It sometimes can be difficult to predict the MVP of the All-Star game, because it is a game with so little defense and such skilled offensive players. It seems the only real limitation is on who gets the minutes, and the shots. Typically, that makes star-bets among the safer, and both Kevin Durant and LeBron James are the most favored by NBA oddsmakers to win the MVP. But all it really takes is for someone like Stephen Curry or Kevin Love to catch fire and then the matter can quickly be transformed. Let’s take a look at the odds of some of the favorites for the MVP.
Odds courtesy of Bovada
Kevin Durant (5/2)
Kevin Durant, as mentioned, will get his shots because he is the star of the stars. But he may be covered by LeBron James. Typically, there would be no defense involved, but after LeBron said he could beat Durant in a one-on-one game, this may intensify the efforts of both players. Beyond that, if this game evolves into a showdown between the best two scorers in the league, the others may begin to play as observes to the same thing we’re watching. This year could make for a very good show. Many expected the Thunder and Heat to meet in the Finals after all, but the injury Russell Westbrook sustained made that an impossibility for the Thunder. Durant is having his best statistical season as a pro, and he could use this game as a statement maker.
LeBron James (15/4)
LeBron James is the league’s best player according to just about every analyst, fan, GM, coach, and guy on the street. But that doesn’t guarantee he’ll get the MVP award. Durant is a better scorer than James, and typically it is the high scorer of the winning team that garners the award. Can the East beat the West in this game? It is only four point underdogs, but the Western Conference team is much deeper and if James is the best performer on a losing team, it’s unlikely he’ll win.
Stephen Curry (6/1)
Stephen Curry is a chic pick for this award. He’s a sharp shooter that can get tons of shots of in a hurry, and rack up the points. He’s exciting. He was also voted to start. Curry makes an excellent value pick at 6/1.
Blake Griffin (11/1)
Blake Griffin will be on the end of a lot of highlights, but there will be no shortage of those in an All-Star game anyway. Griffin could get going and just be greedy, but being a black hole isn’t going to get him more looks as the game goes on. Basically, I don’t see much value in 11/1 on Griffin at all.
Carmelo Anthony (12/1)
Carmelo Anthony has the scorer’s mentality and skill to win the MVP award, and is a slightly better value than Griffin, but not as good a value as Curry, Durant or James. Anthony is enduring a frustrating season in New York, so maybe just getting to relax in a more exhibition-like event is just what he needs. If he got hot, he could take it.
Paul George (12/1)
Paul George is extremely talented, but he’s a lesser scoring talent than all of the frontrunners for the award and this isn’t a game that plays to George’s biggest strength, his defense, because there is no defense played in this game.
Anthony Davis (13/1)
Anthony Davis is a very good value pick. He’s having a great season and though he is an injury replacement in the game, he’ll get plenty of minutes. He finishes well, attacks the rim, and he’s probably going to take the game more seriously than most because it is his first time in the event and he wants font memories. Strange reasoning, but Davis’ skills are underrated by most and the Pelicans have been surprisingly good in the rugged Western Conference.
James Harden (15/1)
James Harden could win this if he plays like he does in Houston, but that won’t make him many friends. It seems likely Harden just relegates himself to chucking up threes, and if you have better feelings on those fade away threes Harden favors than I do, feel free to throw your money away.
Chris Paul (18/1) and Kyrie Irving (18/1) are both decent values, but still too much of a longshot. This game is going to be dictated by the wing players and LeBron James and Kevin Durant will dictate a lot of this game. The fans will likely enjoy that, and it should be a matter of which star you prefer between LBJ and Durant. Though there are some nice value bets, the showdown aspect of this year’s event could be the story.