With the Golden State Warriors’ domination over the last two years, the NBA has become a league of 29-versus-1. Individually, much the same has taken place with the Warriors’ Steph Curry playing head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league for two straight years.
Heading into 2016-17, Curry will be looking to win his third straight MVP trophy. You might expect him to be alone at the top of the odds, but there’s always the 6’8″ shadow of LeBron James hovering around the MVP conversation.
Who’s the early favorite and where should you put your faith? Let’s take a look at the current odds and assess the situation:
2016-17 NBA MVP Odds
Lebron James: 11/4
As mentioned, King James casts a massive shadow. Yet, Golden State has overshadowed him since his return to Cleveland. LeBron has had two very good years with the Cavs, but it hasn’t been enough to steal the headlines – or the MVP trophy – from Curry and the Warriors. His 11/4 odds and “favorite” status are based more on name than reality. His longstanding claim to “best player in the NBA” is in serious jeopardy because …
Steph Curry: 3/1
Not since Larry Bird in the 80s has a player won three straight MVPs. Steph Curry and his uncanny three-point shot have a great shot to do so. No one’s been able to stop Curry and the Warrior offense for the last two years, and I don’t expect that to change much next year.
Unlike Lebron, Curry seems to be enjoying himself. Don’t underestimate the value that has in a gruelling 82-game season. He’s the real favorite to win the award, no matter what the sportsbooks say.
Kevin Durant: 11/2
Just like Lebron, Kevin Durant has been a victim of the Curry effect. Just two years ago, he was lifting the MVP trophy; now everybody wonders if he’s better off playing somewhere else because the current OKC squad just can’t compete with Golden State.
Durant can score the ball as well as anyone in the league, and he can do it in a variety of ways. But he needs to get more consistent and become more well-rounded to compete against James and Curry in the MVP race these days.
Anthony Davis: 8/1
Davis’ 2015-16 season didn’t go as planned. He was a popular preseason MVP pick, but struggled out of the gate and then had his year cut short by injury. But he’s still young and there is no reason to panic.
He’s the most talented “Big Man” in the NBA; if he avoids injuries and keeps growing as a player, an MVP trophy is in his future. But maybe not next year.
James Harden: 10/1
Russell Westbrook: 12/1
Chris Paul: 16/1
Blake Griffin: 20/1
Kawhi Leonard: 30/1
LaMarcus Aldridge: 35/
Klay Thompson 40:/1
Carmelo Anthony: 50/1
The Field: 60/1
Jimmy Butler: 66/1
(Photo Credit: Tilly Holland (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/].)