Analyzing The Updated 2017 NBA MVP Betting Predictions (April 20th)
NBA MVP OddsRussell Westbrook 1/5 James Harden 3/1 Kawhi Leonard 33/1 LeBron James 50/1
With the regular season winding down, James Harden gained a ton of momentum in the MVP chase a was actually a -150 favorite to win it, but that all changed on March 29 when Westbrook put up a jaw-dropping 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to lead Oklahoma City to a thrilling 114-106 overtime win over the Orlando Magic.
Westbrook’s performance marked the most points ever scored in a triple-double, but what it really did was serve as a wake-up call to basketball experts and casual fans alike just how complete of a basketball player Westbrook really was. Of course, when Oscar Robertson began offering his public support for Westbrook, it only increased Westbrook’s legitimacy as this season’s league MVP.
Shortly thereafter, Westbrook surged ahead as the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award, although many hoops expert still preferred Harden because of his ability to incorporate his Rockets teammates into Houston’s offense this season. If you didn’t know before, you should know that Harden also made some impressive history this season by becoming the first player in league history to record 2,000 points, 900 assists and 600 rebounds in a single season.
While Westbrook finished the regular season by averaging a stunning 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, Harden finished with an average of 29.1 points, a league-leading 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds. For me, while Russell Westbrook is likely the sure-fire winner of this year’s MVP award, I believe James Harden has had the bigger impact on his team’s success this season.
Also, keep in mind that no MVP winner in the last 30 years has come from a team lower than a No. 3 seed in the playoffs and all of them except two (Michael Jordan in 1988 and Karl Malone on 1999) were on No. 1 or 2 seeded teams.
If you think James Harden still has a shot to win this season’s MVP award (it’s not totally out of the question) he’s offering a great return as a 3/1 pick. However, I believe the ‘smart’ money is on Westbrook to bag the MVP hardware because hey, everyone knows that no one has been able to average a triple-double for an entire season in over six decades while not many know much about James Harden’s own historic feat.