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Doncic, Ayton Lead NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

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With just a week remaining until the start of the NBA regular season, a two-way race has emerged atop the NBA Rookie of the Year odds, with Luka Doncic edging out Deandre Ayton as a narrow +333 favorite.

Doncic claimed EuroLeague MVP honors last season after leading Real Madrid to a record 10th EuroLeague championship. The Atlanta Hawks subsequently made the Slovenian star the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft before dealing him to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Trae Young and a protected first-round pick in 2019.

The 19-year-old point guard has impressed in NBA preseason action, averaging 14 points per game, capped by a 15-point performance over just 26 minutes of playing time in the Mavericks’ 115-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

While the arrival of Doncic and the offseason signing of veteran big man DeAndre Jordan take Dallas in the right direction following a dismal 24-58 campaign, the Mavericks remain +5500 longshots on the odds to win the Southwest Division, and -800 favorites to miss the playoffs for a third straight season.

Ayton also makes his NBA debut with a franchise with nowhere to go but up, as he joins the Phoenix Suns as a +375 wager on the NBA ROTY odds.

The top pick in this past spring’s NBA Draft, Ayton makes the leap to the NBA after a single season with the Arizona Wildcats. The 20-year-old native of Nassau, Bahamas racked up 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game while leading the Wildcats to the Pac-12 championship, and also garnered Pac-12 Player of the Year and All-American honors.

However, like the Mavericks, the Suns are expected to continue their struggles in the upcoming campaign, with the team pegged as a -160 bet to win UNDER 29.5 games in 2018/19.

 

Sexton, Knox Follow on the NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Collin Sexton closely trails the favorites on the NBA Rookie of the Year odds at +500, ahead of Kevin Knox at +750, while a trio of rookies sits deadlocked at +1100 including Young, Marvin Bagley, and Wendell Carter Jr.

Taken eighth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sexton makes the jump to the pros after averaging 19.2 points per game during his lone season with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The 19-year-old point guard also owns solid international experience after winning tournament MVP honors while leading Team USA to gold at the 2016 FIBA Under-17 World Championship.

Selected with the ninth overall pick by the New York Knicks, Knox was a teammate of Sexton’s on that gold medal-winning Team USA squad, and earned SEC Freshman of the year honors last season while tallying 15.6 points per game with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Young arrives in Atlanta amid high expectations after emerging as the nation’s top scorer and assists leader in his lone campaign with the Oklahoma Sooners, while Bagley joins the Sacramento Kings after racking up a season-long double-double with the Duke Blue Devils that earned him ACC Player of the Year honors.

Further down the 2018-19 NBA ROTY odds, Jaren Jackson Jr. rounds out the front of the pack at +1200, well ahead of Mohamed Bamba and Michael Porter Jr. at +2400, while Lonnie Walker sits alongside Harry Giles at +2500.

 

*Odds as of October 9, 2018

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