Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren runaway odds favorites in NBA Rookie of the Year race

NBA All-Star weekend is in the rear view as teams gear up for the final stretch of the 2023-24 regular season. We're only 48 days away from the end of the regular season when the 2024 NBA playoffs field takes shape.

That also means there's just under two months left for NBA players to make their cases for multiple awards this season. One award race this season - NBA Rookie of the Year - is arguably the most top-heavy among all the regular season awards. Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, and Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, are well above the competition, according to the latest odds from BetMGM. Here's how the top five looks as of Feb. 27:

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1. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (-750)

The top pick in 2023 had some of the highest expectations on a rookie in recent years. Wembanyama'd long been touted as a generational prospect in the draft and has delivered early on for the Spurs. He leads the league in blocks per game (3.3) and sits fourth in defensive rating (107.9) at time of publishing.

The 7-foot-4 center's been a force on the defensive end for much of the season while averaging 20.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. San Antonio's currently last in the Western Conference by four games but he's been a big draw for Spurs games.

2. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (+500)

By contrast, Oklahoma City's one game out of the top spot in the Western Conference at time of publishing and Holmgren's played an integral role in the Thunder's resurgence this season. Oklahoma City's already equaled its win total from last season with nearly two months left in the regular season.

At time of publishing, Holmgren's third on the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game but leads the team in rebounds (7.7 per game) and blocks (2.6). He's ahead of Wembanyama in defensive win shares at 3.1 that puts him eighth in the NBA. He's not far behind in defensive rating, either, sitting seventh at 108.6.

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3. Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets (+15000)

Outside of Holmgren and Wembanyama, Miller's been the steadiest rookie in the league this season. The No. 2 overall pick in 2023 is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game at time of publishing. He's started more games than any other player on the Hornets' roster and sits second in minutes behind Miles Bridges.

Miller can't match Wembanyama or Holmgren's production but he's had some highs this season including a 35-point performance against the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 4.

4. Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (+50000)

Henderson went to Portland with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and is the youngest player on this list. The 19-year-old Henderson's been in and out of the starting lineup for Portland throughout the season. He's averaging 12.9 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game through 43 games played.

After playing in the NBA Rising Stars event during All-Star Weekend, Henderson will miss some time with what's been reported as a left adductor strain. Henderson also missed multiple weeks earlier in the season with an ankle injury.

5. Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat (+50000)

Jaquez Jr. has been one of the biggest surprises from the 2023 NBA Draft. The No. 18 overall pick already outplayed his draft status early on in the year as a key contributor for the Heat. He's second on the team in minutes played this season and is averaging 13.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game at time of publishing.

He participated in the NBA Rising Stars event as well as the NBA Dunk Contest during the All-Star break to further cement a standout rookie season on a contending team.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wembanyama, Holmgren favorites for NBA Rookie of the Year award