The NBA MVP award can be extremely subjective during certain years. NBA sportswriters and media members get to decide who the most valuable player is, and while there are no set criteria on what ‘most valuable’ actually means, some players have more of an inside track than others.
Charles Barkley and Karl Malone won the award in 1993 and 1997, respectively, and the general consensus among NBA experts has been that they only won because NBA media members were tired of voting for Michael Jordan. In 2012 we have the exact opposite situation happening. The media overwhelmingly wants to vote for LeBron James, so barring a season-ending injury or another player having an astronomical season, the media generally wants James to win the award.
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Let’s examine the NBA MVP Odds and see if there is any value in betting on someone other than LeBron with some predictions.
(All odds come from JustBet).
LeBron James: +150
LeBron is the strong favorite here, as he should be. If the Miami Heat can win 60 games (which they are expected to) and LeBron can average his typical 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists then it will be awfully difficult for anyone else to win this award.
Worth a bet? This is Lebron’s award to lose; taking him at +150 is as great wager to make.
Kevin Durant +350
If any other player has a chance to win this award it Kevin Durant -- but that was before the James Harden trade threw a wrench in Oklahoma City’s ‘championship or bust’ season. It’s almost impossible to tell what affect the Harden trade will have on the Thunder. OKC received a solid, if not great, deal for Harden, but definitely got worse in the short term.
When the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder two seasons ago they were a legitimate contender for an NBA tile, but chemistry issues derailed their championship run. They lost to the Heat in the second round of the playoffs.
Worth a bet? Betting on Durant to win the MVP award is not a horrible wager to make, but there just is not enough value, especially with the Thunder in flux, to make it a worthwhile bet.
Kobe Bryant +800
I don’t expect Kobe Bryant to win this award, but there is some value at getting him at +800. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to have a 50-something win season, and could possibly get into the 60-win category.
If Kobe were to average 28 points, five rebounds and four assists and have the Lakers win over 60 games, then he would be in contention for the award. But it is hard to imagine that happening since his minutes and shot attempts will probably be reduced because of the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.
Worth a bet? Kobe for MVP certainly has value. The Lakers could end up turning into a juggernaut this season, so betting on Kobe to win the award is a decent wager to take on.
Dwight Howard +1,200/Steve Nash +1,200
Both of these players are in the same situation -- they play on Kobe Bryant’s team. There is almost no chance that Bryant would allow either of these players to win the MVP award, especially when he is probably still fuming over Nash beating him out of the award in 2006.
Kobe is going to lead the team in scoring and the ball will still go through his hands during crunch time, so unless Howard averages 28 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks per game (which has very little chance of happening), he will not win this award.
Nash, on the other hand, will probably be the true NBA MVP, as it will be his leadership and playmaking abilities that hold the Lakers together-- but none of that will be reflected in his stats.
Worth a bet? I do not see much value in betting either of these guys at +1,200. The MVP is a subjective award. And how can either of these guys win when the media views the Lakers as Kobe’s team?
Deron Williams +1,200
The Brooklyn Nets may have been forgotten during the lead up to this year’s NBA season. Talking about the Lakers, Heat and Thunder have been the sexy topics of the offseason, but the Nets have quietly built a solid contender. Sure, it is Brooklyn’s first year as a contender, but they could easily win over 55 games this season.
Deron Williams is one of the best point guards in the league, and if he can average 23 points, 10 assists and four rebounds a game, he will be a legitimate contender for the award.
Worth a bet? I believe there is excellent value in betting Williams at +1,200. He could win the award the same way Derrick Rose won it two seasons ago.
Chris Paul +1,500
Chris Paul is in a similar situation as Williams. Paul is probably the best point guard in the league and is playing on a contender and possible 55-win team. His contention for the NBA award will be based on the number of games that the Los Angeles Clippers can win during the regular season. Last year the Clippers were a very good team with a lot of potential to grow. So If Paul can help them make the leap into a legitimate contender, he will have a real chance at winning the award.
Worth a bet? Like Deron Williams, there is excellent value betting Chris Paul at +1,200. The Clippers are a contender and if they happen to overachieve Paul will receive most of the credit.
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