NBA Futures Odds: MVP Award Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 12/7/2010
We’re about a quarter of the way through the NBA season. It’s way too early to know how things will turn out, but we’ve had a good sense already of which players are standing out from the crowd. There are NBA MVP futures odds to bet on, so looking at who stands out from the crowd can be both interesting and profitable. Here’s a look t how the race shapes up (NBA odds are from Sportsbook.com):
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (+130) - Durant is the heavy favorite to win the award this year. He’s going to win at least one at some point in his career, and there’s a good chance that he can stay where he currently is - as the top scorer in the league - so he is definitely a factor here.
The biggest problem he might have, though, is that he arguably hasn’t even been the best player on his team right now. Russell Westbrook is playing totally lights out, and is turning a lot of heads as a result.
I also think that the Thunder would have to move up beyond their current seventh-place standing in the Western Conference in order for Durant to have a good chance of the win here. I sure don’t see any value in this price.
Monta Ellis, Golden State (+400) - This price is a joke. He’s the fourth leading scorer in the league, but he’s the best player on a .400 team. That’s not where MVPs come from.
LeBron James, Miami (+400) - If James played every game like he played in Cleveland the other night then he would run away with it. He’ll have a hard time standing out from his teammates, and his team will have to be dramatically better than they have been so far.
James would have to be dramatically better than everyone else in the league to win this award this year given the damage his reputation has taken this year. I don’t see it.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (+400) - Kobe is Kobe, and he’ll be a factor in this race as long as he is in this league. He’s still the best player on one of the best teams in the league, and no one wants to win more than he does.
The Lakers haven’t been totally dominant this year, though, and Kobe’s numbers are a shade off of their best. He could win it, but I’d need a better price to bet on him.
Dwight Howard, Orlando (+600) - If I had to make just one bet on this race this is where I would make it. It amazes me that the best defensive player in the league is also among the best with the ball in his hand. As good as Howard is, he’s been even better this year than in the past.
He worked a lot with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, and the impact is that he’s a more ferocious player that is even harder to stop. No player is more well rounded than Howard, and he’s having his best season yet.
Chris Paul, New Orleans (+600) - Paul is having a typical Paul year - he’s leading the league in steals and is second in assists. He’ll get attention, but his team has lost six of eight and is falling back to earth after a hot start.
Add in the chaos around the team and their ownership situation and Paul’s uncertain future with the team and you have far too many issues to trust him with a bet.
Deron Williams, Utah (+700) - It’s a very strong year for point guards, and Williams is certainly one of the best. His numbers could make a big argument for the award - especially if the Jazz keep winning - but it’s a tough task for a player to win this award in the media wasteland that is Salt Lake City, unless he’s clearly and decisively the best. Williams isn’t that, so he’s not a good bet here in my eyes.
Carmelo Anthony, Denver (+1000) - Anthony could easily have mailed it in this year given his seeming desire to play anywhere but Denver. So far, though, he hasn’t - he’s playing close to his best basketball. It’s not enough to win this award, but he still deserves credit.
Rajon Rondo, Boston (+1000) - He’s the runaway leader in assists. That worked out pretty well for Steve Nash a couple of times in this race. Rondo’s biggest problem, though, is that he’s only averaging 11.4 points per game. That’s not a problem for his team, but it could hurt his candidacy because voters love gaudy scoring stats.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (+1200) - He’s scoring as well as he ever has, and his team has won nine straight. If Dirk keeps it up, the MVP trophy could be headed to Germany for the summer.
I’m not confident he can do it, but throwing a couple bucks on him would be a much better idea than betting on most of the players on this list.
Derrick Rose, Chicago (+1200) - He has clearly justified Chicago’s decision to make him the top pick in the draft. He’s the third leading scorer in the league, and an excellent floor general to boot.
His stats will take a little bit of a hit when Carlos Boozer returns to action and takes on some of the scoring burden, and his candidacy will be hurt by the fact that the Bulls are still in the bottom half of the conference. Rose could be on my team any day, but I wouldn’t bet on him here.
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