Harden the MVP Fave ... and Other Future Odds for NBA Awards

harden nba

Jordan Sharp

Monday, April 2, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 2, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

With the NBA regular season set to end April 11, let's look at future odds for individual awards and see if there is any late-season value in the numbers from Betfair Exchange.

NBA: Individual Awards Future OddsMost Valuable Player

There is always a chance LeBron James (-105) gets some first-place votes from Cleveland and King James' fan boys who vote for NBA awards. However, those with a brain and who have watched the Houston Rockets play this season know James Harden will be named the MVP.

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Betfair has Harden’s MVP odds at -5000. While other sportsbooks aren’t that severe with their chalk on the NBA odds board, it looks to be a forgone conclusion that Harden wins MVP. The Rockets have locked up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and the writers who vote on the awards will weigh that heavily in voting for Harden.

Rookie of the Year

Philadelphia's Ben Simmons is the clear leader at -900, and with the way he has been playing since Joel Embiid went down, it looks like Simmons is holding off Utah's Donovan Mitchell (+200) as the favorite. Simmons has five triple-doubles over the last three weeks, and if he can keep the 76ers in their playoff position while Embiid is out, Simmons should get the trophy.

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However, Mitchell’s season cannot be overlooked, and he is going to siphon some votes from Simmons. I am a big Mitchell fan and am personally against Simmons winning because he should be in his second season, but it’s not up to me. Simmons is probably going to win as a heavy favorite, but a flier bet on Mitchell could end up paying off with your NBA picks.

Defensive Player of the Year

Rudy Gobert (-10,000) is a huge favorite to win this award, even after playing less than 60 games for Utah this season. It’s probably not a lock that he walks away with the trophy, but as SB Nation’s Tim Cato points out, everyone else that would be in the running for the award has asterisks next to their seasons.

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Gobert has been a monster this season when defending players inside of 10 feet. He is holding players he defends to 48.3-percent shooting inside 10 feet and just 52.1 percent inside 6 feet.

Those are -8.8 percent and -9.6 percent lower than those players’ averages, respectively, according to NBA Stats. If the Jazz can hang on to a favorable playoff seed where they can avoid Houston or Golden State in the first round, Gobert could be rewarded after arguably getting snubbed for the award in past years in favor of San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard.

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