Paolo Banchero creeping back to EVEN for ROY

Our Paolo Banchero "Rookie of the Year" watch continues. Banchero used to be 1 to 10 to win the ROY but has drifted a lot in recent weeks.

The Orlando Magic will face the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, a game that Toronto will host. The game will feature the NBA's top pick for the Rookie of the Year award this season, Paolo Banchero. He will be looking to heat up again after a hot start that has cooled a bit following an injury.

Banchero injured his ankle in early November

Banchero was the No. 1 draft pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. After his hot start to the season, his betting odds to win the Rookie of the Year award started to shorten drastically. From odds on the opening night of 7/4 (all odds bet365), Banchero shortened all the way to -1000 (1/10). It seemed, for a time, to be unthinkable that any other rookie would have a chance for the award this season.

But then the forward suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of several games for the Magic. As of Saturday afternoon, Banchero remains the betting favorite for the Rookie of the Year, however, he's much closer to EVEN odds now. He is priced at 2/7 (-350) with bet365 sportsbook.

Bennedict Mathurin remains the second hope in this market. The Pacers' rookie is averaging 19.2 points per game coming off of the bench. Besides being the 2nd favorite for Rookie of the Year, he's the third favorite for the sixth man of the year award.

2022/23 NBA ROY: Banchero vs injury?

It's the Orlando rookie that is clearly the bigger talent. But he'll have to avoid injuries in the months ahead to stay a convincing favorite.

Also, a close look at Banchero suggests that he has not quite been as effective before his injury as after his return. Banchero's rebounding is down and his scoring is down a little in the four games he has played since coming back from his ankle injury. He is a player NBA fans will want to keep a close eye on.

There isn't much of a pack to come back to in the ROY race this season. Both Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray are major long shots for the award. However, Banchero has certainly been regressing in ROY futures for the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues and if Mathurin has a chance in this competition.