That was quick.
Three days after the NBA season ended with a purple and gold finale, PointsBet Sportsbook already has odds out for next year's Most Valuable Player. Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is the odds-on favorite at +350, followed closely by Luka Doncic at +450.
"The MVP has to be great player on a good team," PointsBet senior sports analyst Andrew Mannino told NBC Sports. "We expect Giannis to have another great season, but we also think his reputation may have taken a hit after successive failures in the playoffs. He's still the favorite, but it's not quite as prohibitive as years past."
I'm incredibly excited to see what Luka has in store for the league in his 22-year-old season. He's such a likable player that's capable of making a highlight play every time he's got the ball.
"The storyline is there for Luka to succeed," Mannino added. "He scores so much, he's a great playermaker, he makes threes. Just an exciting player to watch. And he's on a team that we except to take a step forward. All those factors are going to work in his favor."
I would advise against wagers on Kawhi and King James. What more do they have to prove in the regular season? Kawhi loves to take games off for "load management" and LeBron just went through a three-month gauntlet in the bubble. His body doesn't need to be playing big regular season minutes with such a short turnaround.
"It's hard to say the regular season doesn't matter to those two, but their fundamental goal is to lift the trophy at the end of the season," Mannino analyzed. "If that means taking games off or going a little mellower, then that's what we'll see."
Mannino's new favorite player Kevin Durant checks in at +1200. Durant won the award in 2014.
"We expect Brooklyn to make some noise in the East," Mannino said while likely wearing a Nets jersey. "That would put Durant in a great position to succeed with the MVP voters. But he's got a lot of a competition in that top echelon."
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