Stars from all across the NBA are already off to hot starts on the hardwood. But, which players will be in the running late in the season to win the 2019-20 MVP Award? In previous years, stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and more have taken home the honors.
Moving forward, you know there's going to be plenty of competition, as the best players in the league are always ready to battle it out for the top individual award there is.
The NBA betting odds will surely fluctuate as guys put together huge performances this winter and spring. So, who will be the NBA MVP?
JAMES HARDEN 🔥— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 5, 2019
44 PTS | 10 REB | 6 AST
12-28 FG | 7-16 3PT
Who's the favorite to be the MVP at the moment?
You're not given the nickname 'The Greek Freak' without being an absolute monster on the court. For Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo, he's handled the majority of his competition with ease. Last season, he was named MVP after averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Yup, that will most certainly get the job done. Now, he's once again off to a hot start for the Bucks and is the favorite to win MVP. He holds the highest NBA MVP odds at 3.50. He's not the only one in the running, though, to finish the season as the best NBA player.
|Players in the running for MVP||2019-20 odds|
Other players with decent odds include James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard. Harden was named MVP in 2018 after his brilliant campaign with the Houston Rockets. Now that he's got Russell Westbrook, who won MVP in 2017, by his side, big things are expected in Houston.
Not to be forgotten, Anthony Davis is in his first year with the Lakers and LeBron James. We obviously can't forget about Kawhi Leonard, who powered the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Finals title last year. Now that he's with the Clippers, fans in L.A. are hoping he can lead this team to a deep postseason run.
Predictions at the start of the 2019-20 season
While winning back-to-back MVPs is no easy task, Antetokounmpo sure has what it takes to take home the hardware to his family back home in Greece for the second year in a row. The 24-year-old Athens native has Milwaukee in outstanding form early on this year and the Bucks figure to be in the Eastern Conference Finals mix later this season.
Over in the Western Conference, you can't deny just how loaded teams are with high-level players. It sure says something when LeBron James isn't even in the top four of the NBA MVP odds early on in the campaign.
Harden won the honor two years ago, and he appears to only be getting better. His step-back 3-pointer is nearly impossible to defend, which has Houston's NBA Finals odds increasing with each game.
Over in L.A., Leonard has brought back tremendous excitement for Clippers fans. Imagine how much stronger this team will be when Paul George returns to the hardwood at full health? Having a right-handed man like George will only open things up for Kawhi, potentially boosting his chances of winning MVP.
NBA MVP Betting
When preparing to make your bets on who you think will win the NBA MVP, it's always important to do some key research. Regardless of the conference, there's always going to be at least 4-5 star players who will be among the favorites to be named MVP.
However, late in the season, it's often not too difficult to be able to separate a player from the pack. It really doesn't matter if they end up being on an NBA Finals team either. Time and time again, we've seen players who haven't ended up raising the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June go on to win the MVP award.
Do MVPs have to be on championship teams?
While getting to the NBA Finals is obviously the main goal for any player, it doesn't make or break your MVP chances. It helps for your team to be going on a successful run, but the champion doesn't always hold the regular season MVP.
For example, The Greek Freak won MVP last year, but the Raptors ended up winning the NBA Finals. The year before, James Harden was named MVP with Houston, but the Golden State Warriors defeated LeBron James and the Cavs in the Finals.
It really comes down to who is standing out the most. Points, rebounds, assists and more all come into play. When Russell Westbrook was MVP in 2017, he broke the NBA's record with 42 triple-doubles in a season. A lot of different factors come into play.
Winning back-to-back MVPs is tough to do
While Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favorite to win the MVP this year, winning in two consecutive seasons surely isn't done often.
Since 2000, four players have accomplished the feat, with LeBron James doing it twice. He's joined by Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Steph Curry, who most recently went back-to-back in 2015 and 2016.
Other notable players to win straight MVP awards include Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. While it's not unheard of, Antetokounmpo will surely have to fend off a lot of top-tier talent to join the star-studded list.
Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Anthony Davis and others will do everything they can to make sure there's a new player with the trophy this spring.
Anthony Davis is the first Laker to drop 40 & 20 since Shaq in 2003. And AD did it in 3 quarters!— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 30, 2019
His 26 made FTS is also a franchise record.
Which positions are the most likely to win MVP?
Things aren't how they used to be in the NBA. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was almost a guarantee for either power forwards or centers to be named MVP. However, things have changed of late, with guards and small forwards getting in on the act.
In fact, three of the last four MVP winners have been guards: PG Stephen Curry, PG Russell Westbrook and SG James Harden. Again, it really depends on who's getting the most done for their team, while lighting up the stat sheet.
Does it matter which conference a star is playing in?
In recent years, the Western Conference has dominated in terms of winning the NBA Finals, but there's been a pretty even split when it comes to who finishes the year as the league's MVP.
This doesn't come as a major shock, simply because the high amount of talent is pretty evenly distributed across both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference. This is another reason why the playoffs are always so tough to figure out each season.
Which teams have produced the most NBA MVPs?
It should come as no surprise, but the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers have produced the most MVPs throughout their history.
The Celtics stand alone at the top, though, with 10 players on their list. The Lakers aren't too far behind them, however, with eight MVPs to their name. Kobe Bryant was the last Laker to win the award, doing so back in 2008. Surprisingly, that was the only year Bryant was MVP.