How Much Would Zion Williamson Be Worth Toward an NBA Point Spread?
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zion Williamson
- Zion Williamson has emerged as the top prospect for the 2019 NBA Draft, but how much would he hypothetically be worth to the point spread at the next level?
- Vik Chokshi turned to four oddsmakers to find out. See how many points they say Zion would be worth to the spread as a rookie as well as how many wins to a team's season total.
With the trade deadline come and gone, it’s time to turn our attention to the 2019 NBA Draft — aka the Zion Williamson lottery.
I’ve watched basketball my whole life, and Williamson is one of the most electrifying players I’ve seen. He looks like a generational talent who could change an NBA team’s future. But being the gambler I am, I wanted to take it a step further and look at Zion through a betting lens.
With the draft approaching, it made me wonder: How much would Williamson be worth to the point spread once he’s selected in June?
Every NBA player is given a value toward the actual point spread on a game-by-game basis as well as toward the season win total.
For example, when I spoke to Jeff Sherman at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook earlier this season, these were the top three NBA stars at his book and their respective worth to the point spread: Anthony Davis (4.5), Giannis Antetokounmpo (4) and LeBron James (4).
So to find out how much Williamson would impact the point spread, we turned to oddsmakers.
How much would Zion Williamson hypothetically be worth to a point spread and a team’s season win total?
Jeff Sherman, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook: One point per game. Team wins would be 2.5 wins over the season.
Dave Mason, BetOnline.ag Sports Book: Off the top of my head, 2-3 points on the spread, and 3-5 season wins. But like you said, it all depends on who gets him, trades, injuries, etc.
Jason Simbal, CG Sportsbooks: One to 1.5 points per game.
Since he’s not a ball handler and will need the ball facilitated his way, offensively he won’t have as big an impact as Luka (Doncic) or Mitchell (Donovan) as rookies. Plus he is going to be on a dreadful team that will be a big dog a lot of the time. So instead of being a 10-point dog, maybe they are 9 or 8.5.
Regarding season win total, it is hard to say because it’s likely each of the bad teams will have totally different rosters along with Zion. I’d say 3 wins and see what the bettors think.
David Strauss, MyBookie Sportsbook: Zion won’t start having a big effect on the point spread until Year 2 or 3, and only if he is a success.
For his first season, assuming he goes to the worst team, their season win total would increase by at most 2 wins. It would depend on how many complimentary pieces they put around him.
You also have to factor in that he’ll now be playing against grown men, and won’t be expected to play full minutes in season one. We can expect he’ll average around 30 minutes a game, which wouldn’t put him in the Top 50 for minutes played this season. For a player to have a big effect on season win totals, or the spread on any given game, they have to put up big minutes.
In terms of the game by game point spread, to start the season, Zion would be worth at most 1 point to his team’s spread odds. Should he perform well throughout the season, this number will increase, but I can’t see it going above 3 points by the end of his first year.