LeBron James is not the favorite to win the NBA MVP, Russell Westbrook is at +350. The King doesn’t have the second-best odds either, Golden State’s Kevin Durant does at +450. He isn’t the third option, that would be Kawhi Leonard (+650). The Cavs star is +750, wager $100 to win $750. This is the year to bet LeBron to win the MVP.

Dating back to 2006, King James has never had odds this long to win the regular season Most Valuable Player award and he has never even had worse than the second-best odds to win.

YearLeBron's OddsRank
2016+4502nd
2015+2501st
2014-1101st
2013+1501st
2012+1601st
2011+2501st
2010+3002nd
2009+2751st
2008+2501st
2007+5001st
2006+3001st

Note: In 2007, he was tied with Kobe and Dirk for best odds

LeBron wasn’t a finalist for the 2016-17 NBA MVP, that was the first time since 2008 he didn’t make the cut and his last MVP season came in 2012-13. This might make some bettors believe his best days are behind him.

That’s not the case. Last year, LeBron was first in Real Plus-Minus, an estimate of a player’s impact on the court, and Wins Added, an estimate of the number of wins a player contributed to his team. His true shooting percentage last season was also better than Westbrook, Harden and Leonard. Plus, only Leonard can match LeBron on the defensive end of the court.

The odds suggest LeBron has taken a step back but that isn’t true. He is as great as he always has been. The King might not win but at +750, those aren’t bad odds for the best player in the league.


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Odds to win the 2017-18 NBA MVP (Bovada)

PlayerOdds
Russell Westbrook+350
Kevin Durant+450
Kawhi Leonard+650
LeBron James+750
James Harden+800
Giannis Antetokounmpo+850
Steph Curry+1100
Anthony Davis+1600
Isaiah Thomas+2500
Paul George+2500
Chris Paul+2500
John Wall+3300
Karl-Anthony Towns+3300
DeMarcus Cousins+3300
Blake Griffin+4000
Nikola Jokic+4000
Damian Lillard+5000
Demar Derozan+5000
Joel Embiid+5000
Kyrie Irving+5000
Draymond Green+6000
Ben Simmons+6600
Gordon Hayward+7000
Carmelo Anthony+7500
Jimmy Butler+7500
Andrew Wiggins+7500
Kyle Lowry+10000
Kevin Love+10000
Kristaps Porzingis+10000
Marc Gasol+15000
Paul Millsap+15000
Kemba Walker+15000
Bradley Beal+20000
Mike Conley+20000
Dirk Nowitzki+25000
Andre Drummond+25000
Dwight Howard+25000
Hassan Whiteside+25000
Jeff Teague+25000