The 2020-21 NBA season is motoring along now, as it is getting closer to the halfway point of the season. Many players have stepped up as possible awards candidates for the various honors given out by the league at the end of the season. That makes it a great time to check in on the futures betting for those awards.
Futures wagering allows bettors to take advantage of odds that they might not be able to get later on down the road. Right now is an excellent time to take a look at how the futures odds for the various NBA awards are shaping up. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to get the same kinds of value available to you now.
In this article, we’ll check in on the various season-end awards given out by the NBA. We’ll look at who the favorites are and we’ll also talk about potential values according to the futures odds. Once you read this, you might be ready to make some wagers of your own.
Most Valuable Player
The biggest award of them all in the NBA right now looks like the most wide-open of them all. LeBron James is the favorite right now at a modest +130. He’s followed closely by Joel Embiid at +275 and Nikola Jokic at +500.
All Three Have Issues That Could Damage Their Chances
James’ value to the Lakers could be questioned right now, since the team has hit a skid following the injury to Anthony Davis. Jokic is putting up ridiculous numbers, but the Nuggets don’t have the most inspiring record.
That leaves Embiid, who is having a career season for a team that has been at the top of the East since the start of the year. But Embiid is one of the most injury-prone players out there, meaning that if you bet on him now, you could end up watching him in street clothes in the second half. Right now, the best play here might be to go for a long shot like Steph Curry (+1100) or James Harden (+1400) rather than settle for the low odds on the top three.
Rookie of the Year
LaMelo Ball came in as the massive favorite at the start of the season, and, to use a tennis term, he has held serve. Ball’s outside shot has been much better than anyone predicted. The playmaking skills have been absolutely as advertised, and now that he’s in the starting lineup, there are no worries about low minutes.
He currently sits as a massive -500 favorite. His closest foe is Tyrese Haliburton of the Kings at +600. Haliburton has been brilliant, arguably as good or better than Ball, but he doesn’t have the same kind of name value.
Now that Immanuel Quickley has cooled off, there just aren’t many long shots that are intriguing. There could be some voters turned off by the Ball hype that go for Haliburton. But barring an injury, Ball seems to be home free as the chalk in this category.
Most Improved Player
Jerami Grant went to Detroit knowing that he would lose some games but also get the chance to star. And that strategy has been pretty much dead-on. He sits as the -160 favorite at this point.
This award is a tricky one because the criteria might be interpreted in different ways by voters. The only other two getting any kind of play on the futures board are Christian Wood (+175) and Jaylen Brown (+400.) Considering that both were playing at star level at the end of last year, they might be tough sells, especially now that Wood is hurt.
Julius Randle (+2800) and Dejounte Murray (+6600). If either can lead their team to the playoffs, they might be worthy of a look. Still, as long as Grant keeps putting up massive numbers, he’ll be tough to catch.
6th Man of the Year
There is little doubt that the Utah Jazz have been the story, team-wise, to this point in the NBA season. And Clarkson is a big reason why as the sixth man supreme who has become far more than an outside gunner in the Utah system. That’s why it’s understandable that he’s the -300 favorite.
For him to come back to the field, the Jazz would have to slump. The problem is that this hasn’t been the best season for sixth men. Second choice Eric Gordon (+800) puts up empty scoring numbers for one of the worst teams in the league.
Look down the board and there are some interesting possibilities. Chris Boucher (+1200) has harnessed his raw skills to become a key cog for Toronto, while veteran Thaddeus Young (+5000) has been an unlikely triple-double machine for the surprisingly competitive Bulls. If you don’t like Clarkson’s lack of value, those are two directions you might go.
Defensive Player of the Year
The Jazz have been getting a lot of publicity for their three-point shooting. But they’ve quietly posted one of the top defenses in the game as well.
That doesn’t happen without Rudy Gobert, who is poised for his third Defensive Player of the Year award in the last three seasons as the -225 favorite on the board.
Myles Turner is the second choice at +325. Turner is the best shot blocker in the game and deserves some credit for that. But the fact is that the Pacers are a team in the middle of the pack and the Jazz are tops in the league and, all things being equal, that will weigh heavily with the voters.
Ben Simmons could ride the Sixers special year at +600, although, like his teammate Embiid, he has some injury concerns that hold him back. None of the long shots on the board are too enticing. It looks like Gobert is going to do it again.
We hope that this article helps with your NBA Awards futures bets at top NBA betting websites. Keep checking on those odds to see if any value rises to the top. As for right now, the favorites all look strong with the exception of the race for MVP.
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