New Betting Favorite Emerges At Sportsbooks

Kansas Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji sits atop 2022 Wooden Award oddsboards (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

on a college basketball player’s Wooden Award odds is not unlike betting on a football player’s Heisman odds. With the Heisman, the best candidates generate impressive stats, play for winning teams (preferably national championship contenders), and excel in the games that matter most. The bigger the stage, the better.

The same is true for Wooden Award candidates. They need to be productive players on winning teams. If they can play their best games against formidable opponents when everybody is watching, that’s even better.

2022 Wooden Award Odds

The following table contains a partial list of players with Wooden Award odds at three prominent sportsbooks, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM:

2021-22 Wooden Award Odds BetMGM FanDuel DraftKings
Johnny Davis +500 +600 +700
Drew Timme +800 +800 +1000
Ochai Agbaji +400 +600 +500
Kofi Cockburn +1000 +1000 +1000
Oscar Tshiebwe +500 +600 +1000
Paolo Banchero +1200 +1400 +1000
E.J. Liddell +1600 +3500 +1600
Bennedict Mathurin +1800 +2300 +1600
Trayce Jackson-Davis +1600 +2000 +2000
Keegan Murray +1600 +1400 +1800
Jabari Smith +2500 +2700 +2500
Collin Gillespie +2500 +3500 +3000
Jaden Ivey +3000 +3500 +2500
Johnny Juzang +3500 +5000 +4000
Hunter Dickinson +6600 +8000 +7000
Trevion Williams +6600 +10000 +7000
Zach Edey +4000 +2700 +5500
James Akinjo +6600 +6500 +5500
Wendell Moore Jr. +6600 +3500 +3500
Jaden Shackleford +8000 +8000 +6000
Alondes Williams +5000
Chet Holmgren +6600 +6500 +4500
Tari Eason +10000
Kennedy Chandler +15000 +25000
TyTy Washington +15000 +25000 +15000

Analysis

Going with a preseason favorite is not necessarily a bad idea; just don’t overlook the rest of the oddsboard.

Last year’s winner, Luke Garza, was the preseason favorite (according to BetMGM odds, via SportsOddsHistory.com). But the 2019-20 winner, Obi Toppin, wasn’t even on the board at DraftKings when the 2019-20 season got underway.

This year’s preseason favorite, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, is priced at +800 on multiple oddsboards, making him the fourth choice. He shares the spotlight on the Bulldogs with freshman Chet Holmgren (+4500, DraftKings).

While Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis’ odds remain the same as when he was the favorite last week,  Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji now has the shortest odds at BetMGM at +400 and +500 at DraftKings.

After a pair of big-time double-doubles last week, Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe has seen his odds improve to +500. Illinois center Kofi Cockburn has been in the conversation and is among the top five in odds (+1000). But he missed three games recently due to a suspension (selling school-issued apparel back in June, before name, image, and likeness legislation was passed).

Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell was among the favorites earlier in the month. His odds have since gone up to +1600 (at BetMGM). If you think he could rebound, FanDuel has him listed at +3500.

2022 Wooden Award Longshots

Iowa forward Keegan Murray, offered at 18-to-1 odds at DraftKings, is third in the country in scoring, averaging 22.8 points a game. He also pulls down 8.4 rebounds per game to go with 2.2 blocks. While the Hawkeyes are a middling sort of team this season, Murray has chances to shine on the big stage the Big 10 schedule offers.

The Hawkeyes are 4-4 in conference play ahead of Thursday’s game against No. 6 Purdue.

Other players to watch include Purdue’s Jordan Ivey, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, and Villanova’s Collin Gillespie. All four had lower odds earlier in the season. So, if you think they could rebound, now might be an opportune time to put some money down.

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Michael Perry

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