NBA MVP Candidates & Odds

NBA MVP Candidates & Odds

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NBA MVP Candidates & Odds

The new NBA season starts tonight with a standout double-header on opening night, starting with the Boston Celtics facing the Philadelphia 76ers before the reigning champion Golden State Warriors host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It’s been another off-season filled with high-profile moves, most notably LeBron James going to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, while Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors.

As ever, one of the most intriguing aspects of the season will be the race for the MVP and below, we have picked out the top five candidates to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2018/19.

Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers – 4/1 with William Hill – BET HERE

Unsurprisingly, LeBron James is the favourite to win the MVP this year following his move to the Los Angeles Lakers. James moved to the Lakers on a four-year deal in the summer, having ended his second spell with the Cleveland Cavaliers after going to the Finals four straight years. This will be the first time LeBron has played in the Western Conference, which remains the dominant conference in the NBA at this moment in time. Much of the MVP voting comes down to narrative, which certainly plays into LeBron’s hands, with it likely that he will be the only All-Star on his team this year. Still the best player in the league, James will be expected to carry the Lakers back into the Playoffs for the first time since 2012, though they are lacking the second star to compete for a title.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks – 9/2 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Like LeBron, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the standout star on his team, with the Greek Freak being tipped by many to have a season that propels him to one of the top-five players in the NBA. In 2017/18, he averaged career-high stats in points, rebounds and field goal percentage, with only James Harden, Anthony Davis and LeBron being the only players to outmatch his 26.9 points per game. Standing at 6’11 and able to get to the rim at will with his athletic abilities, the Greek Freak is just a consistent jump shot away from being potentially the most unguardable player in the league. Now playing under Mike Budenholzer, the Bucks should be a better team, which will only help Giannis’ cause.

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans – 5/1 with Unibet – BET HERE

After recently signing with Klutch Sports, many believe this could be Anthony Davis’ last year in New Orleans before going to join LeBron in Los Angeles. If that is to be the case, Davis will certainly want to go out with a bang and an MVP run. No longer is the Brow considered to be an injury prone player, having played in 150 of 162 games over the last two seasons for the Pelicans. Last year, he averaged 28.1 points per game, to go with 11.1 rebounds per game, while his averages improved to 30.1 points and 13.4 rebounds in the Playoffs. Davis is arguably the best big man in the league and is the undisputed first option on his team, which is a common theme between the top three contenders.

James Harden, Houston Rockets – 6/1 with Betway – BET HERE

Last year’s MVP was again sensational in the regular season, scoring 30.4 points per game to win the NBA scoring title. James Harden got even better alongside Chris Paul in an outstanding backcourt which saw the Rockets come from within one game of reaching the NBA Finals. Harden and Paul compliment each other tremendously well, sharing on-ball duties which helped the Beard come Playoff time. He will be hoping to become the 14th player of all-time to win multiple MVPs, though there is a feeling that there may be voters fatigue, with Harden reaching the top three in each of the last three seasons. It will also be difficult for the Rockets to match last season’s achievements, where they finished with a 65-17 record but have since lost wing defenders Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, with Carmelo Anthony and James Ennis since replacing them.

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors – 10/1 with Unibet – BET HERE

After a breakdown in relationship between he and the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard will have a fresh start this season after securing a trade to the Toronto Raptors. Leonard, along with Danny Green, was sent to the Six for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl in a blockbuster trade that has well and truly shaken up the NBA landscape, especially in the Eastern Conference. With LeBron now gone to the west, Leonard is now arguably the best player in the Eastern Conference, with others in the conversation including Giannis, Kyrie Irving and Joel Embiid. When last seen healthy, Leonard scored 25.5 points per game in the 2016/17 campaign, whilst also hitting 45% of his three-pointers during the 2017 Playoffs before being injured in the Western Conference Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. If things go well, 10/1 certainly looks good value for Leonard to win the MVP.

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