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Home / Articles / How to Bet NBA Futures - Rookie of the Year

How to Bet NBA Futures - Rookie of the Year

America's Bookie

AmericasBookie Sportsbook/Casino and Horses.
By: America's Bookie     Date: Oct 20, 2022
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How to Bet NBA Futures - Rookie of the Year

How to bet NBA futures and win the Rookie of the Year wager.

Key Points

– Betting the NBA Rookie of the Year begins with building a profile of the ideal winner.

– To bet NBA futures like this, bettors need to examine history.

How to Bet NBA Futures - Rookie of the Year

It's obvious what the NBA Rookie of the Year award is. The top rookie of the regular season is awarded the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy.

However, what exactly is the top rookie? Is it the player with the best stats? Does the ROTY have to play for a winning team? Does the rookie who performs best overall always win the ROY award? How do we determine which rookies are the best bets?

By starting with a look at the past, we can learn a lot about what will happen in the future. It’s a simple way to bet NBA futures. In the case of the ROTY, bettors can start with a historical profile of prior Rookie of the Year winners. 

Then, bettors can examine the board and look at the favorite, a couple top contenders, and maybe even a sleeper or two before making a betting decision. To make that decision, we simply have to know what type of player usually wins the NBA Rookie of the Year.


Rookie of the Year: Who Wins?

To start your historical profile, you begin with the most recent winners of the ROTY award. You can then examine a number of factors that are consistent among those winners.

To bet NBA futures in this category, bettors should look for commonalities among the following. They should also look for a quality sportsbook to place this bet. Here are the past 10 ROTY winners.

  • 2022: Scottie Barnes, Toronto

  • 2021: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte

  • 2020: Ja Morant, Memphis

  • 2019: Luka Doncic, Dallas

  • 2018: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia

  • 2017: Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee

  • 2016: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

  • 2015: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota

  • 2014: Michael-Carter Williams, Philadelphia

  • 2013: Damian Lillard, Portland

Bet NBA Futures - ROTY Point Totals

The name of the game in basketball is to score more points than your opponent. In winning a ROTY award, rookies have to score. Points are king.

Since LeBron James was the Rookie of the Year in 2004, all but one ROTY averaged at least 15 points per game. The only one that didn’t was Brogdon in 2017. 

Over this time span, the previous 19 winners of the award averaged 17.6 points per game. Thirteen of the last 20 ROTYs were the top scorers among all rookies in the league. 

When you bet NBA futures, you have to have a method of projecting a certain outcome. Here, you want to project how many points a rookie will average during the season. If he can hit the 15 point-per-game mark, he’s got a good shot at winning the Rookie of the Year.

If he is the top scorer among all rookies in the NBA, he’s got an even better chance. Remember, scoring is king and rookies that score are better betting prospects than those that don’t.


A Better Measure - PRA

Just because a rookie is the scoring leader doesn’t automatically mean he’s the Rookie of the Year. Four of the last five ROTY winners were not the overall rookie scoring leader. That means they had to contribute in other ways as well.

When you bet NBA futures or NBA props, you should understand what PRA stands for. It’s Points + Rebounds + Assists. If a player scores 18 points, has 10 rebounds, and dishes out 5 assists; his PRA for the game is 33. 

Over the past two decades, 65 percent of ROTY winners finished first among rookies in scoring. That’s impressive, but an even better indicator of the award winner is PRA. Fifteen of the last 18 ROTY winners have led in points, rebounds, and assists combined. That’s 83 percent and two of the non-leaders only won the ROTY because Zion Williamson and Joel Embiid got hurt.

All but two ROTYs since James have had at least a 25 PRA. The last five winners have averaged 17.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. That equals exactly 30 and gives bettors an idea of where a rookie should be.

Defense & Efficiency Don’t Matter

Unlike many other awards, the NBA Rookie of the Year doesn’t have much to do with intangibles. Playing great defense or having high efficiency numbers doesn’t really matter when it comes to this award. It really is more of a stats award and you can find those stats at BettorsHub.com, an online sports wagering portal.

Emeka Okafor won the ROTY in 2005, primarily because he was an elite defender. Since then, defense has only been a factor maybe once or twice. Efficiency is another measure that hasn’t played that much of a role in the ROTY race.

Using Box Plus-Minus numbers, only five of the last 15 ROTYs were more efficient than all the other rookies in their class. The average finishing position of those ROTYs was 3.6 and less than half placed in the top two.

What this tells bettors is that poor shooting, bad errors, and sketchy defensive play don’t factor into the ROTY decision as much as one might think. Players also are not punished for playing on bad teams. That’s a good thing since most of the best rookies are selected by the worst teams in the league.

The last 15 award winners played for teams that averaged 32.8 wins. Only four played for a playoff team. A good rookie on a bad team often plays a bigger role on that team, which contributes to being a ROTY candidate.

Here’s an interesting take on the NBA: Has the NBA changed too much? What do you think?

Bet the No. 1 Pick

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the ROTY winner is selected high in the NBA draft. What might surprise some is how high the ROTY is drafted.

Only four ROTYs have been selected outside the top 10 since the 1950s: Malcolm Brogdon (No. 36), Michael Carter-Williams (No. 11), Mark Jackson (No. 18), and Jamaal Wilkes (No. 11). With only one ROTY ever selected outside the top 18, that makes 60 of 62 ROTYs selected in the top 11 (96.8%).

This brings down a bettor’s potential field, but that’s not all. Only 13 of the 62 ROYs even made it past the top five picks. Nearly four out of five ROTYs (79%) were top-5 picks. 

Since 1990, 23 of the 34 award winners were picked in the top three of the draft and 44 percent have gone No. 1 overall. In the last 15 years, nine ROTYs were top-3 picks and that number could have been 11 if not for injuries.

History suggests that a player drafted in the top-3 is highly likely to become the next NBA Rookie of the Year. This is the final piece of our ROTY betting puzzle.

It’s still football season. Read our latest NFL football news!

Bet NBA Futures - The Perfect ROTY Candidate

Among basketball betting strategies for winners, this one is key. We don't need to worry about efficiency or team success. All we need is a rookie selected in the top five who can average at least 15 points per game and have a 25-plus PRA. He will likely play for a non-playoff team and his usage numbers will be high. 

With your historical profile built, bettors can examine the board and select their perfect ROTY candidate. If you want to bet NBA futures like this one, building the profile is the key.


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