Time Is Now to Bet Kofi Cockburn to Win National Player of the Year

Kofi Cockburn has established himself as one of the most dominant players in college basketball this season.
Kofi Cockburn has established himself as one of the most dominant players in college basketball this season. / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Betting on futures is all about timing, and wagering on the college basketball player of the year is no different. It's never smart to bet on the favorite, as the flow of the season can change odds in a hurry, and if you bet on a player when they're at the top of the list, you're getting them at their least valuable price.

For example, Duke's Paolo Banchero was the betting favorite only a month ago, but since then his odds have leveled out at +1000.

For my money, the bet to make as of today is Kofi Cockburn of the Illinois FIghting Illini.

Let's take a look at the latest top odds via WynnBET to win Naismith College Player of the Year.

Odds to Win Naismith College Player of the Year

  • Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) +500
  • Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky) +600
  • Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) +800
  • Kofi Cockburn (Illinois) +800
  • Drew Timme (Gonzaga) +800
  • Paolo Banchero (Duke) +1000
  • E.J. Liddell (Ohio State) +1000
  • Jaden Ivey (Purdue) +1500
  • Hunter Dickinson (Michigan) +2000
  • Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) +2000

Bet on Kofi Cockburn at +800

Kofi Cockburn is quietly having a fantastic season, and it's only a matter of time before the odds adjust to his level of play.

Cockburn is averaging 22 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks through his first 12 games this season. That's only 2.1 points fewer but 3.8 more rebounds than last year's winner, Luka Garza.

Compared to his year's odds list, Cockburn is averaging only 0.3 fewer points per game than current betting favorite, Johnny Davis. What makes Cockburn special, is not only is he a premier scorer, but he's one of the best rebounders in the nation. He's third in rebounds per game in all of college basketball at 12.5, and he's average 5.1 more boards per game than Davis.

We all know that a big part of winning individual awards is being part of a winning team, and Illinois is trending in the right direction. They have three losses on the season, but two of those came early in the season and Cockburn was still sitting out as part of his suspension for one of them.

The Fighting Illini have now won five straight games, with three of them coming against conference opponents. They're about to enter a gauntlet which will involve games against Michigan, Purdue, and Michigan State. If you think Illinois will find success in those matchups, and I'm of the belief that they will, now is the time to invest in Cockburn stock before it's too late.