What do Sportsbooks Think About the MVP Race?
Posted by: Charlie Smith
As the 2016 online NBA betting season rolls on, one of the most entertaining predictions sportsbook fans can make involves the future MVP. Mostly because of how wide of a variance these predictions can have throughout the season. For example, in the NFL many fans thought that Cam Newton would be in contention for this year’s MVP award. But two games away from the end of the season, Newton couldn’t be further from the MVP discussion. In the NBA, the MVP rankings can vary wildly from one week to another. If you’re and NBA fan who loves defense, you might have a hard time accepting the current leader.
1.James Harden – Houston Rockets
In the past Harden has been ripped for his defense, or lack thereof, but as of late Harden has been making plays on both sides of the court. In the past four games – two of which were triple doubles, Harden has averaged 27.0 points, 12.8 assists, 9.8 rebounds, and even 1 steal per game. Thanks to his efforts the Rockets have won 10 straight and are sitting comfortably on a 3rd place ranking in the Western Conference. Not many basketball betting sites would have predicted this at the start of the season, but Harden is the undisputed leader in the MVP race.
2.Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
Although most sportsbooks have had Westbrook as the undeniable online NBA betting MVP favorite for several weeks running now, this week Westbrook’s No. 1 ranking has been usurped. In the past four games the Thunder have gone 2-2 and Westbrook has only recorded 1 triple-double, which Westbrook is more than tired of hearing about. The previous leader of the MVP race struggled this past Wednesday in the Thunder’s loss to the Jazz, shooting 7-25 from the field. However, Westbrook was able to bounce back Saturday in their win against the Suns racking up 26, points, 22 assists, and 11 rebounds in just 34 minutes, earning his 50th triple-double of his career and his 13th of the season.
3.Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors
Behind Durant’s 24.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.25 block averages, the Warriors have delivered another perfect week going undefeated in their last 4 contests. Durant’s numbers may not rival those of his 2013-14 MVP season, but his 25.8 points per game, 1.6 blocks per game, 11 double-doubles, and true shooting percentage of 65.3% on the season still leads a superstar-packed team that are online NBA betting favorites to win it all.
4.LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
James certainly took some heat for sitting out in the Cavs’ Wednesday night game against the Grizzlies. But the King made sure to silence any critics by turning in two stand-out performances in the other two contests he did compete in, averaging 24.5 points, 8.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals.
5.Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs
With Duncan’s departure the Spurs needed someone to step up and Leonard has been doing just that in his 6th NBA season. In San Antonio’s back to back wins over the Celtics and Suns, Leonard averaged 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. The Spurs may not have started the season as sportsbook favorites to win the title, but thanks to Leonard their odds keep getting better each week.