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Odds to Win 2022 Naismith National Player of the Year

November 12, 2021

With the 2021-22 college basketball season underway, sportsbooks have released odds for the season’s Player of the Year. Last season, it was Iowa’s Luke Garza that took home the honors. Garza was an early favorite to win the award.

This year could be similar to last. The early overall favorite will have the distinct advantage of playing for the nation’s No. 1 team. The question is can anyone overtake him? Here’s a look at the race for the 2022 Naismith Player of the Year.



Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, a redshirt junior, is one of the big reasons why the Bulldogs are the early favorite to win the NCAA championship next spring. Timme is a gifted 6-foot-10-inch big man who can shoot from anywhere. Timme helped lead Gonzaga to the national title game last year averaging 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He also shot an astounding 65.5 percent from the field. If Gonzaga has that kind of success and Timme is near those averages again, he is likely to take home the award. He is listed at +600.



With the way today’s game is being played, award winners are normally wings and guards. This year, Timme is followed by Purdue’s Trevion Williams (+800) who is a senior and keeps improving each year. He scored 15.5 points and had 9.1 rebounds per game last year despite playing just 25 minutes a game. Williams should play more this season, plus the Boilermakers are very experienced and could make a long run in the NCAA tournament.

Another Big Ten big man is also in the race. Illinois 7-footer Kofi Cockburn is given +800 odds win the Player of the Year award. Cockburn shunned the NBA for another shot at Big Ten and national titles. He will have to put up some serious numbers – 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds last year – and lead the Illini deep in March Madness.

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Also high on the board is Duke freshman Paolo Banchero. At 6-10, Banchero scored 22 points and had seven rebounds as the Blue Devils beat Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic to start the season. Banchero is listed at +1100.



Last year, Johnny Juzang led UCLA all the way to the Final Four. The 6-7 wing averaged 16.0 points and 4.1 assists per game last year. The Bruins are one of the favorites to win this year’s national championship. Any run toward that will include the talents of Juzang He is given +1200 odds to win.



Timme isn’t the only Gonzaga player among the favorites to win the Naismith Award this season. Incoming freshman Chet Holmgren (+1200) was the top recruit in the country last season. The 7-footer debuted for the Bulldogs against Dixie State and scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, blocked six shots, and dished out six assists. If he keeps those types of numbers or anything close, Holmgren will have a shot at the award too. 



Max Abmas led Oral Roberts deep into the tournament last yearOral Roberts was one of the big surprises in last year’s NCAA tourney. The big reason was guard Max Abmas (+1500). The 6-footer averaged 24.5 points per game leading ORU to upsets of second-seeded Ohio State and seventh-seeded Florida in last year’s tournament.

Patrick Baldwin Jr. (+5000) is probably a name most college hoops fans haven’t heard. Baldwin was a five-star prospect who shunned the likes of Duke and Kentucky to go to … Wisconsin-Milwaukee. What? Baldwin’s father, Patrick Sr., is the head coach there. The younger Baldwin instantly made Milwaukee the favorite to win the Horizon League. He’s that good.


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