2015 NBA MVP Odds and Predictions: Three Sleepers
by Raphael Esparza - 2/10/2015
The NBA All-Star break starts this weekend, and usually I talk about mid-season awards during this time frame. However, this year I'm going to focus on my predictions for three NBA players that have outstanding plus-money odds to win the regular-season MVP award. Anything can happen by the end of the season, but I believe these three players have a great chance of grabbing this prestigious award. I believe this MVP race is wide-open and will come right down to the end of the regular season.
It's no secret that in the first half of the NBA season Stephen Curry (-150) is the favorite to win the MVP award, and he's a well-deserved favorite. Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors, who have the best record in the league and are probably one of the most surprising teams in the NBA (besides the Atlanta Hawks). Curry is averaging 23.6 points per game, is one of the deadliest shooters in the league, and is one half of the "Splash Brothers" (Klay Thompson is the other half). The reason why I mention the "Brothers" could be one of the reasons why I believe Curry could not win this award. Thompson himself is having an outstanding season, and maybe, just maybe, he could steal some votes from Curry. Yes, right now Curry is the winner, but we still have tons of basketball to play and the ball can roll to somebody else real quickly.
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Here are three players that I believe hold great value and can steal the award from Curry.
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) +275
Anytime James ties his laces up he is the best player on the court and in the league. I know King James' numbers are down and he is playing for a different team and players, but getting 3-to-1 odds on a player who has won this award four times is a steal. Let's say the Cleveland Cavaliers blow up in the second half and grab the No. 2 spot in the East. Some voters will have to vote for the King. Again, getting LeBron James at +275 is a steal, and I would jump on this number now because I believe the Cavs have a great second half.
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) 8-1
If the New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs in the Western Conference then you have to mention Davis. He is averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game and is the best big man in the league right now. The Pelicans are ninth in the Western Conference, and if Davis continues to play like he has in the first half I believe the Pelicans make the playoffs and his name will be high on a lot of writers' and voters' minds. If Davis is the future of the NBA then the NBA is in good hands because this kid (yes kid) is crazy good and a true 7-footer.
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) 14-1
So here is a real sleeper, and sorry Memphis fans but he's probably a huge long shot. The Grizzlies are having an amazing season and are the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Gasol dropped pounds over the summer, and since he lost weight his play has been brilliant. Gasol leads his team in scoring 18.5 points per game and leads the team in blocks with 1.7 blocks per game. I know the Grizzlies have tons of guys on their squad that could also be mentioned as MVP candidates (Zach Randolph and Mike Conley), but if Gasol is out of this lineup the Grizzles are out of the playoffs. Gasol is the anchor on this squad, and his presence in the middle is the key to their success. If they can surprisingly grab the No. 1 spot in the West, we will be hearing "M-V-P" chants whenever Gasol is at the free throw line.
Here are some notable MVP candidates:
Stephen Curry (Golden St Warriors) -150
Lebron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) +275
James Harden (Houston Rockets) +260
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) +800
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) 14-1
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) 18-1
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) 22-1
Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) 25-1
John Wall (Washington Wizards) 55-1
Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) 60-1
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) 75-1
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) 80-1
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) 80-1
Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers) 90-1
Klay Thompson (Golden St Warriors) 90-1
Demarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) 90-1
*All others have no shot
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