO4ToqyW
For the non-bettors, if you bet $100 and Fall wins the ROY, you would walk away with $10,100. If you aren’t good at math, another example is if you were to wager a more realistic $10, then you would come away with $1,010. Not too bad!
Although Fall taking home the hardware is a very unlikely scenario, the risk/reward is in the bettor’s favor. On the other hand, putting $100 on Zion Williamson at -140 would bring you home with around $170. Not nearly as fun, but a lot more likely of course.
Zion understandably holds the best odds to win. Ja Morant, the second overall pick of the Memphis Grizzlies, has solid value at +450. RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks is at around +550.
For most bettors, Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets (injured for first year; qualifies a rookie) at +2500 is providing the best value. It makes sense that Porter is receiving the most bets with that type of value and a shot at actually winning the award. These lines are always fluctuating, but an early flyer on Porter is a decent long shot.
How likely is it for Tacko Fall to win the award though? Well, over the last 30 years, only one non-lottery pick won Rookie of the Year award. Malcolm Brogdon (36th overall) took home the award for the 2016-2017 season. Conversely, at my count, the number one overall pick takes home the award 50% of the time (15 years out of 30).
So, where do you lay your money on the Rookie of the Year award for this upcoming season? Do you play it safe with Zion, or do you try to take the 80-foot game-winning buzzer beating longshot?