The season may only be a couple of games old, but that might be enough for bettors to start making knee-jerk reactions when deciding on which futures bet to make. Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls did not look great, while Kevin Durant dropped 42 in Oklahoma City’s debut. Clay Thomson and the Golden State Warriors also looked like world beaters, while things in Los Angeles—for both the Lakers and Clippers—are cause for concern. Let’s take a look at the early MVP lines and figure out which players have the most value to wager on.
LeBron James: +125: Was there every a time when LeBron James wasn't the favorite to win everything? If there was, I don't remember it. Early in his MVP run LeBron benefited from reporters wanting to crown him as the would-be “King” and start his ascent toward history. However, five seasons and four MVP later, he might suffer opposite “Michael Jordan” effect where the media is tired of voting for him.
Kevin Durant: +350: The longer that Russell Westbrook stays off the court the better the for Durant’s MVP campaign. KD opened the season with 42 points in a close win over the Utah Jazz. Durant is not a selfish player by nature, but if he can average 30 points and lead the Thunder to 58 or so wins, then the MVP award might be coming his way.
Derrick Rose: +600: Rose still has a lot of rust to work out of his game during the beginning of the season. Chicago will be a very good team come playoff time, but will probably struggle during the beginning of the season. Another MVP for Rose, this season at least, does not seem likely.
Chris Paul: +1000: Everyone in the NBA world seems to be panicking about the Clippers. However, the team is still making the transition from run-and-gun Lob City basketball to Doc River’s defense first style of play. The Clippers will be very good this season and Chris Paul has decent value at +1000.
Kobe Bryant: +2800: The fact that this wager is even on the board is laughable and the funniest wager since the Jacksonville Jaguars were 25-point underdogs a few weeks ago. This is nothing against Kobe, but his return is still very much in the air and could be delayed until January. And even if he does return, the “Black Mamba” would still be playing along side a rag-tag group of players that struggled to make last year’s playoffs in the eighth spot.
Dwight Howard: +2800: Howard grabbed 26 rebounds in his debut and has serious value at +2800. If the big man can average 25 points 14 rebounds and a couple of blocks a game and lead Rockets to 57 or 58 win season, then why shouldn’t he get the award? Of course the presence of James Harden might get in his way, but there is MVP value on Howard.