Kevin Durant Odds to Win NBA 2014 MVP Award with Picks & Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 3/6/2014
The NBA Most Valuable Player Award is one of the most coveted awards in all of sports. LeBron James has won the MVP Award in back-to-back seasons, and he has won it in four of the last five years overall. King James isn't about to give up this award easily, but Kevin Durant is putting together a season for the ages as well.
It's always nice to throw out names of a bunch of players who are playing well when handicapping the NBA MVP race. Guys like Paul George and Blake Griffin are having career seasons. Still, the cold hard truth is only two guys have a real shot at winning the award this year. Will it be James or Durant? Doc's Sports will take a closer look at James' odds and statistics in the near future, but for this article the focus will be on Durant's chances of winning his first MVP Award.
Kevin Durant Odds to Win NBA MVP Award
What kind of chances do the oddsmakers currently give Durant of dethroning James and winning the NBA MVP Award? Let's take a look at lines from several different sportsbooks. BetOnline lists Durant as the favorite at -300 to win the NBA MVP Award. According to Bovada's odds to win the NBA MVP, Durant is a 1/3 favorite. 5Dimes currently lists Durant as the clear favorite at -260. Carbon Sports lists Durant at -250, which appears to be as low as you are going to see based on the current lines. How big of a favorite are these two in the race for the MVP? All of the books I have just mentioned don't even list any other players odds to win the MVP. It's definitely a two-man race.
Kevin Durant Trends to Consider for MVP
When handicapping the NBA MVP Award winner, it is definitely wise to take a look back in history. James has won two straight MVP Awards, and the last time any player won the award in three consecutive seasons was Larry Bird from 1984 to 1986. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, and Steve Nash all won the award two straight times. None of them won a third consecutive year. It seems like voters are a bit hesitant to back the same player in three straight seasons.
Kevin Durant Statistics to Consider for MVP
Is Kevin Durant putting up the type of numbers that should win him an NBA MVP Award? Let's take a closer look at Durant's numbers through games played on March 5, 2014. Durant is averaging 31.7 points per game so far this year, which is easily first in the league. In addition, this is 1.6 points per game higher than Durant's previous career high, which was set in 2009-10. Durant is shooting an impressive 51.0 percent from the floor this year, which matches his mark from last season. Prior to last year, Durant had never shot better than 49.6 percent from the floor. Durant isn't just shooting the ball well though; he is also averaging 5.2 assists per game this year. Durant's previous career high in assists was 4.3 per contest last season. Durant is also stealing the ball 1.4 times per game this year, which is another career high mark. Not surprisingly, Durant has gotten to the free throw line more times and made more free throws so far this year than any other player in the NBA. Is there anything to nitpick Durant on from his statistics this year? Not much. Durant is shooting 39.5 percent from long range this year, which is slightly below his 41.6 percent mark from last year. His free throw percentage has dipped to 87.4 percent from 90.0 percent last season.
Kevin Durant Odds to Win NBA MVP Award: Picks and Predictions
Durant's play while teammate Russell Westbrook was down with an injury has led the oddsmakers to install him as a pretty significant favorite at this time. Durant was completely carrying Oklahoma City to victories while Westbrook was injured. James has been on fire in the past week, and in the eyes of many experts he is beginning to close the gap on Durant. Oklahoma City needs to finish the year strongly for Durant to continue to be the favorite. The Thunder currently have the best record in the Western Conference. If Oklahoma City stays at the top of the West, I expect Durant to come home with the NBA MVP Award this year. By most accounts, Durant has less help in Oklahoma City than James has in Miami. Voters will likely be anxious to see someone other than James win it this year. The statistics say Durant is definitely deserving. It's only March, and there is plenty of time left in the regular season, but Durant is on track to win his first NBA MVP Award.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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