Award futures bets are available on DraftKings Sportsbooks and other sportsbooks in the industry. Julius Randle isn’t the front-runner for the most improved player, but he has moved from +700 to +400 over the last two weeks. Could this have something to do with the Knicks success and Randle being a key aspect of their current rank in the standings? It certainly is in play, and he offers up some tremendous value.
Most Improved Odds
Right now, Jerami Grant is sitting at -230 odds, leading everybody in the category. He was an early favorite due to his new team and all of a sudden being a focal point of an offense compared to being a role player. Julius Randle is next at +400, Christian Wood is +550, and Jaylen Brown is +800. Brown and LaVine have certainly improved from where they were last year but were already established players making them long shots. Wood was in contention before the injury, and injuries can always derail a potential award winner and heavily shift the odds. However, that wouldn’t absolutely need to happen for Randle to overtake Grant as the favorites.
First Half Stats
With the All-Star Break underway, we have hit the first half mark. Julius Randle has already had a strong season and has been improving each and every year in the league. But this year, he has made a +6.8 bump to his efficiency and has improved in every category. He is averaging 23-10-5, shooting 48% from the field, 41% from three, and 80% from the line. He is also seeing a career-high in minutes, but the efficiency has not really dropped. Did I forget to mention, the Knicks are also currently in a playoff spot?
Based on odds, Jerami Grant is the main competition for the award. Grant has averaged 23-5-2 this season, and this is, of course, due to a major shift in minutes and usage. He has been tremendous. No arguments here. While this isn’t a most valuable award, Randle’s improvement’s in areas that contribute to wins have been far greater than Grant’s. With this being a stats-based league and the easiest time to generate stats in the league’s history, Grant has the edge.
There Is Still Value
There is still half a season to go, and Randle has been quietly climbing within the odds. At the moment, this is a great chance to buy in, where a few weeks from now, we could see the odds climb even higher. An injury to Grant would also change these odds drastically, where you might not be able ot get a ton of value on Randle moving forward. There are certainly going to be people who value Randle’s improvements and the way it has affected the Knicks overall, and if both he and Grant continue at this pace down the rest of the season, voters will have a close race. Wood’s injury likely has dropped him out of the race unless he comes back and absolutely dominates. However, I wouldn’t quite bank on him re-entering the picture at the moment.