Looking Sharp: One Man's Picks for NBA Season Awards

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Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:50 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018 8:50 PM GMT

Sportsbook Review has some of the best betting minds in the business, bringing you winning tips and picks on all sports. While many claim the title, only one of us is a true Sharp. I’m about to read the minds of the voters for the NBA's end-of-season awards and give you the winners.

NBA: 2017-18 Individual Awards Predictions

MVP: James Harden (-800, BetVictor)

There are only a few sportsbooks left with MVP numbers still available on the NBA odds board, but the clear-cut favorite for a while has been James Harden. Some said the Houston star should have won last season, but he was runner-up in the voting with 22 first-place votes compared to 69 for Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.

Voters love to give the award to the best player on the league's best team. This has been mostly tradition in the MVP voting for decades. Westbrook’s magical 2016-17 season made voters deviate on that, but this year will be viewed as Harden’s time for his long-overdue MVP award.

There will be some first-place votes for Cleveland's LeBron James as well, so it’s nowhere near a lock. However, I’d be surprised if James gets more first place votes than Harden got last season.

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Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons (-500, Marathon)

Even though Philadelphia's Ben Simmons had some stiff competition in this award from Utah's Donovan Mitchell and at least a half-dozen others, this is Simmons’ award to lose. What he has done with the 76ers this season is truly remarkable, and he will be rewarded for it.

Granted, Simmons isn’t a true rookie. And Mitchell is going to get some first-place votes. If I had a vote, I’d vote for Mitchell because he has done as much with less around him.

Mitchell has the Jazz in virtually the same playoff positioning as Simmons in a tougher conference, and as I write these things you might be wondering if I’ve got money tied up in a Donovan Mitchell futures bet to win the ROY. The answer is, yes.

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens (-400, Betfair Exchange)

On one hand, the Boston Celtics were expected to be a top-two seed in the Eastern Conference and threaten to come out of the East. However, they did it without their best free-agent signing and now without Kyrie Irving.

This is Stevens’ award to lose because of that one reason, and that’s with a stacked group of contenders, too. Philadelphia's Brett Brown (-105), Indiana's Nate McMillan (-105), Toronto's Dwane Casey (-105), and Utah's Quin Snyder (-105) all have legitimate claims to the throne.

However, it comes down to the voters, and as someone who lives less than 2 miles from the campus of Butler University can attest, the media LOVES Brad Stevens. He is to the NBA media as what cookies are to fat kids.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert (-10,000, Betfair Exchange)

Even after getting hurt and sitting out some games, Rudy Gobert’s prowess inside the paint for Utah has been exceptional this season, and it will almost surely earn him this honor.

Inside 10 feet, Gobert is holding players he defends to 47.9-percent shooting and just 51.9-percent shooting inside 6 feet.

Those are both 10 percentage points lower than the players he’s guarding average from those distances. If you’re 10 percentage points better than average at anything, I think you deserve an award, and apparently the lone sportsbook with odds left on DPOY agrees.

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams (No odds)

I’d take the time to explain why Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers will and should be the Sixth Man of the Year, but I’ll let the man himself explain it:

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Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) says there's no debate as to who should win Sixth Man of the Year, and it's hard to argue with him on that. Lou is averaging 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. #Clippers pic.twitter.com/Rv7DTbl4WJ

— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 7, 2018
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Most Improved Player: Victor Oladipo (No odds)

When Paul George was traded to Oklahoma City, most people nationally and a good chunk of people in Indiana thought the Pacers got fleeced.

Lo and behold, the difference between George and Victor Oladipo might be negligible, and in the trade the Pacers also got Domantas Sabonis, a blossoming young big man who happens to be the son of an NBA legend.

The season Oladipo has produced is truly remarkable, with career highs across the board and the league leader in steals by a mile. The Pacers earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs after most people thought they wouldn’t win more than 30 games. I’d say that’s as good of a lock as any.

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