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NBA Rookie of the Year Odds and Best Bets: Zion Williamson among favorites -

22nd January, 20:46

The 2019-20 NBA season is roughly half over and the top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award have started to emerge. The 2019 NBA Draft's No. 1 pick in PF Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans makes his NBA debut Wednesday and remains among the betting favorites. Below, we analyze the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year betting odds and make our picks. Can Williamson make up for missed time and upset the midseason favorites?

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NBA odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full set of today's betting odds. Odds last updated Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

Williamson was considered the likely first overall pick for almost the entirety of his freshman season at Duke in 2018-19, and he just so happened to fall right into the lap of the Pelicans as the logical replacement to Anthony Davis. The 6-foot-6, 284-pound forward averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 68.0% from the field over 33 games in his only college campaign.

He steps into a Pelicans lineup sitting 12th in the Western Conference at 17-27. They're averaging 114.4 points per game and allowing 117.6 (minus-3.2).

While it's conceivable Williamson's return could lead the Pelicans to an unexpected playoff berth (they trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 3.5 games for the eighth seed), the Pelicans are unlikely to allow him to play all of their remaining 38 games. They have four sets of back-to-backs remaining, likely limiting Williamson to a maximum of 34 games for his rookie campaign.

Since the 2010-11 season, only PG Kyrie Irving in 2011-12 has won Rookie of the Year honors while playing fewer than 70 games. He played 51. It's hard not to root for Williamson for the remainder of the season, but there's no sense in backing him to win this award at such low odds. PASS.

New to sports betting? A $10 bet on Williamson to be named the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year would return a profit of $110 if he were to win.