Another NBA regular season is in the books and the playoffs are upon us. But the competition for who will win the 2016-17 NBA MVP award is over.
That’s because voting for the award happens at the end of the regular season. However, the winner won’t be announced until June 26th at the new NBA Awards Ceremonies.
For online bookies who are taking a good amount of basketball betting, that means there is still a couple of months of debate around which player has the best chance to win it.
The Favored Players
This year has been different from past years since there is no clear-cut favorite. Just last year, Stephen Curry won and became the first unanimous NBA MVP in league history. One this for sure, that won’t happen this year.
There are multiple candidates to win this year’s award led by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
Both players have had incredible seasons in leading their teams to the playoffs. In fact, it’s too bad the voting for the NBA MVP is completed, since the two players and their teams play each other in the first round of the playoffs.
Chances are the MVP will be awarded to one of those two players, or maybe both, but there are other players worthy of consideration.
The Possible Underdogs
Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs has had a breakout season and led his team to another great season. And Lebron James cannot be forgotten either.
James has been the best player on the defending NBA champions and is probably the best player in the league year in and year out.
And don’t forget about Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics. Thomas has led the Celtics to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference entering the playoffs.
But the smart bets will go to either Westbrook or Harden. But which one? As late as March 24th, BetOnline had Harden as the favorite at -175.
The thought was that although Westbrook had the stats (Hardens stats are great also), Harden has done more for his team to get them to 55 wins and the No. 3 seed in the West.
However, since March 24th, Westbrook has had a couple of monster games, broke the NBA record for triple-doubles, and averaged a triple double on the season.
BetOnline has Westbrook as the second betting favorite at +120 but many think he has gained significant ground since then.
The odds for Leonard (+600), James (+1200) and Thomas (+10000) are much larger, and although they will get some votes, chances are slim to none they will take home the trophy.
Online bookies should already have max betting limits on both Harden and Westbrook. And, they should also have their layoff accounts ready, only the bets get too high and need to be leveled out.
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Too bad we have to wait until late June to find out the answer.