James Harden’s NBA MVP Odds: Will Houston Lock Up 1-Seed in West?

James Harden’s NBA MVP Odds: Will Houston Lock Up 1-Seed in West? article feature image
Credit:

Steven Erler-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13).

  • See James Harden's MVP odds at a variety of sportsbooks below, along with Matt Moore’s analysis on whether they’re offering betting value.

James Harden NBA MVP Odds

Note: This snippet is from Matt Moore’s larger MVP piece. See his analysis for all major candidate here. Odds as of Thursday, October 17.

This number is patently absurd. Harden has finished top-two in four of the past five years, with two of his losses coming in two of the most competitive races we’ve seen in 20 years.

The value on the number is just ridiculous. Harden’s preseason has given no signs that he’s going to wind up sacrificing numbers in a big way. Even if his scoring dips below the galaxy-brain levels of last season, it will correspond with an increase in assists both to Russell Westbrook and on the extra pass off Westbrook drive-and-kicks.

If the defense collapses on Westbrook, the help defender on the wing has to choose between Harden and another shooter. He’ll choose Harden every time, leaving the extra man open. The Rockets look primed to pick up right where they left off offensively.

The Rockets could disappoint, which could remove him from discussion, but in that event, someone else has jumped up as a result, which allows for an in-season hedge/double-up. If you’re looking for max return out of this tier, Harden is the choice.

How would you rate this article?