Cover Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images


The NBA regular season is right around the corner, and that means a new crop of stars will be making their respective debuts. 2018's version of the draft went mostly according to plan, but the race for rookie of the year has the potential to feature much more drama. 


DeAndre Ayton from the University of Arizona was the Phoenix Suns top pick in the draft, so he won't be needing a moving truck to take him across the country. I feel like most of the money will be placed on Ayton in the prop bet, mainly because casual bettors automatically think the No. 1 pick is their best option -- and they may not be wrong. After all, Ayton was phenomenal at U of A, and most experts believe he can step in right away and produce on the offensive end. The defensive end, however, is where he could use improvement. 

Luka Doncic has the highest odds of any NBA rookie this season, and I'm not sure I agree with that either. Sure, the Slovenian sensation has quite the overseas resume, but there's a huge difference of physicality between the NBA and Euro Leagues. In fact, the last Euro-born player to win NBA Rookie of the Year was Pau Gasol back in the 2001-02 season. 


My favorite bet to win this year is Kevin Knox of the New York Knicks, coming in at 6/1 odds. Not only does this kid have all the talent in the world, but he should also post massive usage numbers with Kristaps Porzingis on the shelf to start the season -- KP should miss at least half of this season, and might even sit all 82 games if the Knicks play as bad as they have for the greater part of the decade. 

Mohamed Bamba may be the best longshot to win at 20/1. The former Texas Longhorn was a highly-coveted piece in this year's draft, but I feel like the odds are this low because Nikola Vucevic is still on the roster. What's appealing about this situation, though, is that Vucevic will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season. If Bamba has a strong start to the season, the Orlando Magic could look to find a trade partner sooner than later, and get their newest first-rounder some more playing time. 


The No. 2 overall pick, Marvin Bagley, also has nice odds at 9/1 to take this prop bet to the bank. Unfortunately, he's going to share a frontcourt with Willie Cauley-Stein, and that could diminish his numbers at times, but we did see Bagley excel for the Duke Blue Devils in the same frontcourt as Wendell Carter Jr. 


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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.