Sixth Man Of The Year Odds Has A New Betting Odds-On Favorite

Well, this is a major turn of events. After starting the year as one of the most beleaguered starters in the NBA, new bench hero Russell Westbrook is now the odds-on favorite to win Sixth Man Of The Year. 

Westbrook, +180,  has vaulted past the preseason leader in the odds, Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors, now at +200. The Dallas Mavericks' Christian Wood is third at +450. No one else is even close.

Westbrook has surprised just about everyone with his performance off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers. Since being taken out of the starting lineup for the first time in 14 years, here's how his numbers compare from this season as a starter (3 games) vs. the second unit (6 games):

Starter:   10.3 points per game, 29% FG

Reserve: 19.3 points per game, 51% FG

Granted, the Lakers are 2-4 in those six games that Russ has been coming off the bench, but let's face it, the turnaround in his play has been dramatic.   

Poole, on the other hand, has been a big disappointment thus far for the Warriors, who signed him to a massive 4-year, $128M rookie extension before the season. Poole's scoring is down about three points per game to 15.2, his shooting is down significantly, to just 40.6% FG, and only 30% on threes (down from 36.4% last season). 

Should be interesting to see if Westbrook is able to bring home at least some hardware for the Lakers. 

 Photo: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports