NBA Awards Betting Preview
Chris Sheridan previews the NBA Awards for the upcoming 2022-23 season, including picks for MVP, ROY, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
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NBA MVP Odds 2022-23
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks +425
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks +600
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers +650
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets +800
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets +900
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics +1200
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors +1200
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies +1500
Lebron James, LA Lakers +1800
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers +3000
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat +5000
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves +5000
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers +7000
Donovan Mitchen, Cleveland Cavaliers +8000
NBA MVP 2022-23 Predictions & Pick
OK, let’s start with Nikola Jokic, who certainly has the talent to become the first player to win three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards since Larry Bird from 1984 to 1986. Heck, the voters gave it to him last season despite his team finishing sixth in the West. That’s right, sixth.
Jokic certainly did a commendable job carrying his team while they were without their second- and third-best players, Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray. But sixth-best is still sixth-best, and the opinion here is that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers got robbed, perhaps because he was openly campaigning for the award.
Well, a new season is almost upon us, and at a certain point Embiid is going to promote himself for the MVP award because he always takes that bait. His coach, Doc Rivers, will weigh in on this one, too. Rivers almost got Ben Simmons the Defensive Player of the Year award a few seasons ago, so Doc’s advocacy has an impact.
Also, it is worth noting – especially for those who wager based on trends - that the last four MVP awards have gone to non-Americans. Jokic is from Serbia, Giannis Antetokoumpo is from Greece, and Embiid is from Cameroon.
Embiid is on Betway’s board now at +650 behind Luka Doncic (+425) and Antetokounmpo (+600). Jokic is at +900, the fifth-lowest odds (Kevin Durant is +800). Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry are both +1200, and the book has been pretty darn solid in picking the seven candidates who make the most sense as favorites.
But if the award goes to somebody from outside of that Group of Seven, that means there is tremendous value on several players who are completely capable of winning it, not the least among them LeBron James at +1800 and Kawhi Leonard at +3000.
With a player from a sixth-place team having won the award last season, that factor offers insight into the notion that many voters are looking for someone who not only dominates statistically, but carries his team to a better-than-expected regular season in which some sort of major adversity was overcome.
If it ends up being LeBron, that adversity was the Lakers’ disastrous 2021-22 campaign when they went 33-49 and finished a game behind the Spurs for the 10-seed and a play-in game.
If it ends up being Kawhi, there’s the comeback from a torn ACL factor, which will be huge for some voters if the Clippers end up as the top seed in the West, which they are co-favored to do (the Clips and Warriors are both +330 to win the Western Conference.)
You could even make a case for Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will be defended by power forwards this season because of the Twin Towers lineup alongside Rudy Gobert that coach Chris Finch will be employing. The guy averaged 24.6 points and 9.8 rebounds last season, and it is conceivable that both of those numbers go north. He is on Betway’s board at +5000.
You could even make a case for Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings at +40000 if the sixth-place standard sticks, but we are not going to go there in the preseason. Once we get ready to go into the regular season, we will have a similar column in this blog updating our picks based upon what we have seen in the preseason. But for now, the pick is Embiid at +650 hedged with James at +1800 and Leonard at +3000.
NBA Most Improved Player 2022-23 Odds
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves +1000
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers +1200
Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks +1600
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans +1600
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers +2000
Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons +2000
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks +2000
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns +2500
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets +2500
Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder +3500
NBA Most Improved Player 2022-23 Predictions & Pick
Most Improved Player is the line that has the longest odds among the favorites, and if history is a lesson we will see it remain that way throughout the season. Voters are hard to predict on this award. They gave it to Julius Randle of the Knicks two seasons ago based on the large part he played in the team’s success as New York finished fourth in the East. Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies jumped to second in the West last season when he won it, although the New Orleans Pelicans finished 13th in the West in 2020 when Brandon Ingram won.
The favorite is Anthony Edwards of Minnesota at +1000 followed by Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana at +1200, which makes sense. But the guy we are pegging as a stat monster who can win under the Ingram standard is Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had triple-doubles in three of his final four games last season before being shut down with a hip injury.
Giddey offers tremendous value at +3500, and although Edwards could produce improved numbers that have him in the mix - the guy was the overall No. 1 pick of the 2020 draft. That could work against him, though, as an overall No. 1 pick has not won this award since Pervis Ellison in 1992. Same goes for Zion Williamson (No. 1 in 2019), although he is coming back from a lost season due to a broken foot, and some voters still treat this award the same way they treated it when it was known as Comeback Player of the Year prior to 1985. So the pick here is Giddey at +3500, hedged with Zion at +1600 and Dejounte Murray of the Hawks at +6000.
