Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons Split Vegas Sportsbook Odds as Rookie of Year Favorite

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball shoots over Los Angeles Clippers' Brice Johnson (10) during overtime of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Last year's first overall pick and this year No. 2 pick in the NBA draft are the top bets to win the Rookie of the Year award.

According to David Purdum of ESPN.com, Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is the early favorite to win the award on William Hill's Nevada sportsbook at 9-5. Meanwhile, Westgate SuperBook puts Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons as the favorite at 5-2. 

Simmons has followed what has become a familiar path for 76ers picks, sitting out his entire first season due to a foot injury. However, the versatile player comes with a lot of hype thanks to his ability to fill up the stat sheet in many ways.

"Had Simmons come out in this loaded class, he still would have been the No. 1 pick in the draft," Westgate assistant manager Jeff Sherman wrote to ESPN.

Meanwhile, Ball was the biggest name in the 2017 class thanks to his impressive first season at UCLA. He also turned heads during the Las Vegas Summer League, winning the MVP award while averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds, and tallying two triple-doubles.

Of course, there will be plenty of competition for the individual honor thanks to a loaded draft class.

Point guards Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith Jr. and De'Aaron Fox as well as small forward Jayson Tatum all sit at 8-1 odds or better at William Hill to win the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year award.