NCAAB Betting: Is Zach Edey the Only Bet to Win This Season’s Wooden Award?

Michael Savio pic
By:
Michael Savio
01/12/2024
NCAAB

Highlights

  • Zach Edey is averaging 21.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game
  • Edey is making 63.2% of shots from the field
  • Only one player in history has won the Wooden Award twice

Zach Edey burst onto the college basketball seen with Purdue last season, and he has kept that momentum going this year. As a result, US sportsbooks have made him a heavy favorite to win this season’s Wooden Award, which goes to the best player in the country.

While heavy favorites often scare bettors way, they can also provide an opportunity for a huge payout. Below, we will share why Edey is the favorite and explore the value in betting against him.

Current Odds for the Wooden Award 

While Edey is the favorite to win the award, there are a lot of great players behind him. Here are the current odds for the Wooden Award from FanDuel Sportsbook:

PLAYER 

ODDS 

Zach Edey - Purdue 

-290 

The Field 

+230 

Hunter Dickinson - Kansas 

+800 

Kyle Filipowski - Duke 

+2500 

RJ Davis - North Carolina 

+4000 

Kevin McCullar - Kansas 

+6000 

Why Zach Edey is the Favorite

There are a lot of factors that make Edey a heavy favorite to win the coveted Wooden Award. One is the fact that Purdue is the top-ranked team in the country, thanks largely to their star center. Edey leads the nation’s top-ranked team in scoring (21.8 PPG), rebounds (10.4 RPG), and blocks (2.3 BPG). He leads those categories by a significant amount, showing responsibly he is for the team’s success. 

Another factor voters will consider is the fact that Edey has been a dominant force on both ends of the floor. On offense, he is making 63.2% of his shots, which is overwhelming opponents. His size helps him force his way to the basket, leading to a ton of points.

On defense, the center controls the paint. He is averaging over two blocks per game, but his presence does much more. Opponents are forced to settle for shots from deep, with few players willing to drive to the hoop against the league’s top big man.

Lastly, Edey has the advantage of playing in the Big Ten Conference. That means a lot of national TV games against impressive opponents. Wooden Award leaders don’t just need impressive stats, they also need some memorable moments. While this factor may not be as important as the others, those moments can make the difference in a close race.

The Value in Betting Against Edey 

Betting against a heavy favorite is always risky, but there are some reasons to do so in this case. The first is that Edey’s numbers are down a bit from last season when he won the Wooden Award. His scoring and rebounding are down, which will be noted by the voters.

A second reason to bet against Edey is the Kansas Jayhawks. They have two platers, Hunter Dickinson, and Kevin McCullar, who are in the top five favorites to win the Wooden Award. Their stats aren’t as impressive but are still very good. Kansas currently has 11 national TV games on the schedule and will play eight ranked teams. That will give both Kansas stars a lot of opportunities to impress voters.

Another knock against Edey is that he cannot shoot from outside. Three-point shooting matters, and all the other players in the top five are far better at it. Edey’s size and strength drive his offensive success, but it limits the amount he can damage he can do, especially against teams with size. 

Only one other player in history has won the Wooden Award twice. Ralph Sampson did it in the early 80’s, showing just how difficult of a feat it is. Winners like Edey are essentially facing not only the field, but also the version of themselves that won the award. Voters will see the decrease in numbers, and that could lead to a new player hoisting the trophy this spring. 

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.