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Odds to Win NBA MVP: LeBron James is the Fave to Win his 5th MVP Award

Odds to win 2018 NBA MVP August 8

As the dust settles on free agency and roster moves in the NBA, the anticipation for the upcoming season is reaching a crescendo as oddsmakers have released their list of favorites to win the 2018-19 NBA MVP with LeBron James as the +400 favorite.

King James leads the pack at BetOnline followed by Anthony Davis (+450), reigning MVP James Harden (+500), Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo (+550), Kawhi Leonard (+800), Kevin Durant (+900), Russell Westbrook (+1500), Kyrie Irving (+1600), Joel Embiid (+1600) and Stephen Curry (+1600) to round out the top 10 on the oddsboard.

Is LeBron the Chosen One for MVP?

Since entering the league as an 18-year-old, the spotlight has always been the brightest on LeBron. The 33-year-old owns four MVP trophies to his name and by entering the twilight of his career in the purple and gold, he is set up to add a fifth piece of hardware. Although expectations will be (and should be) sky-high for LeBron and his new squad, it will still take a masterful season from him to push the Lakers to be competitive in the loaded Western Conference.

For starters, this is a team that finished 35-47 SU last season and ranked 25th in points allowed per game. While LeBron owns a collection of highlights featuring chase-down blocks, he isn’t exactly known for his defensive intensity like in his 20s so to assume the Lakers’ defensive liabilities will be fully cured with his arrival would be foolish. Another factor that I feel might be a hindrance in backing James for MVP is that the majority of this Lakers core is 23 years or younger. That youth could be an asset for the dog days of the season but James isn’t exactly known for patience when it comes to bad habits/losing that is usually associated with younger players.

From a stats perspective, LeBron will also need to hit certain statistical metrics to be genuinely considered for MVP coupled with a strong W-L record. If he can top 26 points, eight assists and eight rebounds per game along with at least 50 wins for the Lakers, the +400 price tag doesn’t seem so daunting.

Bettors Should Only Consider Five Ballers

While some may feel this is a wide-open race for MVP, I’m here to say anyone betting this prop should just stick to players in the top 10. This is a “cream of the crop” type of award with players either needing to be on the team with the best NBA W-L record or being such a statistical marvel that voters can’t overlook their exploits.

Anthony Davis

This is why Anthony Davis makes an interesting candidate to win NBA MVP because statistically, nobody in the league can touch him when he’s at full health. The Brow is part of a new wave of centers who can not only guard the rim but step back and shoot the three. The Pelicans are not even close to leading the Western Conference standings but his impact on both ends of the court makes his odds at +450 very enticing.

James Harden

James Harden is the reigning MVP and while he’s an offensive savant in today’s game, his chances of repeating shouldn’t be so high at +500. This past season felt like a makeup award from voters after he finishing second in the MVP voting in two of the last three seasons. The roster surrounding Harden is much stronger than other players on this list and with the addition of Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets, voters may slight him with the reasoning that his productivity is due to the talent in Houston.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo was a strong fixture on the oddsboard for most of last season to win MVP before the Bucks tailed off in the Eastern Conference. Giannis, for lack of a better word, is a freak on the basketball court with the ability to handle the ball and finish at the rim like no other player due to his unmatched wingspan. The Bucks did an overhaul of their coaching staff and if the Greek Freak can match his stats from last season and carry them to 50 wins or more, Milwaukee may be in line to have its first MVP on the roster since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1973-74.

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is perhaps the dark-horse pick of this bunch as it’s still uncertain how healthy/happy he is. For this exercise, let’s assume he is back to the form he showed in San Antonio prior to the injury drama and if that’s the case, he and the Raptors could be scary in the East. Kawhi finished second in MVP voting in 2015-16 and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2014-15 and 2015-16. With him being injected into a roster that won 59 games last season, Leonard could be in line for a huge season especially with him seeking a nine-figure payday in a contract year.

Who are you betting on to win NBA MVP? Have your say in the comments section.

Who will win the 2018-19 NBA MVP Award?

Odds as of August 8 at BetOnline

  • LeBron James +400    
  • Anthony Davis +450   
  • James Harden +500   
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +550          
  • Kawhi Leonard +800  
  • Kevin Durant +900     
  • Russell Westbrook +1500      
  • Joel Embiid +1600      
  • Kyrie Irving +1600      
  • Stephen Curry +1600 
  • Ben Simmons +2200  
  • Damian Lillard +4000 
  • Donovan Mitchell +5000       
  • Karl-Anthony Towns +5000   
  • John Wall +7500        
  • Victor Oladipo +7500 
  • DeMar DeRozan +10000        
  • Jimmy Butler +10000