Rookie of the Year Down to 2 and Ben Simmons' Odds Slipping - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Rookie of the Year Down to 2 and Ben Simmons' Odds Slipping

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    Rookie of the Year Down to 2 and Ben Simmons' Odds Slipping
    CSNPhilly.com
    Rookie of the Year down to 2 and Ben Simmons' odds slipping

    Donovan Mitchell continues to creep closer to Ben Simmons in the NBA Rookie of the Year race, and the gap in Bovada's odds for the two is as close as it's been all season.

    Simmons is now -250 to win the award, meaning a $250 wager is required to win $100. 

    Mitchell is at +170, meaning a $100 wager wins you $170.

    In the most recent odds update in January, Simmons was at -650; Mitchell was +400.

    It's a clear two-man race at this point.
     
    Simmons is averaging 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.9 blocks this season. No player in recorded history has hit all five criteria in the same season.

    Mitchell, however, has been on fire for the NBA's hottest team. The Jazz have won 11 straight games to test the Pelicans for the 8-seed, and over that span, Mitchell has averaged 21.3 points, albeit on 41 percent shooting.

    For the season, Mitchell is at 19.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He's made 35.4 percent of his threes and 83.6 percent of his free throws.

    Both are stars in the making, but it's worth noting that the Jazz are playing better than they have all season and Simmons is still the favorite. Where Utah ends up will be a determining factor in the Rookie of the Year race - if the Jazz can somehow end up the 7-seed in a loaded West, arguments for Mitchell will grow louder.

    Both Simmons and Mitchell were two of five guests this week on NBA TV's Open Court: Rookies Edition. Interesting talking points from the special: 

    • Mitchell referenced former Sixer Jrue Holiday as an under-the-radar tough player to guard, saying he watches film of Holiday every day.

    • Simmons recalled LeBron attacking him frequently in the first quarter of their first meeting, saying he wasn't surprised LeBron wanted to send a message by going right at him.

    • The Morris twins were mentioned by Simmons and Jayson Tatum when asked about the most imposing players in the league. Everyone cited DeMarcus Cousins.

    • Simmons downplayed the importance of his NBA redshirt season, saying you don't really know what it's like to play back to back and deal with the hectic travel schedule until you're involved in it every day.