NBA best bets for MVP, Rookie of the Year and more

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Nikola Jokic holding award and and Rudy Gobert holding basketball
Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert are both offering good odds to win the awards again. Pictures: Getty Images

The NBA season is almost upon us, so I’m going to reveal some of my best value bets before the action starts.

MVP - Nikola Jokić

Somehow, the league’s reigning MVP is paying $15 to go back to back. 

It’s true, we don’t get back to backs MVPs very often and there is competition from Luka Dončić, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but from a value perspective, $15 from a proven performer is too good for me to pass up.

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Defensive Player Of The Year - Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert has been the NBA’s best defensive player for years. 

He is a multi-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award, and even though he is the favourite this season, the odds sitting at $4.50 still screams great value for a field that wasn’t particularly close last season. 

It’s fairly safe to say Ben Simmons isn’t going to be challenging for the award this season, either.

Most Improved Player - OG Anunoby

Most Improved Player is a tough award to pick because it usually goes to the player that improved without us expecting it. But I'll give it a try. 

I think OG Anunoby is going to be given a new role this season with Toronto. 

Putting the ball in OG’s hands more should bump his scoring and when a player sees a big rise in scoring, it gets the attention of the voters. 

I love the odds for Anunoby at $23 to win MIP

Rookie Of The Year - Evan Mobley

I think it’s more like Cade Cunningham or Jalen Green wins rookie of the year, but Mobley has stood out in the preseason and his odds are a lot tastier than the top two picks. 

At $12, Mobley offers value and if he establishes himself as a strong defender early, then all it takes is competent offence to win the award.

Most Threes - Duncan Robinson 

Sportsbet has an interesting option, grouping together four players in certain statistical categories to see who ends the season with the most. In the listed grouping, I like Duncan Robinson to take it out.

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Let’s take a look at some team playoff wagers now.

Denver Nuggets to make the playoffs

Yes, there is no Jamal Murray

But the odds of $1.14 to make playoffs has an implied probability of 87.7% and I feel pretty good that Denver is going to make the playoffs. 

I think 95% probability would be about right, so there is value here with the market reacting too harshly to Murray’s absence.

LA Clippers to make the playoffs

Much like with Denver, the market is reacting harshly to Kawhi Leonard’s absence giving the Clippers just a 74% chance to qualify at odds of $1.35. 

They are still good enough to make the playoffs and should be able to get there without too much hassle.

Minnesota Timberwolves to make the playoffs

If we want to get speculative, the odds of $6.50 for Minnesota to make the playoffs seem very high. 

That is an implied probability of just 15% and while the Wolves have had issues forever, if they can get some health going their way, they can easily push into the play-in and from there, anything can happen.

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