2015-16 NBA MVP Odds

2015-16 NBA MVP Odds

Last season Stephen Curry averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game, leading Golden State to their first championship since 1975 and earning the Most Valuable Player award in the process. What’s interesting is that prior to the start of the season, Curry actually saw his MVP odds drop from +2500 to +4000 during the pre-season, making him the most improbable winner in recent history (although Derrick Rose was +2500 before winning in 2010-11).

The table below displays the past nine MVP winners along with their odds to win the award prior to the season. (Historical odds via SportsOddsHistory.com)

2014-15Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors+4000
2013-14Kevin DurantOklahoma City Thunder+300
2012-13LeBron JamesMiami Heat+160
2011-12LeBron JamesMiami Heat+250
2010-11Derrick RoseChicago Bulls+2500
2009-10LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers+275
2008-09LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers+250
2007-08Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers+500
2006-07Dirk NowitzkiDallas Mavericks+700

The Most Valuable Player seems to be a fairly predictable award, with the front runners consistently taking home this coveted prize. Six of the past eight winners opened the season listed at +700 or lower, which bodes well for LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

The table below compares the 2015-16 NBA MVP odds at 5Dimes, BetOnline and Bovada throughout the season.

PlayerTeamBovada (2/2)BetOnline (11/27)5Dimes (10/27)5Dimes (7/29)
Stephen CurryGS-400-150+650+700
LeBron JamesCLE+900+600+250+300
Kawhi LeonardSAS+1400+2000+5000+4000
Kevin DurantOKC+1500+800+650+600
Russell WestbrookOKC+2500+600+1200+900
James HardenHOU+2500+1200+800+400
Paul GeorgeIND+2500+2000+6400+6600
Draymond GreenGS+2500N/A+15000N/A
Anthony DavisNO+4000+2500+450+400
Chris PaulLACN/A+5000+2500+1600
Al Jefferson CHAN/AN/A+50000N/A
Carmelo AnthonyNYKN/AN/A+5000+3300
Derrick RoseCHIN/AN/A+5000+2000
LaMarcus AldridgeSASN/AN/A+4000N/A
DaMarcus CousinsSACN/AN/A+7500N/A
Kyrie IrvingCLEN/AN/A+8000N/A
Dwight HowardHOUN/AN/A+9000N/A
Jimmy ButlerCHIN/AN/A+9000N/A
Dwyane WadeMIAN/AN/A+9000N/A
Damian LillardPORN/AN/A+10000+6000
Marc GasolMEMN/AN/A+10000N/A
Bradley BealWASN/AN/A+10000N/A
Pau GasolLALN/AN/A+10000N/A
Damian LillardPORN/AN/A+10000N/A
Klay ThompsonGSN/AN/A+10000N/A
Chris BoshMIAN/AN/A+10000N/A
Tyreke EvansNON/AN/A+12500N/A
Victor OladipoORLN/AN/A+12500N/A
Blake GriffinLACN/A+1200+2000+1400
Paul MillsapATLN/AN/A+15000N/A
Tony ParkerSASN/AN/A+15000N/A
Jeff TeagueATLN/AN/A+15000N/A
Kevin LoveCLEN/AN/A+15000N/A
Kobe BryantLALN/AN/A+17500+5000
Andre DrummondDETN/AN/A+20000N/A
Eric BledsoePHXN/AN/A+20000N/A
DeMar DeRozanTORN/AN/A+20000N/A
Zach Randolph MEMN/AN/A+20000N/A
Reggie Jackson DETN/AN/A+20000N/A
Ty Lawson HOUN/AN/A+20000N/A
Rudy Gay SACN/AN/A+20000N/A
DeAndre JordanLACN/AN/A+20000N/A
Nikola VucevicORLN/AN/A+20000N/A
Kemba WalkerCHAN/AN/A+20000N/A
Joakim NoahCHIN/AN/A+20000N/A
Khris Middleton MILN/AN/A+25000N/A
Al Horford ATLN/AN/A+30000N/A
Chandler Parsons DALN/AN/A+30000N/A
Gordon Hayward UTAN/AN/A+30000N/A
Brook Lopez BKNN/AN/A+30000N/A
Mike Conley MEMN/AN/A+30000N/A
Ricky Rubio MINN/AN/A+30000N/A
Serge Ibaka OKCN/AN/A+30000N/A
Monta Ellis INDN/AN/A+30000N/A
Goran Dragic MIAN/AN/A+30000N/A
Kyle Lowry TORN/AN/A+40000N/A
Tim Duncan SASN/AN/A+48500N/A
Marcin Gortat WASN/AN/A+50000N/A
Andrew Wiggins MINN/AN/A+50000N/A
Michael Carter-Williams MILN/AN/A+50000N/A
Nerlens Noel PHIN/AN/A+50000N/A
Brandon Jennings DETN/AN/A+50000N/A
David Lee BOSN/AN/A+50000N/A
Deron Williams DALN/AN/A+50000N/A
Dirk Nowitzki DALN/AN/A+50000N/A
Isaiah Thomas BOSN/AN/A+50000N/A
Jabari Parker MILN/AN/A+50000N/A
Joe Johnson BKNN/AN/A+50000N/A
Jonas Valanciunas TORN/AN/A+50000N/A
Kenneth Faried DENN/AN/A+50000N/A
John WallWASN/AN/A+4500N/A

