Oddsmakers have LeBron James, not Stephen Curry, as NBA MVP favorite

Will LeBron win the MVP this season? Don't bet on it.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s MVP award is a bit tricky to predict, in that it doesn’t simply get handed to the person who everyone agrees is the league’s best player. If that were the case, LeBron James would have about eight of them by now, and there wouldn’t be any point to collecting the votes.

But that isn’t how it works. The MVP almost always goes to the best player on one of the league’s best teams. That was arguably the case when Derrick Rose won his MVP over James, and that’s one of the reasons Stephen Curry got the honor over James Harden after the Warriors turned in a 67-win regular season.

With all of that in mind, it’s a bit interesting that LeBron would be favored by oddsmakers to grab the award this season. The online sports book Bovada has him at 2.75-1, followed by Anthony Davis at 4-1, Kevin Durant at 5.5-1, Curry at 6-1, and Harden at 7-1.

The Cavaliers are expected to be healthier this season, but there’s no word on when Kyrie Irving will return, and Iman Shumpert will miss the first three months of the season. LeBron may save himself for the postseason more than usual, too, which could also factor into just how many wins Cleveland is able gather.

This really comes down to whether you believe the Cavaliers will finish with one of the top two records in the league, because again, that’s almost always how the winner of the award is determined. Even setting aside the fact that these types of wagers are foolish due to injury concerns and other factors, betting on LeBron at these relatively low odds wouldn’t seem to be a very smart decision.

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