Chet Holmgren injury shakes up Rookie of the Year betting market

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

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On Thursday the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that second overall pick Chet Holmgren will miss the 2022-2023 regular season due to a Lisfranc injury to his right foot. Holmgren was injured in the CrawsOver Pro-Am in Seattle on Saturday when attempting to guard LeBron James in transition and coming down awkwardly on his foot. 

 

 

The loss of Holmgren for the season has ripple effects, with multiple markets seeing some sort of change in its odds due to his injury. Obviously the most impacted market is Rookie of the Year, where Paolo Banchero now solidly in the role of favorite at DraftKings with 2-1 odds (33.3% implied probability). Keegan Murray (+ 450), Jabari Smith Jr. (+ 700), Jaden Ivey (+ 700) and Bennedict Mathurin (+ 1000) now round out the top five.

DraftKings also adjusted its win total for Oklahoma City from 26.5 with the Over favored at -125 to 23.5 with the Under favored at -130 as of this morning. 

Center depth is now a real concern for the Thunder as we inch closer to the regular season. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl figures to be in line to potentially start after playing 74% of his minutes last season at the five, but Oklahoma City was -13.2 per 100 possessions in those minutes and at 6-foot-8 he is severely undersized against bigger lineups. Notable available centers are Dwight Howard, Hassan Whiteside or Tristan Thompson, but none of those players offer the potential floor-spacing and offensive capabilities that Holmgren did.

The Thunder finished as the second-best cover team in the league last season with a 49-31-2 ATS record (61.2%) and the core of that team remains. Oklahoma City could be just as effective against the number this season, but Holmgren’s injury almost certainly snuffs out a potential run at the 10th seed and a berth in the play-in tournament.

We should also consider what this means for the Thunder when we approach the post-All Star break schedule. Should Oklahoma City be a mere 15-win team once we reach the break do we see this team do what it does best and tank for a shot at the top pick and the right to draft other-worldly talent Victor Wembanyama?

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