Antetokounmpo set as betting favourite on NBA MVP odds

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2018-19 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

A frenzy of off-season player movement has reshaped the NBA landscape this summer, but has failed to shake Giannis Antetokounmpo from atop the NBA MVP odds for next season. Antetokounmpo continues to lead the way as a plus-300 favourite on those NBA betting futures at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Antetokounmpo continued his ascension to NBA superstardom this past season, establishing career highs with 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. The 24-year-old’s continued improvement was key to the Milwaukee Bucks’ climb to the top of the NBA standings with a 60-22 record, and he earned All-Defensive and All-NBA First Team honours to go along with the first NBA MVP award of his career.

And while the Bucks came up short during this past year’s playoffs, falling to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games, Antetokounmpo remains key to the club’s position as a plus-500 wager on the NBA championship odds, where they trail only the Los Angeles Clippers.

A pair of recent NBA MVP winners closely trail Antetokounmpo on those NBA odds, with two-time MVP Stephen Curry sitting at plus-500, followed by 2018 NBA MVP James Harden at plus-700. Curry led the Golden State Warriors in scoring for an incredible seventh straight year this past season, draining 27.3 points while averaging over five assists and rebounds per game.

However, with Kevin Durant leaving town for Brooklyn and Klay Thompson likely facing a lengthy rehab of the knee he injured during the NBA Finals, Curry now leads a Warriors team that is expected to take a step back next season, pegged as a plus-110 bet to win under 47.5 games on the NBA win totals.

At age 29, Harden showed no signs of slowing down this past season, leading the league with 36.1 points per game. Harden should also get a boost from the arrival in Houston of his former Oklahoma City teammate and 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook via trade, a move that has vaulted the Rockets to plus-800 on the title odds at online betting sites.

Further down the NBA MVP odds, the hero of the Raptors’ NBA title victory, Kawhi Leonard, trails as a plus-800 wager, ahead of LeBron James at plus-900 and his newest Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis at plus-1000.

Leonard appeared in just 60 regular-season contests last season and has topped 66 games in a campaign just twice during his eight-year career. James was also limited to just 55 games in his first season with the Lakers, while Davis has appeared in 61 or fewer games in two of the past four years.

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