NBA MVP Race Dishes Up Excitement at Online Sportsbooks

Posted on: March 9, 2017, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: March 9, 2017, 09:36h.

The NBA MVP race is closer than ever, as numerous players are putting up big numbers. Sportswriters and broadcasters who determine the outcome will have a difficult decision to make come June, and that’s good for online sportsbooks taking bets on the winner.

NBA MVP sportsbook odds Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is posting historic numbers, but the Oklahoma City Thunder guard isn’t the favorite in the NBA MVP race. (Image: Matt York/Associated Press)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is averaging astonishing figures. The colorful superstar scores 32 points per game, grabs nearly 11 rebounds, and dishes over 10 assists. Averaging a triple-double is practically unheard of in the NBA, as the only payer to finish a regular season doing so was Oscar Robertson back in 1962.

On paper, it would seem as if Westbrook is a no-brainer for the league’s top award. Doing something no player has done in 55 years would certainly warrant the MVP trophy, but alas, the Thunder point guard isn’t the favorite at the online sportsbooks.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden is the top dog at online book Bovada. The league leader in assists also scores the third most points (29.1) and snags nearly eight rebounds a game.

Bovada puts Harden at -110 to win the NBA MVP, with Westbrook next at +110. San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is third (+400), followed by Cleveland’s LeBron James (+750) and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas a distant fifth at +5000.

At Paddy Power, Harden is the heavy choice at 10-11. Westbrook comes with 6-5 odds, Leonard 7-1, and James 9-1. Thomas and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, who’s won the previous two MVPs, are at 40-1.

Must Win to Win MVP

There’s no denying that Westbrook is throwing up the best statistics. The problem is that his team isn’t winning enough.

The Thunder are 35-29, and currently sit in seventh in the Western Conference. Harden’s Rockets are 44-21 and are the third seed as of today.

While the Thunder will likely make the playoffs, few believe the team has the talent to make a deep run. Bovada has Oklahoma City at +10000 to win the NBA Finals.

Cuban No Westbrook Fan

Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the CNBC show “Shark Tank,” is as loved and hated in the NBA as Westbrook. But when it comes to one another, the two have never found much respect.

Last weekend, Cuban opined that the NBA MVP race was between Harden and James, and Westbrook had no chance of being crowned the game’s most valuable player.

Cuban says a team has to win 50 games for a player to realistically have a chance at the MVP. “The criteria hasn’t changed,” Cuban told ESPN.

In April of 2016, Kevin Durant, Westbrook’s former teammate who fled town for Golden State and currently sits at 90-1 to win the MVP, called Cuban an idiot last year. Durant’s comments came after the billionaire said Durant was the only superstar on the Thunder roster, and that Westbrook is “merely an all-star.”