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Odds on NBA MVP (yes, LeBron leads), Rookie of Year

Oct 17, 2012, 2:23 PM EDT

James of the U.S. hugs teammate Durant after their game against Lithuania at their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games Reuters

If you don’t have LeBron James, Kevin Durant on top of your “most likely to win the MVP” list you’re doing it wrong.

Professional odds makers don’t do it wrong. So when the guys at offshore book Bovada put together a list, you know who is at the top. But the real value is farther down the list. Here is their top 15.

LeBron James (MIA) 9/5
Kevin Durant (OKC) 15/4
Kobe Bryant (LAL) 12/1
Russell Westbrook (OKC) 16/1
Dwight Howard (LAL) 16/1
Steve Nash (LAL) 16/1
Chris Paul (LAC) 20/1
Kevin Love (MIN) 20/1
Dwyane Wade (MIA) 22/1
Deron Williams (BK) 25/1
Blake Griffin (LAC) 25/1
Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 25/1
Tony Parker (SAN) 25/1
Rajon Rondo (BOS) 28/1
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 30/1

Personally, I think this is going to be Durant’s year, and at nearly 4-1 the return isn’t bad. But if you’re looking for more value I think Chris Paul is going to have a monster season — it’s the last year of his contract, but more than that there is a real chip on the shoulder of the Clippers to show they shouldn’t be overlooked in Los Angeles. The problem for Paul is his gifts — the ability to control the tempo of a game, to be a floor general — can get lost on voters just looking at stats.

If you were going to bet on Derrick Rose in a year he is not going to play until around the All-Star Break at best coming off an ACL injury, do us all a favor and donate that money to the charity of your choice. At least there it will do some good.

Next up, here are Bovada’s odds o win Rookie of the Year:

Anthony Davis (NO) 19/10
Damian Lillard (POR) 11/2
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA) 9/1
Thomas Robinson (SAC) 19/2
Bradley Beal (WAS) 10/1
Harrison Barnes (GSW) 12/1
Jonas Valanciunas (TOR) 12/1
Dion Waiters (CLE) 15/1
Jeremy Lamb (HOU) 20/1
John Henson (MIL) 25/1
Kendall Marshall (PHO) 25/1
Marquis Teague (CHI) 25/1
John Jenkins (ATL) 25/1
Royce White (HOU) 25/1
Andre Drummond (DET) 30/1

I’ve said before I am picking Lillard to win this and if he does he will pay betters pretty well. But I also like Harrison Barnes’ chances and I think Andre Drummond, who has looked good in the preseason, is a great long shot bet.

Not that we recommend you bet. This is all just in good fun. For discussion. Unless you live in Las Vegas then do what you want.

  1. michaeljordanseviltwin - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I’ll take Andre Drummond at 30-1. He blocked 4 shots, scored 9 points in 17 minutes last night and the team was +24 with him on the court. All he does is impact the game. So far anyway.

  2. bougin89 - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Who would honestly put money on John Henson? I hope I’m wrong but geez…

  3. zerole00 - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    If the voters are mainly concerned about stats, I’d be willing to put some money on Kidd-Gilchrist. I mean, on a team like the Bobcats who else is going to light up the scoreboard? They’ll still lose, but he’ll have good stats.

  4. cantonbound13 - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    We all know LeBron is your MVP Kurt. Why don’t you just ask him out already?

    • mytthor - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:18 AM

      Good call, except for the fact that he said Durant would win. Nice touch with a little homophobia though, that’s always hard to find in internet comments.

      • eventhorizon04 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:37 AM

        He’s a miserable Knicks fan who posts about LeBron in almost every article, yet he claims Kurt is obsessed with LeBron.

        It’s frankly sad.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:36 AM

      Man, I couldn’t imagine being so miserable that I comment on almost every article without reading it.

      “Personally, I think this is going to be Durant’s year, and at nearly 4-1 the return isn’t bad. But if you’re looking for more value I think Chris Paul is going to have a monster season.”

      He picked Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

      It’s fine that you’re so miserable LeBron didn’t choose the Knicks, but at least read the articles before trolling.

      • cantonbound13 - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:52 AM

        Speaking of being miserable, how’s your wife?

