Updated Odds: NBA MVP, Sixth Man and Rookie of the Year

With the regular season in the books, the votes are being sent in for the end of the year awards. The MVP race has been getting all the publicity and for good reason, this year we have seen some of the best individual seasons we’ve seen in years. In other years Isaiah Thomas would be a favorite, but the competition has been so tight this year that he could finish fifth. LeBron James is still the best player in the universe, but he will probably finish fourth. That’s how good this season in.

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Russell Westbrook set a record for the most triple doubles in a season while James Harden had the more efficient year and led the league in double doubles. Kawhi Leonard might be the best defensive player around and made big leaps forward this year that made him one of the best two-way players. I could see any of these three winning this year and no one blinking an eye, but it feels like a two-person race as these odds from 5Dimes reflect:

NBA Regular Season – Most Valuable Player
Russell Westbrook wins regular season MVP -515
Field wins NBA regular season MVP +345
James Harden wins regular season MVP +350
Field wins NBA regular season MVP -530
Westbrook/Harden wins regular season MVP -7850
Field wins NBA regular season MVP +2550

I would say Kawhi Leonard has maybe a 1-in-5 chance of winning this thing. If Harden and Westbrook split votes at the top it could matter more who gets the most second place votes. That +2550 field bet would look pretty nice if Leonard was able to do it.

ESPN recently polled 28 of their writers for their MVP votes. These were the results:

Westbrook 18
Harden 5
Leonard 4
Curry 1

It certainly looks like Westbrook is going to be the winner, but there are a lot of voters outside of the ESPN bubble that could swing this. I doubt it, but there is a chance.


The Rookie of the Year race seems to favor Dario Saric, but I don’t love his case. He put up big numbers with bad stats on a terrible team. On any other team he wouldn’t have done that. Teammate Joel Embiid was the best rookie by far, but he only played in 32 games. Malcolm Brogdon probably had the best season, but he’s not flashy and his stats don’t jump out at you like Saric’s. The betting odds at 5Dimes on this one see Saric as the option.

NBA Regular Season – Rookie of the Year
Dario Saric wins Rookie of the Year -125
Field wins Rookie of the Year -115

I would definitely go with the field on this one. The same ESPN poll (this time of 29 writers) that I referenced above showed voting that looked like this:

Embiid 16
Brogdon 9
Saric 4

Saric is the favorite in the betting, but it really doesn’t look like the voting will go that way. Some writers seem dead set on giving this award to Embiid despite his not playing. That will take votes away from Saric more than Brogdon and I could see him finishing third in this one.


Our last award with betting odds is the Sixth Man Award. This seems like a two-man race between Eric Gordon of the Rockets and Andre Iguodala of the Warriors. The elder statesman feels like the favorite, but there is real movement towards Gordon. The odds see this as mostly a toss-up.

NBA Regular Season – Sixth Man Award
25851 Eric Gordon wins Sixth Man Award +140
25852 Field wins Sixth Man Award -180

The ESPN voting sees the following:

Iguodala 14
Gordon 13
Marcus Smart 1
Lou Williams 1

This one will be close, but there is real value in betting on Gordon to win this one.

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