Last season Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game en route to the first unanimous NBA MVP in league history. This was the second consecutive MVP Award for Curry, who had the second-best odds (+650) before the start of the season.

The table below displays the past ten MVP winners along with their odds to win the award prior to the season. (Historical odds via SportsOddsHistory.com)

YearPlayerTeamOdds
2015-16Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors+650
2014-15Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors+4000
2013-14Kevin DurantOklahoma City Thunder+300
2012-13LeBron JamesMiami Heat+160
2011-12LeBron JamesMiami Heat+250
2010-11Derrick RoseChicago Bulls+2500
2009-10LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers+275
2008-09LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers+250
2007-08Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers+500
2006-07Dirk NowitzkiDallas Mavericks+700

On Wednesday (7/6) afternoon, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power released odds for the 2016-17 NBA MVP with Stephen Curry (+250) listed as the favorite. That would be a remarkable achievement considering that only three players (Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell) have won the MVP in three consecutive seasons. The following day, 5Dimes posted MVP odds for seven players.

With Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors, Russell Westbrook is now front and center as the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Based on his past performance with Durant out of the lineup, it was always safe to assume that Westbrook would post an impressive stat line this season.

The table below displays Westbrook’s statistics with and without Kevin Durant in the lineup entering the 2016-17 season.

WestbrookGamesMPGPPGRPGAPGTOFGFGAFG%
With Durant52633.920.75.47.53.67.316.743.7
Without Durant6134.928.07.18.44.79.422.541.9

Last season Westbrook nearly averaged a triple-double with 23.5 points, 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game, and oddsmakers safely assumed that his usage rate and output would increase dramatically without Durant in the fold. That explained why Westbrook opened with the second-best odds of winning the MVP Award.

It’s also worth noting that after Westbrook signed his extension with the Thunder, his odds of winning the MVP Award improved from +410 to +340 at 5Dimes. Similarly, his odds of winning the scoring title jumped from +150 to +105. This movement caused Westbrook to leapfrog Curry as the favorite to win the MVP Award.

After four months of action, there have been several players who saw their odds jump substantially including the two front-runners: James Harden and Westbrook. Stephen Curry, who opened as the MVP favorite at Paddy Power, is currently listed as a 40/1 long shot.

In the 1961–62 season, Oscar Robertson became the first and only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists. At the time of publication, Westbrook was averaging a triple double with 31.0 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 10.3 APG. Despite those impressive stats, Harden (28.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 11.3 APG) jumped Westbrook as the MVP favorite back in mid-January.

In recent weeks, one of the more interesting storylines has been the emergence of Celtics star Isaiah Thomas. The 5’9″ guard has set the league on fire, averaging 29.6 points/game and 6.2 assists/game while leading Boston to the second-best record (38-22) in the Eastern Conference. After being listed as a 150/1 long shot on January 11, Thomas now has the third-best odds at +450.

The table below compares the latest MVP odds at 5Dimes, Bovada, and Paddy Power. We will update this table as new information becomes available.

