2018/19 NBA odds for MVP
It is less than a month away until the first jump ball of the NBA regular season. While many are crowning the Warriors as Champions again, the crazy offseason, which shook up the league also shook up some NBA Futures bets including who will take home league MVP. However, one thing remains constant, no matter where LeBron James play, sportsbook love him to win NBA regular season MVPs.
Best Bets on 2018-19 NBA MVP
- 01NBA MVP Favourite – LeBron to win MVP for third Different Franchise?
- 02Mid-Range Candidate with the Best Value – From “Rookie of the Year” to MVP
- 03Big Underdogs with a Shot – From “We the North” to Way Down South
- 04Bonus: Rookie of the Year Winner
NBA MVP Favourite – LeBron to win MVP for third Different Franchise?
As the 2018-19 NBA season approaches, Sports Interaction is giving LeBron James as the favourite to win the 2018-19 NBA MVP award. These five superstars are the only five players with odds better than +1000 to win the NBA MVP award this season. Although a case can be made for each player, it hard to argue against the King in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- LeBron James +300
- Giannis Antetokounmpo +415
- Anthony Davis +445
- Kawhi Leonard +570
- James Harden +620
LeBron James has four MVPs in his career, but none since the 2012-13 season (which was his second with the Miami Heat). His first two MVP came in his final two seasons during his first stint in Cleveland.
During his two MVP seasons, the cast surrounding James was mediocre at best. A helpful of veterans on the decline (Shaq O’Neal), some questionable personalities (Delonte West) and a few youngsters with interesting upside (Danny Green).
Yet James managed to bring everything together to secure the best record in the NBA (61-21) and his second MVP award.
The 2010 season in Cleveland is quite similar to what LeBron James is entering with, in his first season as a Los Angeles Laker, except this Lakers team has more upside.
Many do not expect the Lakers to win the NBA title this season (and probably not even finish as a top-three seed in the Western Conference). However, after Russell Westbrook won the MVP two years ago as a sixth seed with crazy stats, the door is wide open for LeBron to do the same (only at a more efficient clip than Westbrook).
Mid-Range Candidate with the Best Value – From “Rookie of the Year” to MVP
Seven players open the NBA season with odds between +1100 and +5000 at winning MVP. This range of odds is where bettors often find the most value.
In fact, two of the last seven NBA MVP winners opened with odds in this range (Step Curry +4000 in 2016 and Derrick Rose +2500 in 2011).
- Kevin Durant +1100
- Russell Westbrook +1200
- Joel Embiid +1600
- Kyrie Irving +1700
- Steph Curry +1800
- Ben Simmons +2500
- Karl Anthony-Towns +3500
One player on this list stands out above the rest as the best value for NBA MVP – Ben Simmons. Simmons is coming off a phenomenal rookie season, which saw the point guard win “Rookie of the Year” and help the 76ers win over 50 games for the first time in 17 years.
Simmons should only improve in his second season in the NBA. The point guard struggled from the free-throw line and shot all of 11 three-point shots the entire season. Improving his mid to deep range game would greatly help his chances of winning MVP.
The Philadelphia 76ers are also in a great position to improve on their 52 wins in last season. The 2018 first overall pick, Markell Fultz is healthy with a much-improved jump shot. His addition for a full season come close to their apex, which is a 60-win Eastern Conference Champion level team. If the 76ers hit that level in 2019 (with Ben Simmons likely be the main catalyst) than Simmons could become the fifth 76ers player to win the MVP.
Big Underdogs with a Shot – From “We the North” to Way Down South
While we are not going to list off every player with odds greater than +5000, there are a few players worth highlighting in this range, who with a bit of luck and the best seasons of their career could find themselves in the MVP debate at the end of the season.
- DeMar DeRozan +5900
- Donovan Mitchell +6900
- Paul George +10500
- Devin Booker +17400
DeMar DeRozan is the real candidate that sticks out in this range. He is coming off consecutive seasons as an All-NBA player and could improve even more under the tutelage of Greg Popovich. The San Antonio Spurs should also improve their record in 2019. The group won 47 last year, despite being without Kawhi Leonard.
While DeRozan and Leonard are very different players, Popovich will adjust his strategy to maximize the team around DeRozan (and LaMarcus Aldridge). It would not be shocking to see the Spurs win 52 to 55 games this season and as long as DeRozan is the reason behind the Spurs improvement, he will find himself in the MVP race.
Bonus: Rookie of the Year Winner
When there is not much pressure on a player, a veteran all-star around for some leadership and some semblance of infrastructure a rookie should have a strong first season. All of those aspects exist in Cleveland for point guard Collin Sexton (+800).
While no one expects the Cavaliers to do much this season, they are in a better position than they were when LeBron left the first time (having Kevin Love and using the eighth overall pick on Sexton). The East is also weak. If Sexton can beat up on some of the lesser talents in the Conference, his numbers should be good enough for garner plenty of additional from the voters.