The talent level in the WNBA is surging and it really feels like one era is closing and another one is opening in the basketball league. This new era will surely be led by some players in the 2022 WNBA rookie class. But only one in this group can win Rookie of the Year honors — who will it be? Bettors want to know and we have answers right here if you keep reading on!
The best online sportsbooks have released WNBA betting odds for this very award. These lines are changing by the day as the WNBA season is well underway, but at the moment, the following players are favored to win the honor:
Recapping 2022 WNBA Rookie Class
Remember earlier when we said talent level is on the rise? Welp, it’s not necessarily an all-good development. A negative consequence of this is that several 2022 WNBA rookie members failed to make it on the team roster they were drafted to. And these aren’t late picks either.
For instance, Mya Hollingshed, a No. 8 overall selection by the Aces, was straight-up cut. Liberty’s No. 5 pick Nyara Sabally also had her contract suspended this season, but at least hers was due to injury reasons (the team retains her rights for next year too). All in all, among the 36 players picked in the 2022 WNBA Draft, only 17 made final rosters — which is just under half of the whole class.
Therefore, the betting options for Rookie of the Year are down to 17 and realistically, a much shorter list than that since only a handful are regular team contributors. Though, this award is not always a clear-cut path to league stardom. In a stunner, the 2020 award winner and former UConn women’s basketball star Crystal Dangerfield was released by the Lynx as part of final roster cutdowns. She wound up latching on with the Liberty but still, it was another sign of how much talent has risen.
Not only is talent up, but so are salaries, which has contributed to the surprising roster moves. And with WNBA’s very hard cap salary, many teams aren’t even maxing out the 12-player roster limit. Many are in-season with a mere 11 right now.
Best Bets To Win 2022 WNBA Rookie Of The Year
As we’ve eluded to, betting options aren’t all that numerous with the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year. However, there are two players that stand out to us, and rather than pick between them, we’re just going to wager on both. Let the better rookie win out and cash in our betting ticket at the season’s end is our approach. Here are the two players we’re eyeing for Rookie of the Year bets inside the top-rated basketball betting sites:
It’s early, but the No. 1 overall pick by the Dream is living up to that choice — and then some. In the first week of her career, Howard won the nod for Eastern Conference Player of the Week. That’s the first time a rookie took the honor during the opening week of their career since Tamika Catchings in 2002.
Howard has been an especially potent force on offense for the Dream. This season, the guard is averaging 17.6 points per game — which is seventh-best in the whole league. For comparison sake, Howard is currently scoring more than the likes of Dianna Taurasi, A’ja Wilson, and Liz Cambage.
So far, the Dream has been better than expected and that’s greatly due to Howard emerging as a franchise cornerstone right away. If Atlanta can continue this pace and earn a playoff spot, Howard will have plenty of ammo in her case for Rookie of the Year.
The No. 2 overall pick, Smith, has also been an immediate contributor to the Fever. What separates her from Howard is her rebounding ability. She’s capable of going off for a double-double every game and so far this season is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per contest.
Dominating on both ends of the floor is how Smith can sneak up and win Rookie of the Year. We’ve seen many WNBA rookies come in with a scoring punch, but the two-way ability is much rarer. A dual bet on Howard and Smith is a smart strategy, especially at these odds.
How To Bet On WNBA This Season?
The WNBA futures wager were covered above is one of a plethora of bets you can make on the league. Of course, there are also individual games, which come with all the standard bets (moneyline, props, spreads). To find all the WNBA betting action this season in one place, check out one of the bookmakers featured underneath.
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