Bovada NBA MVP Futures Betting: Assessing the Value of the Favorites

76ers Heat NBA Playoffs Game 4 Preview
LeBron James is the only player since “The Big O” with any chance at all of averaging a triple-double. That says something.
This season brings a lack of parity for the NBA award. Many have already assumed LeBron James will win his fourth MVP award, because parity isn’t always even rewarded in MVP voting. Kobe Bryant somehow has played his entire career while only winning one, but Michael Jordan won five. Even Steve Nash won it in back to back years, so the idea of James capturing it again this year is not far-fetched on the basis that he just won one. It’s in fact quite likely.

That said, he is 19/10 to win the award. The odds are still in favor of another guy capturing the award, and a number of legitimate contenders appear, even down to Kevin Love at 30/1. While the most likely to win the award outside LBJ is likely Kevin Durant, there are a number of guys with legitimate chances to win it, since it is also a story-based type of award. In other words, the player who wins it, if James doesn’t, may not even have the best statistical line. When Steve Nash won it, Dirk Nowitzki had vastly outperformed him statistically, as had Kobe Bryant.

That all said, let’s take a look at this year’s top candidates to take down LeBron James as the consensus pick for the MVP award.

Bovada Odds:

First, the favorite:

LeBron James (19/10)

LBJ is the favorite for the award, and he’s already won it three times. That doesn’t make it any less likely that it happens again. All James needs to do is play his best basketball and stay healthy.

If he does that, these odds are substantiated, because the Heat will likely be the best team in the regular season, by virtue of the fact that the Lakers still have yet to play together as a new-look team and the Thunder just took a huge step backwards by dealing James Harden.

Kevin Durant (15/4)

Kevin Durant has led the league in scoring for the past three seasons, but media doesn’t only look at scoring when deciding the award. Durant must diversify his game to win the MVP award, and with James Harden departed, he should take on an even bigger role within the OKC offense.

Durant is going to have to hit the boards harder, dish out more assists, and hit his fair share of late game daggers. In other words, play just like he has, but with a little more statistical impact outside of the scoring.

Kobe Bryant (12/1)

How has Kobe Bryant only won one MVP award in his career? Despite being the second best player to ever play basketball, Kobe has been largely ignored by media in voting for the league’s MVP award.

I’m not sure that will change this year as he accepts a reduced role, but if he displays the maturation that has changed him as a player, and helps mentor the younger Dwight Howard, he could take the award home on a “feel good” basis.

That’s the best hope for this long shot, because statistically, it is highly unlikely that Kobe creates any of his former dominanceā€¦the Lakers team concept has changed, the offense has changed, and Dwight Howard will be the focal point of it most of the time.

Russell Westbrook (16/1)

Russell Westbrook is the No. 2 option on the Thunder, but I’m more inclined to call him “1 B” than No. 2, because often times he takes more shots than his teammate NBA-leading scorer Kevin Durant. Westbrook thinks and plays like an alpha dog, and any problems that ends up causing for the Thunder can be safely ignored when considering Westbrook’s chances of winning the award.

Despite the claim that Westbrook makes the Thunder a worse team, they actually win more games when he is shooting more than Durant. It runs contrary to logic, but that notion supports the stance that Westbrook could have a huge year, lead the Thunder to the league’s best record, and win this award. Losing James Harden via trade only further improves his chances at it.

Dwight Howard (14/1)

Dwight Howard seems due to win this award, and at 14/1, I would say he’s the best value pick. He’s been given the Defensive Player of the Year three times as consolation for outstanding seasons he’s turned in as a member of the Magic, but his impact is substantial enough that he should warrant discussion for an MVP award this season with the Lakersā€¦even as stacked as they are.

Howard is going to transform the Lakers defense and restructure their offense, and if the results are good, expect him to draw a lot of attention for the MVP award.

Steve Nash (16/1)

Steve Nash has already won the MVP award twice, and now at age 38, NBA oddsmakers don’t think he’s all that likely to do it again. However, I think he makes a great value pick. Nash was still second in the league in assists last year in Phoenix, and now he’s playing with a much more talented cast.

If he can lead the league in assists while the Lakers coast to the NBA’s best record, wouldn’t it be quite a story for a 38 year old point guard to win the MVP award? Sometimes, a great story is all media wants when they vote, anyway, it seems.

Chris Paul (18/1)

Chris Paul finished third in the league in assists last season with 9.1 per game, and he is the best point guard in the NBA. But the Clippers must succeed at a high level for him to win this award. Paul also must post elite numbers.

Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash both averaged more assists with less talent around them. Paul should and must average 10-plus assists per game to win this award. And while doing that, the Clippers have to win at least 56 to 60 games. That last part is less likely, and that’s why he is 18/1 to win this award.

Kevin Love (30/1)

In no way does Kevin Love’s injury negate his chances of winning the MVP award. If he and Ricky Rubio return fully healthy and the Timberwolves get the ball rolling on a great season before Christmas, his early season injury will be all but forgotten. Besides, he injured his hand doing pushups, not sustained a career threatening knee injury (Ahem, Derrick Rose). Love will return strong and the Wolves will be a much improved team. He’s a great value pick at 30/1.

Share This Post

The information contained at this site is for entertainment purposes only. Any use of this information in violation of any state, federal, or local laws is prohibited.
Copyright © - Premier Sports Picks and Sports Odds Web site