In a season filled with the utmost talent and mind-blowing performances like 2016-17 has been, the MVP race has been much closer than last year, when Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry became the first player in history to win the award unanimously.
Las Vegas (through experts at Bovada and OddsShark) is picking Oklahoma City Thunder all-around guard Russell Westbrook over Houston Rockets ‘point guard’ James Harden to win the award, despite the latter’s magical season.
Westbrook is having an out-of-this-world type of season, averaging a triple-double through 44 games for the first time since Oscar Robertson did so for the Cincinnati Royals in the 1961-62 season. But perhaps what is making the Long Beach native’s season more impressive than the Big O is that he’s doing so in less minutes and with much more rules and restrictions that impede him amassing stats the way he has.
Harden’s season is undoubtedly the best in his career, second in scoring with 28.9 points per game and first in assists by a wide margin with 11.6 per contest — all while leading his Rockets (33-12) to third place behind the San Antonio Spurs.
The problem lies now more than ever, the media won’t let a season like the one Westbrook is having get away without being properly awarded for its merit. The UCLA standout is averaging 30.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists along with 1.5 steals to boot.
If you’re a betting man, you’d be smart to place your bet before the money is not worth it any longer. But if you’re feeling adventurous, here are the most recent MVP race odds, according to Bovada.
- Russell Westbrook (OKC) EVEN
- James Harden (HOU) +160
- LeBron James (CLE) +550
- Kawhi Leonard (SAN) +900
- Kevin Durant (GSW) +1100
- Stephen Curry (GSW) +2200
- Anthony Davis (NO) +3000
- Chris Paul (LAC) +5000
- DeMar DeRozan (TOR) +5000
- Damian Lillard (POR) +6600