NBA Sixth Man of the Year Top Pick
NBA Pick: Malcolm Brogdon Sixth Man of the Year (-160) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Most NBA players don’t want to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award because that means they aren’t good enough to start.
Let’s break down the contenders for this year’s Sixth Man and give an NBA pick with odds from BetOnline, one of the best sportsbooks.
2023 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award Odds
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award has only been around since the 1982-83 season, won that first year by Philadelphia’s Bobby Jones. A player simply must play more games as a reserve than a starter in a given season to be eligible.
Jones is one of five eventual Hall of Famers to win along with Boston’s Kevin McHale (twice) and Bill Walton, Chicago’s Toni Kukoc, and San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili. James Harden certainly will be in the Hall of Fame someday and he won Sixth Man of the Year in 2011-12 while with Oklahoma City.
Two players have won this award a record three times: Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford. The following teams have never had a winner: Brooklyn, Denver, New Orleans, Washington, Minnesota, Cleveland, and Golden State. Doesn’t appear that will change this summer.
Here are the current Sixth Man of the Year favorites and their NBA odds.
Malcolm Brogdon (Boston Celtics)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (-160)
Brogdon could become the rare player to win Rookie of the Year, which he did in 2016 with the Milwaukee Bucks and Sixth Man of the Year. Last July, Brogdon was traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Celtics in exchange for Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, and a 2023 first-round draft pick.
Boston has won that deal as Brogdon is averaging 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his 50 games, leading all NBA-qualified players in three-point shooting at 45.5% – boosted by his 50% mark over seven games in February. A total of 23 different franchises have had a player lead the league in 3-point percentage in a season and the Celtics are not one of them.
Brogdon hasn’t started once but would for many other teams. Brogdon has scored at least 15 points in 24 games this season, which ranks fourth among NBA reserves. He had a 16-game streak (Jan. 3-Feb. 8) with at least 10 points for the fourth-longest such streak in his career. When Brogdon scores at least 10 points, the Celtics are 25-12 this year.
No Celtic has won this award since Walton in 1986. For Boston residents looking to bet on this player, you can do it at our top Massachusetts betting sites.
NBA Prop Pick: Malcolm Brogdon Sixth Man of the Year (-160) at BetOnline
Norman Powell (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (+360)
Powell missed the Clippers’ final game before the All-Star break but it was simply for rest, and he should be out there Friday at home when LA comes out of the break against Sacramento. Powell is averaging 17.0 points in his 50 gamers and has started seven. He has scored 24 points or more in five of his last seven. Led by Powell, the Clippers are leading the league in total points scored by the bench with 2,563.
With how often the Clippers give Paul George and/or Kawhi Leonard a game off to rest up, Powell often is the No. 1 offensive option. On Nov. 29 at Portland, Powell scored a Clippers’ career-high 32 points off the bench in a 118-112 victory. Powell scored 22 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter. Since 1996-97, it was the most points scored in a fourth quarter by a Clippers player.
No team has had more Sixth Man of the Year winners than the Clippers with five: two each by Williams and Crawford and one by Montrezl Harrell.
Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (-400)
The 22-year-old Maxey is the best all-around player on this list and he was a full-time starter in the 2021-22 season but has started 22 of his 38 games so far this year.
While Maxey began this season in the starting lineup, an injury derailed his progress for over a month and Philly has since continued to go with De’Anthony Melton and James Harden in the backcourt. Maxey is better than Melton but clearly, Coach Doc Rivers likes his energy with the reserves.
“Tyrese knows he’s gonna play 30 minutes, 35 minutes,” Rivers said. “He knows he’s gonna get his minutes regardless. You know what we tell everybody, I’d rather be at the end of the game than at the beginning of the game. And that’s the lineups that we will have to really have a great focus on.”
Next, Sixers center Dewayne Dedmon played last season in Miami with Tyler Herro, who won Sixth Man of the Year when averaging 20.7 ppg. Maxey is averaging 19.8 ppg.
“He’s been great, man, I kind of compare him coming off the bench to Tyler (Herro) last year,” Dedmon said of Maxey. “You know what I’m saying? He comes in, he’s explosive, he gets the offense going, and takes advantage of the other team’s second units. He’s a great talent, so I’m actually looking forward to playing with him.” The last Sixers winner of the award was Aaron McKie in 2001.
Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (+600)
I’m not sure if a player has won Sixth Man of the Year after changing teams midseason but that would be the case if Westbrook were to win the award. He was sent from the LA Lakers to Utah at the Trade Deadline but was never going to play with the rebuilding Jazz.
The future Hall of Famer reached a buyout with Utah and will return to his hometown of LA with the Clippers, who presumably will also bring him off the bench and not fall victim to the temptation of starting Westbrook just because of his resume. Terance Mann has been terrific as the starting point guard with the Clippers.
Coach Ty Lue has made it clear in the past that he prefers having a point guard in his rotation who can push the tempo as they rank 24th in pace and 22nd in fastbreak points. Even if Westbrook does eventually start, he still will play more games this season as a reserve as he only started three of 52 games with the Lakers.
While Westbrook still plays as hard as anyone, he just can’t shoot. His 45.2 effective field-goal percentage ranks in the 11th percentile among combo guards and is his worst mark since his second season. The nine-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion embraced a sixth-man role for the Lakers, averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 28.7 minutes per game.
Westbrook also discussed deals with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Miami Heat before choosing the Clippers. If he does come off the bench, that seemingly would hurt Powell’s Sixth Man chances.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.