LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire Among NBA MVP Vegas Odds Favorites

Sportsbooks have LeBron James favorite to be King
Sportsbooks have LeBron James favorite to be KingJim Rogash/Getty Images
Joe DuffyAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2011

With the All-Star weekend approaching and many of the NBA’s biggest stars gathering in one place, now’s as good a time as any to explore NBA futures for the league MVP. Here’s a look at the top 10 favorites plus a free pick for the winner from this sports betting blog.

LeBron James

Sportsbook odds: +200

LeBron James has arguably been the NBA’s best player since the start of 2011. He’s found his groove with the Heat, largely because Dwyane Wade has settled into a secondary scoring role. There’s a slight concern that Wade could steal votes but LeBron is a fair front-runner for the award.

VERDICT: Contender

Amar’e Stoudemire

Sportsbook odds: +200

Two months ago, Amar’e may have been the clear-cut favorite to capture MVP honors. But the Knicks have struggled ever since the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors surfaced. With New York no longer guaranteed to make the playoffs, can we take Stoudemire seriously in the MVP race?

VERDICT: Pretender

Derrick Rose

Sportsbook odds: +220

He still doesn’t have the cache of the other guys surrounding him on this list, but Derrick Rose has been as good and consistent as any player in the league this year. He especially deserves mention because he helped keep the Bulls’ ship afloat despite injuries to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah at different points. He’s as strong a pick for the award as anyone right now.

VERDICT: Contender

Kevin Durant

Sportsbook odds: +400

It’s surprising that Kevin Durant doesn’t get more love in the MVP debate. He’s poised to win his second straight league scoring title on a steadily improving team poised to win its first division title since drafting him. Will the voters finally wake up and hand him the hardware? Quite possibly.

VERDICT: Contender

Dirk Nowitzki

Sportsbook odds: +500

If you believe in the theory that the MVP should truly be the guy who impacts his team the most, Dirk Nowitzki is an intriguing play. He plays for the Mavericks, they dominate. He hurts his knee, they go on a big losing streak. He gets healthy again, the Mavs get hot again. As Dirk goes, so do the Dallas Mavericks.

VERDICT: Sleeper

Chris Paul

Sportsbook odds: +500

This looks like fool’s good to me. Paul is high on most NBA betting oddsmakers’ lists because he’s a “name.” But he’s on pace for four-year lows in scoring, shooting percentage and assists. How does that amount to an MVP award?

VERDICT: Pretender

Dwight Howard

Sportsbook odds: +600

Howard makes for an excellent pick for two reasons. For one, he’s extremely valuable to his own team the same way Nowitzki is. Face it—the Magic would barely be a playoff team without him. Secondly, he brings more defensive prowess to the table than anyone else on this list. He’s someone you can’t forget about.

VERDICT: Contender


Kobe Bryant

Sportsbook odds: +1200

As much as everyone rags on the Lakers for “struggling,” this team is still running away with its own division and Kobe Bryant is still among the league’s elite scorers. One hot month could vault him back into the MVP race.

VERDICT: Sleeper

Dwyane Wade

Sportsbook odds: +1500

Barring an injury to LeBron that forces him back into the limelight, Wade has no shot at the MVP this year. He isn’t even the best player on his own team.

VERDICT: Pretender

Blake Griffin

Sportsbook odds: +2000

The super-rookie Blake Griffin has absolutely been one of the most dynamic and valuable players to his team this year. However, I suspect the voters will honor him with the Rookie of the Year and not feel the need to give him an MVP award on top of that. Plus, the Clippers would have to make the playoffs for Griffin to even warrant consideration.

VERDICT: Pretender

NBA MVP free pick

I’m gonna place some faith that the voters get it “right” this year and go with Dwight Howard. He’s been as consistent as any superstar in the league this year and he significantly impacts his team at both ends of the court every night.

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