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Most NBA fans are currently immersed in the hustle and bustle of the offseason. The Finals and draft are done. Free agency and trades are taking center stage. But just because it's the offseason doesn't mean next year's betting markets aren't starting to develop. On the contrary, many of the top online sportsbooks are beginning to drop a wealth of NBA props.
And wouldn't you know it, that's the focus of our latest look at NBA odds: prop betting picks for the 2021 rookie class.
Zeroing in on the rookie class specifically is a calculated decision. Most sportsbooks have adjusted props all the players who switched teams and signed new deals in free agency. It makes more sense to branch out later. Right now, with the draft only recently in the rear view, sportsbooks are offering statistical over/under marks on four of the top-five picks.
Here are the latest NBA prop odds and categories, courtesy of BetOnline:
|Cade Cunningham||Points Per Game||Over 17.5 (-120)||Under 17.5 (-120)|
|Evan Mobley||Points Per Game||Over 13.0 (-110)||Under 13.0 (-130)|
|Evan Mobley||Rebounds Per Game||Over 6.5 (-120)||Under 6.5 (-120)|
|Jalen Green||Points Per Game||Over 16.5 (-130)||Under 16.5 (-110)|
|Jalen Suggs||Points Per Game||Over 13.5 (-120)||Under 13.5 (-120)|
|Jalen Suggs||Assists Per Game||Over 4.5 (-120)||Under 4.5 (-120)|
Definitely make sure you're confirming these NBA betting odds before deciding on a wager. They will move over the course of the offseason.
2021 NBA Rookie Prop Bets
Please note that these NBA prop picks are made based on every player's situation as of early August. Any major trades or signings that take place from now until the start of the 2021-22 season could force a change in philosophy—though, on the bright side, we don't expect any of our picks to actually waver.
Cade Cunningham: Points Per Game
This is an extremely high over/under for a rookie. Sure, Cade Cunningham is the No. 1 pick. And yes, there has been a first-year player to score at least 17.5 points per game in each of the past four seasons. But we question whether he'll have the green light necessary to meet that mark with Jerami Grant and Killian Hayes also playing beside him.
To be honest, we'd be more interested in betting the over/under on his assist totals, which haven't been released, most likely because it's not yet clear whether he'll be the Detroit Pistons' primary ball-handler.
OSB Prediction: Under 17.5 points per game (-120)
Evan Mobley: Points Per Game
Evan Mobley is entering a weird situation with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though he is renowned for his ability to play power forward, his best position is center. But it just so happens the Cavs signed Jarrett Allen, another center, to a five-year, $100 million contract.
Having Allen on the roster will inherently limit Mobley's playing time. He might still be featured on offense, but Cleveland has a bunch of other scorers—namely Darius Garland and Collin Sexton—who will soak up most of the volume. Go with the under.
OSB Prediction: Under 13.0 points per game (-130)
Evan Mobley: Rebounds Per Game
Similar logic should be applied to Mobley's rebounding totals.
His minutes will be intrinsically capped with Allen in the rotation, which will also curb his rebounding totals. On top of that, his rebounding numbers will be further lowered during the reps he gets next to Allen, since the latter is more likely to be the primary board-crasher in those stretches.
Kudos to BetOnline for making us think. The 6.5-rebound benchmark is tough to reconcile. But we're still taking the under.
OSB Prediction: Under 6.5 rebounds per game (-120)
Jalen Green: Points Per Game
Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall pick, is considered an expert shot creator and figures heavily into the Houston Rockets' big picture. He is going to get plenty of run as a rookie.
Still, Houston is also home to Eric Gordon, John Wall, Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. Some of them could be traded, but the rotation will be jam-packed with primary scorers no matter what. It's possible Green will flirt with 15 points per game while spending a lot of time off the ball, but we can't talk ourselves into him going much higher.
OSB Prediction: Under 16.5 points per game (-110)
Jalen Suggs: Points Per Game
Jalen Suggs should be a primetime Rookie of the Year candidate after slipping to the Orlando Magic at No. 5. He is a human bucket, and the Magic have long wanted for a from-scratch shot-maker like himself.
Granted, his numbers could be curtailed by a crowded backcourt rotation also featuring Markelle Futlz, Terrence Ross, RJ Hampton and Cole Anthony. Color us unconcerned.
Green profiles as Orlando's top scoring option from Day 1. If there is any rookie who could crack the 20-points-per-game milestone, we believe it's him. This decision is a no-brainer.
OSB Prediction: Over 13.5 points per game (-120)
Jalen Suggs: Assists Per Game
Predicting Suggs' assist totals is much harder than forecasting his scoring average. He is going to have the ball in his hands a lot and should be on the floor a ton, so 4.5 assists isn't really that much.
Then again, he's not a point guard. He's still figuring out how to table-set for others. This could be a situation where he assumes a score-first mentality or merely sees his assist totals diluted by the sheer number of other secondary ball-handlers on the roster. Take the under.
OSB Prediction: Under 4.5 assists per game (-120)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NBA betting:
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