LeBron James, Stephen Curry edge Giannis Antetokounmpo as favorites to win All-Star Game MVP award
Giannis Antetokounmpo has the Milwaukee Bucks sitting at the top of the league-wide standings, is a borderline favorite for MVP, and captain of his own hand-picked team opposite Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James in Sunday’s All-Star game. Needless to say, the 23 year old’s massive fingerprints all over the NBA world this season.
Still, despite Antetokounmpo’s otherworldly blend of athleticism, length, strength, and skill, he’s not quite the favorite to win MVP in this weekend’s main event. Who stands in front of him? James and Golden State Warriors franchise player Stephen Curry, of course, according to online sportsbook BetOnline.ag.
Antetokounmpo’s odds for All-Star MVP come in at +600, tied with Warriors superstar and two-time reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant. James and Curry, meanwhile, have +500 odds, a good bet considering both their flair for the moment and standing among other All-Stars as arguably the two best players on earth.
It’s Russell Westbrook’s, though, whose odds probably warrant the most prudent wager. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar is at +1200 to win All-Star MVP, behind each of the players mentioned above in addition to Anthony Davis, who may not play on Sunday after tweaking his shoulder in the New Orleans Pelicans’ victory over the Thunder, the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker, Houston Rockets’ James Harden, Oklahoma City teammate Paul George, and the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving.
Westbrook won the award back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, almost approaching the All-Star game like it was a marquee regular-season matchup. Will he again play with the fire and intensity normally absent over All-Star weekend? Maybe not. But Westbrook, after all, is always looking to prove a point and has extra incentive to standout among his star peers given the sense that George has usurped him as the Thunder’s best player.