PlayerBetOnline (2/28)BetOnline (2/14)Paddy Power (2/6)Paddy Power (1/11)Bovada (1/5)Paddy Power (12/20)Paddy Power (11/29)Paddy Power (11/9)5Dimes (10/26)5Dimes (10/11)5Dimes (8/17)5Dimes (7/7)Paddy Power (7/6)
James Harden-120-130-110-110+160+333+275+350+800+950+1550+1550+1400
Russell Westbrook+135+135+140+140+100+110+200+200+350+340+340+410+300
Isaiah Thomas+450+1600+6000+15000+10000+15000+9000+9000+8000+6000+5250+5250+5000
LeBron James+900+900+1100+800+550+450+450+800+450+450+450+525+450
Kevin Durant+1400+900+850+850+1100+650+650+650+950+900+775+825+700
Kawhi Leonard+1600+1600+1200+1200+900+750+600+600+650+1100+1550+1550+1400
Stephen Curry+4000+4000+6000+2500+2200+1400+1300+700+500+400+335+330+250
John Wall+4000+4000N/A+15000+15000+15000+10000+8000+8000+5500+4250+4250+4000
Anthony Davis+10000+10000+9000+3500+3000+2500+2200+1100+1650+1300+1250+1250+1200
DeMar DeRozanN/AN/A+15000+9000+5000+9000+3300+3300+15000+8000+7000+7000+6600
DeMarcus CousinsN/AN/A+15000+9000+15000+8000+6600+5000+4000+3250+3250+3250+3000
Damian LillardN/AN/A+17500+5000+6600+3500+2000+800+1250+3300+2600+2750+2500
Paul GeorgeN/AN/A+50000+9000N/A+5000+5000+5000+2000+2200+2150+2150+2000
Jimmy ButlerN/AN/A+50000+9000+8000+6600+6600+9000+15000+10000+10000+10000+9000
Kyle LowryN/AN/AN/A+15000+10000+15000+15000+9000+12500+8000+5250+5250+5000
Al HorfordN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+20000+25000N/AN/AN/A
Gordon HaywardN/AN/AN/A+27500N/A+27500+17500+15000+17500+20000+17500+17500+15000
Klay ThompsonN/AN/AN/A+15000N/A+15000+15000+10000+12500+12500N/AN/AN/A
Kyrie IrvingN/AN/AN/A+17500N/A+15000+9000+3000+4500+3500+3250+3250+3000
Karl Anthony TownsN/AN/AN/A+17500N/A+6600+6600+6600+2500+4500+4250+4250+4000
Draymond GreenN/AN/AN/A+17500N/A+15000+15000+10000+5000+5000+4250+4250+4000
Blake GriffinN/AN/AN/A+27500N/A+6000+3300+4000+3000+3100+2150+2150+2000
Chris PaulN/AN/AN/A+9000+5000+3500+2200+6600+4000+4000+3250+3250+3000
Marc GasolN/AN/AN/A+27500N/AN/AN/AN/A+20000+15500N/AN/AN/A
Kemba WalkerN/AN/AN/A+27500N/A+17500+9000N/A+20000+25000N/AN/AN/A
Kevin LoveN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+27500+27500+25000+20000+17500+17500+15000
Dwyane WadeN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+17500+15000+15000+10000+5250+5250+5000
Kristaps PorzingisN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+27500+27500+25000+30000+30000+30000+27500
Carmelo AnthonyN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+17500+6600+5000+4000+3250+3250+3000
Derrick RoseN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+27500+15000+20000+15000+17500+17500+15000
Bradley BealN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+27500+27500+20000+15500+12500+12500+10000
Andrew WigginsN/AN/AN/A+50000N/A+27500+17500+15000+15000+12500+12500+12500+10000
Devin BookerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+27500+17500N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Jeff TeagueN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+25000+25000N/AN/AN/A
Hassan WhitesideN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+17500+10000+10000+8500+8500+10000+9000
LaMarcus AldridgeN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+17500+9000+8000+6600+5250+5250+5000
Andre DrummondN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+27500+15000+15000+15000+12500+12500+10000
Brandon IngramN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+50000+27500+50000+30000+30000+30000+27500
Dirk NowitzkiN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+50000+27500+35000+32500+30000+30000+27500
Dwight HowardN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+50000+27500+17500+20000+20000+20000+20000+17500
Mike ConleyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+20000+25000N/AN/AN/A
Tony ParkerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+25000+15500N/AN/AN/A
Paul MillsapN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+15000+15000N/AN/AN/A
Ben SimmonsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A+35000+30000+30000+30000+27500
Giannis AntetokounmpoN/AN/A+9000+4500+8000+5000+5000+4000+5000+5000+3500+3500+3300

The section below was originally published on July 7, 2016.

The most interesting takeaway is that six of the top seven MVP candidates reside in the Western Conference. Personally, I think that the Warriors will easily win the Western Conference but Curry and Durant will split the votes. For that reason, there could be some value on LeBron James.

The Westgate Superbook lists the Cleveland Cavaliers as -400 favorites to win the Eastern Conference, and the MVP Award has typically been awarded to the best player for the top-seeded playoff team. Considering that LeBron finally brought a championship to Cleveland yet most of the off-season discussion has centered on Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Warriors, I believe King James will be extra motivated this season.

Last year LeBron was +250 to win the MVP before the start of the season, which makes those +525 odds look mighty tasty. Eight of the past ten award winners opened the season listed at +700 or lower, which also bodes well for the Finals MVP.

Every member of the Warriors should see their numbers dip slightly with the addition of Durant, whereas the Cavaliers will return essentially the same core minus Matthew Dellavedova. Quite frankly, I think Kevin Durant aided James’ quest to win his fifth NBA Most Valuable Player award.

If you’re looking for longer odds and a greater potential payout, Damian Lillard is an intriguing option at +2750. Last season the Weber State product averaged 25.1 points and 6.8 assists per game while helping the Blazers defy expectations with 44 regular season wins and a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference. Assuming he continues to improve and Portland takes another step forward, Lillard could be a viable MVP candidate.

 

Source: SportsInsights