  5. tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Where’s Andrew Bynum? I’m not picking him to win or anything, but we all know this will essentially come down to Lebron and Kevin Durant. The only shot is that someone breaks out and has a huge season. We all know what the Chris Paul’s and Deron Williams’ and Dirk’s of the world can do. The guys you should expect to jump from great to MVP are guys like Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and Andrew Bynum. Griffin is the hype of the NBA, but an improved jump shot and a higher seed for the Clippers could have him at the top of MVP voting. Kevin Love has put up MVp numbers for the past 2 years, but has played on a bad team. If the T-Wolves can make the jump from bottom feeder to playoff bound he could find himself at the top of the MVP voting. Finally, Andrew Bynum is the perfect dark horse candidate. He scored over 18ppg as the third option in LA. Now that he the offense runs through him in Philly you can expect a jump in his points and assists. As defenses collapse on him he will be expected to pass it out to the plethora of shooters that Philly now has or go up with it and get the foul. He’s also moving to the weaker league with the weaker big men. If he can stay healthy, he can easily put up MVP numbers and lead Philly to a top 4 seed in the East. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but he should at least be on the list.

  6. Legacy112 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Lebron is the best player in the world. He’s gonna be the MVP. Unless he breaks his leg, gets hit by a bus or is kidnapped. How bout you get the odds of that happening…

  7. eventhorizon04 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    I’d bet money on Kevin Durant for a variety of reasons.

    Reportedly, he’s bulked up (a bit) and will probably be the “hungriest” of the top players in the NBA after coming so close to winning a championship last year.
    He was runner-up for the MVP last year (so he has a good amount of support among the voters) and as a young player, his arrow is pointing up, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he improved even more.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:58 AM

      MVP tends to go to the best player on teams in the #1 or #2 seeds in their conference. So for Durant’s competition:

      LeBron James (MIA) 9/5 – A poor bet. Nothing against LeBron, but the Heat reportedly are going to try to be more balanced and will try to limit LeBron’s minutes more during the regular season. His per-36 minutes numbers may be better, but his overall numbers will probably go down, so that hurts his MVP stock. Plus, voters often get “tired” of voting for the same guy over and over – LeBron’s won it 3 times already, so some might want to give it to another guy to change things up. Miami would have to win 65+ games and LeBron would need monster stats to win again.

      Kobe Bryant (LAL) 12/1, Dwight Howard (LAL) 16/1, Steve Nash (LAL) 16/1 – Kobe probably deserves at least 1 more MVP before he retires, but when the Boston Big 3 teamed up, their individual numbers fell. Same for Miami (though LeBron’s didn’t fall too much). Bryant, Howard, and Gasol will all want their touches on offense, so I can’t imagine any of them putting up huge stats, and I find it extremely unlikely that voters would give Nash another MVP when he’s on the same team as Kobe. I think if Kobe is the highest scorer, and Lakers finish with the #1 seed in the West, voters will give it to Kobe. Just as LeBron’s “summer decision” cost him a chance at MVP in his first season with Miami, Dwight’s “summer indecision” eliminates him as an MVP candidate (at least with his first year as a Laker) for political reasons.

      Chris Paul (LAC) 20/1 – good sleeper pick. Only happens if Clippers finish top 3 in the West.

      Kevin Love (MIN) 20/1 – put up monster stats last year, but the failure to win games hurt his MVP chances. Not fair, but that’s how voters think.

      Dwyane Wade (MIA) 22/1 – only happens if LeBron takes a backseat in the regular season, but like LeBron, Wade’s minutes will be limited as well, so I don’t see either Heat star winning it this year, unless Miami wins a huge number of games, in which case Wade gets it if he posts the best numbers.

      Deron Williams (BK) 25/1 – If Brooklyn finishes with a top 3 in the East (a dramatic turn around), with Williams putting up big stats, this is doable. Nets could be very good or could underachieve.

      Russell Westbrook (OKC) 16/1, Blake Griffin (LAC) 25/1 – These guys are “Robins” to “Batmans” on their team, so it’s EXTREMELY unlikely either wins an MVP.

      Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 25/1 – If Carmelo becomes a better facilitator and a consistent defender, and the Knicks finish with a top 3 seed in the East, this is possible, but I’ll need to see it to believe it. He’s lost the title of “Best Pure Scorer” to Durant, so he has to be more versatile to get more votes than Durant.

      Tony Parker (SAN) 25/1 – Underrated PG at this point in my opinion, but he has a shot if the Spurs finish with the top seed in the West and if his numbers are high enough.

      • southbeachtalent - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        Agreed, no way Wade gets MVP.

  8. soopreme - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    In reading all of the post I’ve come to the conclusion that the likely MVP for this year is Lebon James but the best bet is Dwight Howard if he is healthy.
    If Dwight Howard plays to his DPOY level and averages 20ppg 14+rpg with and the lakers have the best record, he will be the mvp.

  9. manchestermiracle - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM


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