After guiding the Milwaukee Bucks to the top of the NBA standings this season, forward Giannis Antetokounmpo now sits as a heavy favorite to be named this season’s NBA Most Valuable Player, sporting short -500 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Antetokounmpo enjoyed a career year in 2018/19, finishing third in scoring with 27.7 points while also averaging 12.5 rebounds per game. The 24-year-old has been key to the Bucks’ best season in 38 years, and has also led the team to their first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2001, ending a stretch of eight straight first-round playoff exits.
Antetokounmpo is closely followed on the NBA MVP odds by James Harden, who sits at +225, while Paul George lags at a distant +5000.
Winner of last season’s NBA MVP Award, Harden once again led the league in scoring, piling up 36.1 points per game to go along with 7.5 assists per game while leading the Houston Rockets to a 53-29 record. George finished second to Harden with 28.0 points per game despite battling injuries to both his shoulders that required surgery following the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round playoff exit earlier this month.
With 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, George has also earned a spot among the finalists in the running for NBA Defensive Player of the Year as a +900 longshot. The 29-year-old trails Antetokounmpo, who sports +300 odds, well back of Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert, who leads the way as a strong -400 favorite at online sports betting sites.
Gobert led all players with 2.6 blocks per game while finishing the regular season with a fourth-ranked 12.9 rebounds per game, and has now averaged over 10 rebounds per game in each of the past four seasons.
Luka Doncic lived up to expectations after going third overall in last year’s NBA Draft. Doncic averaged 21.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, and is now perched as a massive -900 favorite on the NBA Rookie of the Year odds.
Trae Young, the player that the Mavericks dealt to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Doncic at last year’s draft, sits second with +300 odds, while last year’s top pick Deandre Ayton trails at a distant +10000.
Toronto Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam is set as a heavy -1600 favorite to earn Most Improved Player honors. Bucks bench boss Mike Budenholzer sports -400 odds of being named NBA Coach of the Year, while Philadelphia 76ers veteran Lou Williams is a heavy -800 favorite to be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
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