Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr. Lead Early 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2017

Jul 15, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball against the Brooklyn Nets during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to odds released by OddsShark on Friday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is the favorite to take home 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

Ball leads the pack by a wide margin with a moneyline of +175 (bet $100 to win $175), which works out as 7-4 odds, while Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. is the second choice at +325 (13-4 odds).

The Lakers selected Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and the 19-year-old was named MVP during summer league play.

Here is a rundown of all the top candidates, courtesy of OddsShark:

1. Lonzo Ball (LAL): +175

2. Dennis Smith Jr. (DAL): +325

3. Ben Simmons (PHI): +375

T4. Markelle Fultz (PHI): +1000

T4. Jayson Tatum (BOS): +1000

6. De'Aaron Fox (SAC): +1200

7. Donovan Mitchell (UTAH): +1400

8. Josh Jackson (PHX): +1600

9. Malik Monk (CHA): +2500

T10. Jonathan Isaac (ORL): +3300

T10. Zach Collins (POR): +3300

T10. John Collins (ATL): +3300

T13. Justin Jackson (SAC): +4000

T13. Luke Kennard (DET): +4000

T15. Lauri Markkanen (CHI): +5000

T15. Frank Ntilikina (NY): +5000

17. Derrick White (SA): +6600

Also near the top of the list is Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, who missed the entire 2016-17 season because of injury.

Simmons was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NBA draft, and he would have been a heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year last season had he played.

The Aussie will have some competition from his own teammate for the award, though, as 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is tied for the fourth-best chance along with Boston Celtics wing Jayson Tatum.

In terms of value picks, a pair of top-10 draft selections in Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls and Frank Ntilikina of the New York Knicks stand out at +5000 apiece.

Both players are on teams that appear to be in rebuilding mode, which suggests they should get plenty of playing time throughout the 2017-18 campaign.

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