6th Man of the Year: High Hopes for Hyland

A good way to begin thinking about an award market is what have been the voting trends on winners? 6th Man of the Year seems to have the most well-known profile for a winner: scoring guards. In the last ten years, nine of the winners have been guards, with Montrezl Harrell in 2020 being the lone exception. The average basic stat line for the guard winners in the last decade is 18.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.

The final criteria of note is the winner generally plays for a winning team. In the last decade, only 1 winner played for a team that won fewer than 48 games and the average amount of wins (using win percentage for shortened seasons) is 52.7. There are an average of 8.1 teams in the last 10 years that hit 50 wins. That essentially allows you to focus on teams you believe can be a top-eight team in the league this season. Those criteria lead to value in this market.

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6th Man of the Year Bets

*Lines accurate at time of publication

Bones Hyland +3000 PointsBet

Outside of the return of Jamal Murray, there seem to be no player Nuggets fans are more excited to see next season than second-year guard Bones Hyland. The rookie season numbers are solid for a non-lottery pick that earned his role as the season went on, averaging 10.1 points and under three rebounds and assists but it was the late season push from Hyland that has Denver excited and provides value on this number.

With Murray out all season and Facundo Campazzo being ineffective, Hyland’s role expanded in the last month of the season. He went from 17.7 minutes up to 23.7 and his numbers jumped to 14.9 points on 47.4% from the floor and 39.4% from behind the arc on 2.6 more shots per game. Add in a jump in assists from 2.2 on 4.2 potential assists to 4.9 on 7.7 potential assists and the case becomes clearer.

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The role for Hyland should only get bigger with Monte Morris and Will Barton being sent out of town to upgrade the starting lineup with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and taking on Ish Smith as backcourt insurance. A presumed second unit with Hyland, Bruce Brown, Zeke Nnaji, and Jeff Green as its principles mean the ball will likely be in Hyland’s hands a lot.

The average usage rate of a 6th Man of the Year in the last decade has been 27.4 and in the last month of the season, Hyland’s usage rate was 24.0%. Now with a larger role and the likely jump in play from year one to year two, Hyland is in a position to hold up his end of the bargain. Denver as a team will add Murray and likely Michael Porter Jr to a 48-win team that has win totals at 49.5 and 50.5 at different books. Both juiced over. Hyland checks more boxes than his odds would indicate.

Risk: .33 units on PointsBet to win 10 units. (Playable to +1800)

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