Down To A Two-horse Race For The Most Valuable Player In The NBA Regular Season

Sunday, March 24, 2019 8:10 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2019 8:10 PM UTC

The coveted most valuable player honours is a bet that is captivating the imagination of bettors the nation over. Who will hoist the trophy when the curtain comes down on the 2018-2019 regular season?

Markets tip the MVP race as a three-horse race

As the season comes down to a wire three players emerge as the likeliest to win the auspicious MVP award. Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and Paul George according the NBA futures odds market, but, arguably, it is a two-horse race between the former two players.

In any event, let’s take a closer look at this triplet, their respective odds and serve up some discerning thoughts about their chances to come good for bettors on their NBA picks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

NBA bettors can find the Bucks star trading anywhere from a -225 to -175 depending on their choice sportsbook. Naturally, the latter price is the best value for those that want to bet on the Greek Adonis at this time.

Consider a month back, Antetokounmpo was trading upwards of +300 for this coveted honour, but furious betting has been coming down the wire on him in this market and that has seen his odds move into minus-money rather dramatically.

What gives?

The reason for this is twofold. Obviously, he’s putting up the required stats to make him a likely candidate for the award. He ranks in the top 10 in points, rebounds, blocks and field-goal percentage…la,la,la. Mainly, though, the award typically goes to the best player on the best team. Trends support this when looking back over the last 15 seasons with the MVP going ten times to the player from the team with the best record.

That yields a 60% probability the award will go to the man fondly known as the “greek freak”. Milwaukee Bucks currently ride roughshod over the league with a 54-19 SU record, three wins ahead of their nearest rivals Toronto Raptors and five wins ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors, neck-and-neck on 49 wins to date.

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Is #Giannis having an MVP season? Mike Budenholzer thinks so. pic.twitter.com/Dh5cR276xR

— FanSided (@FanSided) 12 de fevereiro de 2019
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Now, it’s not an exact science predicting the MVP winner. There are competing schools of thoughts where this award is concerned. There are those of the opinion that it belongs to the best player on the best team. Others feel that it is most deserved by a player who is essentially holding up the team by the sheer magnitude of his singular efforts and outstanding contribution to the team.

James Harden, Houston Rockets

That neatly brings us to the second and, arguably, fan favourite candidate, the reigning MVP James Harden, trading anywhere from +130 to +180-ish on the NBA odds board. Naturally, the latter price is the better bang for your buck if Harden is your top bet. How Harden can still be trading in plus-money given what he’s doing this season is frankly bonkers. Is the guy human? He’s tearing up stat sheets like nobody’s business and putting up unbelievable records in place of old ones that many alleged were nigh impossible to break. And then he goes and does this…

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James Harden's BEST Bucket vs. all 29 teams... as he became the first player in @NBAHistory to score 30+ points against all 29 opponents in the same season! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/kik7u81jaB

— NBA (@NBA) 20 de março de 2019
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Oh dear!

On the merit of his otherworldly performance he really does deserve the award. And when bookmakers are practically giving him away on plus-money, heck it would be rude not to tickle those odds.

Paul George, Oklahoma Thunder

George’s bid is tentative at best. A month back he was trading at +600 or thereabouts but he’s since drifted upwards, on the edge of three-digit respectability. Despite his obvious prowess and performance of late, it does have the feel of a last ditch effort, all just a little bit too late for it to be a legitimate threat. The fact that his odds are headed in the wrong direction might be deemed a sign of his diminished chances.

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