The 2018-19 NBA season is rapidly approaching, but what types of things can we bet on with odds all but locking the Warriors into a third straight championship? Seriously … they’re an astounding -230 to win it all with the Celtics next in line at +500 … it’s not even close.
Well, both MVP and Rookie of the Year odds have some enticing names with enough juice to give you a rewarding payout. Let’s look at a few of the options.
You can bet on who will the the NBA champions, MVP and Rookie of the Year now at SugarHouse if you are in the state of New Jersey.
The Favorite — LeBron James: +300
LeBron is by far the best player in the NBA, but I don’t think I can get behind him as the current favorite. Keep in mind the Lakers could be battling for one of the bottom four playoff spots with the way the Western Conference is shaping up, and he also played in all 82 games plus playoffs last season. LeBron may take his foot off the gas this season. Anthony Davis and Giannis Antentokounmpo are both more attractive favorites to me at +350.
The Value — Kyrie Irving: +1550
It’s tough to see a Warrior being crowed MVP no matter how good their regular season is. They have five studs who collectively make them elite. As good as Kevin Durant (+850) may be, he just has too much help. The second-best team in the NBA very well could be the Celtics, and while Kyrie has plenty of help as well, it’s not the same situation as the Warriors. Irving was playing hurt next season, and should have a huge bounce-back year for the C’s. These odds are just too enticing.
The Wildcard — Russell Westbrook: +950
Westbrook had been much higher, but after having a knee procedure his odds slipped. While bad knees on an athlete as explosive as Russ is cause for concern, we’ve seen him earn MVP in a very similar situation recently — and was in the conversation again last season. The key will be his health, if we know for sure he’s healthy by early November, Westbrook feels like more of a +500 type of candidate, so you’re getting nearly twice as good odds on him.
The Favorite — Luka Doncic: +250
Doncic’s game is extremely polished, and he’s also stepping into a near perfect scenario. Dallas has plenty of minutes for Doncic, who’s already played professionally overseas, and he’ll also have Dirk Nowitzki there as a mentor for him. Many said Doncic carries the highest floor of any rookie, which makes him the safest ROY bet when you look at how significant a role he should carry for the Mavericks.
The Value — Kevin Knox: +600
While we can tend to overhype young talent in New York, Knox has looked the part from Summer League through the Preseason. He has plenty of size for either forward position, and can play on the perimeter and interior. With Kristaps Porzingis expected to continue rehabbing his torn ACL well into 2019, Knox is the best scorer the Knicks have, even at 19 years old. He’ll easily attract attention in New York, so if he’s as ready to play as some think he is, and a couple of big names at the top of the draft take more time to develop, this could be a spot for Knox to sneak in and win the award.
The Wildcard — DeAndre Ayton: +350
It’s difficult to call the No. 1 overall pick a “wildcard” here, but it’s rare to see a top selection not come in as the favorite. The facts are that the Suns are committed to plugging the big man into a huge role right from the jump, and Ayton’s already displayed great skills in the Preseason — leading to some big numbers. The Arizona product is right down the road from where he went to college with the Suns, so he should come into the season in a comfortable environment. While he needs to sure up his defense, you can make the argument this is a healthy Greg Oden with a jump shot. That’s scary good potential.