How To Bet Deandre Ayton Props For The 2021-22 NBA Season
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Deandre Ayton.
DeAndre Ayton had about as good of a third-year as you could’ve asked for. The 23-year-old center averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. More importantly, Ayton was the defensive anchor for a team that finished sixth in the NBA in defensive efficiency in the 2021 regular season.
Phoenix shocked everyone last season, smashing its win total of 38.5, finishing with 51 wins in the abbreviated 72-game season. While Ayton’s raw points per game (PPG) number dipped from the previous season, his offensive rating hit a career-high figure of 117.
With most of the Suns’ roster from their NBA Finals run intact and some solid additions to the reserve unit, there will be plenty of opportunities for Ayton to make his impact felt in some very important games.
Below we take a look at Ayton’s odds at various awards and props for the 2021-22 NBA season.
Ayton is +2500 at DraftKings to lead the league in rebounds, tied with Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic for the ninth-best odds.
Last season Ayton averaged 10.5 rebounds per game, good for 11th in the league. The Suns added JaVale McGee, who is a strong rebounder himself. McGee averaged 14 rebounds per 40 minutes in 2021.
But what is super intriguing for this prop is the fact that the 6-foot-11 Ayton played 10% of his minutes at power forward last season per Basketball-Reference.
Of course, playing Ayton—who is not a 3-point shooter yet—at power forward is not ideal if Monty Williams wants to have his best lineups out there. But against certain matchups, brief stints with Ayton playing the four will provide him great opportunities to snag offensive boards when he has a clear size advantage.
Defensive Player of the Year Odds
Ayton’s Defensive Player of the Year odds come in at +4000 at DraftKings, tied for 9th with Jimmy Butler and Marcus Smart. This can somewhat be tied to the rebounds leader prop. The last NBA player to win the Defensive Player of the Year averaging less than 10 rebounds per game was Draymond Green in the 2016-17 season.
I don’t think that NBA award voters are necessarily tallying up the rebound numbers when they vote on the DPOY award. But it goes without saying that the most active and effective defenders in the NBA are usually spending a fair amount of time cleaning up possessions by grabbing the defensive rebound.
For Ayton to have a real shot at this award, he will likely need to lead the Suns to a top-five defensive rating. If you expect a breakout year from Ayton, then DPOY is a strong play considering his role.
Most Improved Player Odds
Ayton’s Most Improved Player odds are at +4500 at PointsBet. To win the Most Improved Player Award, Ayton would need his defense to hold up to last year’s level, while getting his scoring numbers up considerably.
That is actually a strong priority as Phoenix no doubt does all it can to keep Chris Paul fresh for the playoffs.
If you’re truly among the most ambitious and optimistic Suns’ viewers, DeAndre Ayton’s MVP odds sit at +25000 at DraftKings. Ayton’s MVP case is pretty much all of the aforementioned improvements he could make rolled up into one massive hypothetical season.
Imagine the Suns dominate the regular season just as they did last year, only with Ayton being the unquestioned best player on both sides of the ball. On a team with Chris Paul. And Devin Booker.
So yes, while it would be extremely unlikely for this scenario to play out, Ayton’s age still makes the long odds at least a bit intriguing. He is only 23-years old and is still figuring out how to best use his immense athleticism on the court.
Ayton turning into a Joel Embiid-type, star big man is very much possible, and if that transformation starts in 2022, then Ayton for MVP won’t seem like that wild of a proposition.