Zion Williamson made his much-anticipated return for the New Orleans Pelicans in their preseason win over the Chicago Bulls.
Zion and the Pels came out in attack mode right away and just about everyone contributed, including Zion, who did his thing and scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds in just 15 minutes on the floor.
He looked fast and was moving well, which was a good sign after missing the entire last season with a lingering foot issue.
The Pelicans looked talented and deep and their performance didn’t go unnoticed, as several national media voices started calling them the big sleeper of the NBA season:
It’s just preseason, but New Orleans didn’t even have Brandon Ingram and Trey Murphy III in the lineup and their offense looked in midseason form at times, especially when Zion Williamson was in the game.
If the Pels are as good as advertised and Zion stays healthy, he could have an MVP season and the oddsmakers know it.
New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson’s MVP odds went way down
Just a week ago I wrote that Zion was a good MVP bet, as the books had him at +4000, which seemed high for a guy who averaged 27 points and seven rebounds in his last full season.
The books must have taken notice, because Zion is now at +2500 according to FanDuel, with his odds plummeting by nearly half since the Pels’ preseason win.
This is not only a reflection of the way Zion looked individually but of the way the Pelicans looked as a team, as team success will be the only way Zion gets near the MVP award this season with so many other worthy candidates on good teams.
By the way, the Pels title odds are still at +5000, so not a bad long shot combo bet if you think New Orleans has a chance to win the whole thing this season.
You can’t get too excited about a preseason game, but it’s interesting that the sports books are hedging against an onslaught of Zion MVP bets after just 15 minutes on the floor.