Quantcast
The Sports Daily > Hoops Manifesto
Giannis Antetokounmpo Early MVP Favorite
Apr 15, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after a play against Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (notpictured) in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Milwaukee defeated Toronto 97-83. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

 

We’re about a quarter-way through the NBA season (already?!!), and The Greek Freak has lived up to his nickname (and considerable hype) thus far.  And, not surprisingly, he’s the early leader to win the NBA’s most prestigious player award, the MVP.  SportsBettingDime lists Giannis Antetounmpo as a 7/2 favorite to win the award, which means he has been given a 22% chance of snatching it at year’s end.

Hard to argue with the stats he’s put up on the board thus far: 29.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.8 bpg, among the top 20 in 28 (!!) NBA statistical categories, including leading the league in 2-PT Field Goals and Minutes Per Game.  What could hamper his MVP candidacy, however, is the fact that the Bucks are currently scuffling along at around the .500 mark.  The MVP generally goes to a player from one of the top teams in the league.

 

BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 16: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics rallies the crowd during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on November 16, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Which brings us to the next-best bet to win MVP – Kyrie Irving.  The Boston Celtics have been playing lights-out ball this season, despite the fact they lost free agent gem Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season.  A lot of that is due to the 23.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.1 apg & 1.7 spg that Irving is putting up on a nightly basis.  He’s listed as a 9/2 favorite for the award (18% chance of winning).  If Boston keeps up their torrid pace, Irving at 9/2 odds could seem like a steal in a very short time.