NBA Sixth Man of the Year 2022-23 Odds
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors +450
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat +500
Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics +1200
Christian Wood, Dallas Mavericks +1000
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz +1400
Nah’Shon Hyland, Denver Nuggets +1500
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers +2500
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers +2500
Cameron Thomas, Brooklyn Nets +15000
NBA Sixth Man of the Year Predictions & Pick
Similarly enticing prices are listed across the board for the Sixth Man Award winner, although Jordan Poole of Golden State is favored at just +450 and Tyler Herro is +500 to be the first repeat winner of the award since Lou Williams in 2019.
Shooting guards have won the Sixth Man award in 16 of the past 18 seasons (Montrezl Harrell in 2020 and Lamar Odom in 2011 were the exceptions), and the third shooting guard on the Betway board is Anfernee Simons of Portland, who started against the Clippers in preseason, which automatically makes him a bad Sixth Man pick. Below him among shooting guards is Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Atlanta Hawks at +3000 for a team that will not make their preseason debut until Thursday when they play the Bucks in Abu Dhabi.
Sixteen out of 18 is a hard trend to go against, but voters are going to be looking for a vote somewhere for someone from the New Orleans Pelicans if Zion is not the Most Improved winner, so we are going to take a flyer pick here on defender extraordinaire Jose Alvarado, who left a very strong impression last year in the playoffs when he gave Chris Paul fits. He is +10000. The pick is Alvarado (+10000).
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds
Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves +425
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat +650
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics +1000
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks +1100
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors +1100
Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns +1500
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers +1700
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics +1800
Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets +2000
Jarret Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers +3000
Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans +3500
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks +8000
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Predictions & Pick
Defensive Player of the Year typically goes to a shot-blocker, although Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies led the league in that category last season but lost votes because many voters had filled in Ja Morant of the Grizzlies and coach Taylor Jenkins of Memphis on their ballots.
Gobert (+425) and Bam Adebayo (+650) make sense as the favorites, but let’s not forget that Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers is in a contract year and was shopped to the Lakers in a Russell Westbrook trade discussion. He likely ends up elsewhere after the trade deadline. Turner at +3500 is a value bet that we will tout, hedged with Jarrett Allen of Cleveland at +3000.
NBA Rookie of the Year 2022-23 Odds
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic +200
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings +450
Jabari Smith Jr, Houston Rockets +550
Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons +750
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers +1200
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers +1800
Dyson Daniels, New Orleans Pelicans +2000
Ousmane Dieng, Oklahoma City Thunder +2500
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz +4500
Nikola Jovic, Miami Heat +5000
NBA Rookie of the Year 2022-23 Predictions & Pick
Rookie of the Year is a crapshoot with Paolo Banchero of Orlando favored at just +200, and this award is likely going to go to the player who puts up nasty numbers irregardless of his team’s record. It's tough to make a call here without a preseason body of work to judge, but second choice Keegan Murray of Sacramento was MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League and went 7-for-11 against the Lakers in preseason, and there is not a lot to dislike there. So Murray is the pick at +450, hedged with Bennedict Mathurin of Indiana at +1200 because of the amount of playing time he will be getting.
NBA Coach of the Year 2022-23 Odds
Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies +1000
Chris Finch, Minnesota Timberwolves +1000
Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics +1200
Tyronn Lue, LA Clippers +1300
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat +1300
Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets +1400
Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets +1400
Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks +1400
JB Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers +1400
Darvin Ham, LA Lakers +1700
Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers +4500
Mike Brown, Sacramento Kings +8000
Stephen Silas, Houston Rockets +10000
NBA Coach of the Year 2022-23 Predictions & Pick
Coach of the Year is going to be all about exceeding expectations, with Jenkins of the Grizzlies and Finch of the Timberwolves co-favored at +1000. But the thought here is that voters are going to put someone from Miami somewhere on their ballot, which is why we like Erik Spoelstra at +1300 hedged with Darvin Ham of the Lakers at +1700. And we also caution that this is the hardest of the preseason picks, and Chauncey Billups of Portland (+4500) and Mike Brown of Sacramento (+8000) are worthy flyer picks.