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Betting on the 2020-21 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award

| December 22, 2020 6:55 am PDT

You can’t win in the modern NBA if you don’t have a solid bench. Guys like Manu Ginobili and Lou Williams have shown us that you can be a game-changer in the best basketball league in the world even if you are not a starter.

The NBA Sixth Man of the Year prize is designed to honor the best bench player in the entire league and bring recognition to athletes who are not used to stand under the spotlight.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year betting odds for the 2020-21 season are available at the top sportsbooks online. I analyze them in this post and share my thoughts on the main contenders for the award.

I believe this campaign could be wild because some of the likely winners switched teams. That could change the whole situation.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Odds for 2020-21

There are plenty of guys who could win the award, according to the leading betting sites. It’s hardly a surprise to see Lou Williams on top of the list, and many consider him to be the best NBA sixth man of all time.

The three-time winner of the prize certainly has a strong chance in the 2020-21 season, but there are plenty of other guys who could lift the crown. Let’s take a look at each of the main contenders next.

Lou Williams

Many thought that Lou Williams would win the NBA Sixth Player of the Year Award last season for the third time in a row, and he had a strong case. The prize went to his teammate Montrezl Harrell instead, but the guard was close in the final standings.

The center has now joined the Lakers and Williams stated that he understands Harrell’s decision. The departure of the big man is a blow to the Clippers, but it should boost the guard’s chances to win the Sixth Man of the Year.

The offensive burden was split between the two players last year, so Williams will likely have to do more on his own. That allows him to shine and improve his individual stats.

The guard had under 20 points per game for the first time since 2017 last year, and I expect him to improve on that front in the upcoming season.

Montrezl Harrell

The prize of +2000 for last year’s winner is a surprise to me. Montrezl Harrell is a guy who brings a lot of aggression and plenty of points, as you can see from the compilation below.

The big question here is if the center will be on the bench in the first place.

The Lakers also signed Marc Gasol, and it’s hard to figure out who’s going to start. The Spaniard brings a stronger presence on the defensive end and spacing, so he looks like a better fit for LeBron and Anthony Davis.

On the other hand, he’s in the final years of his career, while Harrell is in his prime right now. There’s a case to be made for both players, and they will share the minutes.

I believe Harrell will get more playing time when it’s all said and done, but Gasol is more likely to be the starter. That’s why backing Harrell to win back-to-back prizes is a smart choice when the odds are so high.

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic is another contender for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for 2020-21 that doesn’t have a clear role. The guard was on the bench for the Heat during the regular season and registered 16 points and 5 assists per game.

He was then moved to the starting lineup for the playoffs and was one of Miami’s best players. Dragic re-signed with the Heat and Erik Spoelstra might be tempted to keep him as a starter.

The point guard is an excellent floor general who can create for himself and others. He works well with pretty much every other important player on the roster and has the leadership qualities to complement the energy of younger guys like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

And yet, I still expect to see Dragic on the bench at the start of most games in the regular season. He doesn’t mind that, and it allows him to preserve energy for the important battles in the postseason.  That’s why the Slovenian is a strong contender for the award.

Jordan Clarkson

Another guy that was in the conversation last year and should be back even stronger in 2020-21 is Jordan Clarkson. He was the leading bench scorer for the Utah Jazz with over 15 points per game on only 24.7 minutes per game.

If he gets another 3-4 minutes in the upcoming season, that could be enough to boost his production. The problem with Clarkson is that he is an abysmal defender, so he needs to be really good offensively to make up for that.

He’s similar to Lou Williams in that regard, but the Clippers guard is playing more and is slightly more efficient. If Clarkson could make a step in the right direction, he can become the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2021.

Norman Powell

Many people are sleeping on Norman Powell, but this player has the potential to fight for the award too. After four mediocre seasons in the NBA, Powell increased his production dramatically last year and ended with 16 points per game on excellent efficiency.

The American scored almost 40% of his shots from the outside on more than 5 attempts per game. I expect to see more of the same, and Powell is one of the best defenders among the top contenders for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

The Raptors should use him as their main man from the bench, and if they have a decent season, it won’t be a complete shock if Powell earns the prize.


The race will be close, and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year betting odds for 2020-21 confirm that. I expect that the usual suspects should be the main contenders, but with so many moves during the offseason, it’s hard to tell what will happen.

If you liked this post, please check my analysis of the other individual NBA awards for the upcoming season.

I also encourage you to share your opinion on the award and the likely winners in the comments below.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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