Obi Toppin Getting More Rookie of the Year Bets Than LaMelo Ball

Obi Toppin With Knicks Backdrop

  • Knicks forward Obi Toppin has been getting more wagers than any other rookie in the early 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year betting action.
  • The former Dayton Flyer is just fourth in the current Rookie of the Year oddsboard at +600.
  • Toppin has looked impressive so far in three preseason games for the Knicks.

LaMelo Ball is still the odds on favorite to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year award. However, it’s the New York Knicks’ Obi Toppin who is receiving most bets to win the NBA’s ultimate freshman prize.

According to the NY Post’s Stefan Bondy, Toppin has a slight edge over Ball in terms of betting action:

That’s interesting because while Toppin has been among the favorites, he’s been three or four on the list since the odds for Rookie of the Year were released. Toppin was 8th in the pre-draft oddboard:

After the Draft, he’s moved up to third or fourth, depending on which sportsbook you are using. As of the latest odds from as of 12/16/20, Toppin is fourth at +600 with Ball (+350), Anthony Edwards (+500), and James Wiseman (+500) having shorter odds than him. Despite that, Toppin may be in the best position to win the award because of where he’s playing.

Playing For Hometown Team

Playing for one’s hometown team is every player’s dream and Obi Toppin is getting the rare chance to live that dream. The 22-year old from Brooklyn was selected 8th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks after a standout career at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

As a high school junior, Toppin led the Ossining High School team to its first conference title in a decade while averaging 20.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3 steals per game. With no Division I offers, he took a postgraduate season at Mt. Zion Preparatory School in Maryland where he averaged 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. He also grew four inches there and became 6-9 before committing to Dayton despite receiving offers from Georgetown, Rhode Island, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Minnesota.

After redshirting his true freshman season, he was named as Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and first team All-Atlantic 10 in 2019, becoming the first freshman to do so since Lamar Odom. In his second season, Toppin was named as the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and was a consensus First Team All-American selection. Toppin capped off his college career by winning the Naismith College Player of the Year award and AP College Basketball Player of the Year Award in 2020.

Obi Impresses

In three preseason games played so far, Toppin has impressed not just the Knicks but fans all around the league. His NBA debut came against the Detroit Pistons on December 11th and he shot 4-9 from the floor and finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 blocked shot. He struggled with four points against the same team playing better defense in his second NBA outing as he shot just 1-9 from the floor with four points.

However, Toppin was at his best for his Madison Square Garden debut on Wednesday night. The Knicks rookie scored 8 points on 4-6 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds with one steal. More importantly, the Knicks picked up the come from behind win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to move to 2-1 in the preseason. They look to close out their preparations with another win over Cleveland on December 18th.

Not only has Toppin been balling out with his above the rim highlights but he’s also proven to be an automatic rebounder and a decent shot blocker. Head coach tom Thibodeau says his defense still needs improvement but under a defensive guru in Thibs, Toppin should go a long way in the Big Apple. His early preseason chemistry with R.J. Barrett is also a welcome sign for the Knicks who are looking for their first playoff appearance since 2013.

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