When these odds were first posted back in June, 5Dimes only listed 14 candidates. Nearly three months later, the list was updated to include more than 50 new players including more than a few questionable choices. The most glaring issue? Reigning Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins and veteran journeyman David Lee are both listed at 500/1 to win this award. Neither player is likely to win, but at least there is a plausible situation in which Wiggins makes substantial improvements.

While this list includes most of the usual suspects, it also includes two players coming back from season ending injuries — Kobe Bryant and Paul George. The 36-year old Bryant underwent season-ending surgery after tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder back in January, while the 25-year old George suffered a gruesome injury to his right leg during a scrimmage for the US national team.

Between his age, injury-history and talent depleted roster, Kobe Bryant’s days as an MVP candidate appear to be at an end, but it will be interesting to see how well Paul George rebounds. George is still young and averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game before his injury. It’s tough to recommend betting on a player who suffered such a brutal injury, but the Eastern Conference is extremely weak and the Pacers could surprise people.

Oddsmakers appear to agree with this sentiment, as Bryant dropped from +5000 to +17500 since this article was originally published while George improved slightly from +6600 to +6400.

It may be boring, but LeBron James (+300) is probably one of the best MVP value. 5Dimes currently lists the Cleveland Cavaliers as -180 favorites to win the Eastern Conference, making LeBron’s path to another finals appearance look like an inevitability. It’s also interesting to see that LeBron’s MVP odds ranged from +160 to -110 before last season, indicating that oddsmakers may have overreacted to Curry’s win last year.

It’s also interesting to see that even though Houston has made significant improvements this offseason, James Harden’s MVP odds have dropped from +400 to +800. At that price (and with Khloe Kardashian out of the picture), there may be value on last season’s second leading scorer.

11/27/15 Update

One month into the season and Stephen Curry looks poised to repeat as the MVP winner. The undefeated Warriors have been must-watch television and Curry has led the way with an incredible 32.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. This astounding performance has moved Curry’s MVP odds from +650 to -150.

The biggest early disappointment has been Pelicans F/C Anthony Davis. The fourth year player big man has looked fantastic when healthy, but he has already missed three games for a 4-11 team. This could be an ideal time to buy low, but Davis’ individual performance will mean nothing if his team can’t turn things around.

Paul George, who was my preseason MVP sleeper, has been another tremendous success story. After missing almost all of last season due to injury, George has bounced back with 25.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. These numbers would all be career highs, and have caused George’s MVP odds to improve from +6400 to +2000.

2/2/16 Update

It’s Stephen Curry’s world and we’re all just living in it. The 27-year old guard is averaging 29.4 points per game, 6.5 assists per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, while boasting a league-high PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 31.96. He’s also looking to join the elusive 50-40-90 club for the first time in his career. In league history, only six players have ever shot 50% from the field, 40% from downtown and 90% from the free throw line: Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Mark Price, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant.

In fact, just under one month ago 5Dimes was actually offering Curry against the field:

The Warriors currently boast a 44-4 record and may challenge the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the greatest season in NBA history. As long as Curry stays healthy, he looks like a shoe-in for his second consecutive MVP award.

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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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