And The Winner Is: Nevada Approves NBA, NCAA Individual Futures Betting

Written By Marc Meltzer on December 16, 2020

Just prior to the tipoff of the new NBA season, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved four new futures wagers.

Starting this season, sportsbooks in the Silver State have the clearance to accept wagers for the following NBA Award markets:

  • Coach of the Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Sixth Man of the Year
  • Defensive Player of the Year

Mind you, these are all regular-season NBA awards. Sportsbooks in Nevada can only accept wagers for these events prior to the final game of the regular season.

Operators don’t have the right to offer odds for any event they choose. The NGCB approves wagering events for sportsbooks individually. Sometimes, as happened here, the gaming board will approve several related events in bulk.

NBA MVP and Rookie of the Year already available

Nevada sportsbooks are already taking wagers for the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.

When William Hill first released MVP odds Nov. 10, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks were the +550 co-favorites. Doncic is now the outright favorite at +450. Odds for Antetokounmpo also dipped. He’s now the second-favorite with his line moving to +500.

William Hill now operates Caesars sportsbooks. Both sportsbooks list LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers with the third-lowest odds to win the MVP at +700. He’s followed by the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry at +800 and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis at +850.

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US, said there could be some “Giannis voter fatigue this season.”

“I think if it’s close, I think they’ll give it a new guy over Giannis, tie goes to the new guy basically. Luka had a great year last year, and he’s only 21. He still has room to grow.”

Lamelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets sits as the +350 favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award at both Caesars and William Hill sportsbooks. Close behind: the number one pick in the NBA draft, Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, at +400.

Additional college basketball award wagering

The NGCB also approved one futures market opportunity for college basketball. Sportsbooks can now take wagers on the winner of the 2021 NCAA Basketball John R. Wooden Award.

The award for the best college basketball player of the year is a regular-season award. Similar to the NBA markets, sportsbooks may take wagers for this award until the first game of the postseason.

The NGCB has a couple of stipulations for sportsbooks taking wagers on these NBA and NCAA futures events:

  • Setting the odds is at the discretion of the book. Rules governing these wagers shall be made available to the public.
  • Any additional wagers which deviate from the winner of any award will require a separate application and approval.
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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