Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds


The race of the Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year is heating up, and with Selection Sunday less than two months away, there is no better time to get in on the action. 

Let’s take a look at the top candidates to take down this year’s John R. Wooden Award.


Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year Award Odds

Here are the current Wooden Award odds, via DraftKings Sportsbook:

Player Team Odds
Johnny Davis Wisconsin +750
Kofi Cockburn Illinois +900
Ochai Agbaji Kansas +900
Drew Timme Gonzaga +1000
Paolo Banchero Duke +1000
Oscar Tshiebwe Kentucky +1200
EJ Liddell Ohio State +1200
Bennedict Mathuron Arizona +1600
Keegan Murray Iowa +1800
Trayce Jackson-Davis Indiana +2000
Jabari Smith Jr. Auburn +2500
Jaden Ivey Purdue +2650
Collin Gillespie Villanova +3000
Wendell Moore Jr. Duke +3500
Johnny Juzang UCLA +4000
Trevion Williams Purdue +4000
Chet Holmgren Gonzaga +4500
Armando Bacot UNC +5000

Who Are the Favorites for Wooden Award Odds?

There has been an interesting shakeup at the top lately as we have had a new favorite emerge. Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis has burst onto the national scene by lighting up the stat sheet and collecting victories along the way. Davis is currently fifth in the country in scoring and has proven he can rise to the occasion against the stiffest of competition.

Looming right behind Davis is Kofi Cockburn. The Fighting Illini big man has been referred to as the modern collegiate version of Shaquille O’Neal. Cockburn has looked like a man among boys this season as he is averaging 21 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game. 

Perhaps the most surprising development is that the two preseason favorites have now been delegated to the fourth- and fifth-best odds. Drew Timme (preseason +450) and Paolo Banchero (preseason +750) are both have tremendous seasons, but their odds have been the victim of their team’s status. Gonzaga is back to being the top-ranked team after suffering multiple early-season upsets. The Duke Blue Devils have dropped to sixth in the AP poll after losing two of their last four games. Both Timme and Banchero have some value now as their consistency and star power will have them rising up as the national spotlight brightens. 


Past Wooden Award Winners

  • 2020: Luka Garza, C, Iowa (Sr.)
  • 2019: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton (So.)
  • 2018: Zion Williamson, F, Duke (Fr.)
  • 2017: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova (Jr.)
  • 2016: Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas (Sr.)
  • 2015: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma (Sr.)
  • 2014: Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin (Sr.)
  • 2013: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton (Sr.)
  • 2012: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan (So.)
  • 2011: Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky (Fr.)
  • 2010: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU (Sr.)

The past winners do reveal commonalities among the winners that can be identified in the current Player of the Year market. The first parameter is to identify players from top teams. Seven of the last 10 winners have been from teams that finished in the top 10 of the AP Poll. 

Players who fit the trend this year: Timme, Banchero, Mathurin, Ivey, Abaji, Davis, Juzang

Lastly, the other trend to follow is to fade the fabulous freshman. Nowadays, the one-and-done stars do seem to dominate the college basketball landscape, but while their NBA prospects may be high, it is the upperclassmen who often take home the awards. 

Players who fit this trend: Timme, Abaji, Davis, Juzang, Cockburn, Liddell

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