2018-19 NBA MVP Odds: Giannis Overtakes Harden as Heavy Favorite

2018-19 NBA MVP Odds: Giannis Overtakes Harden as Heavy Favorite article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Giannis Antetekounmpo

  • One month ago, Houston's James Harden was a -500 favorite to win the NBA MVP award.
  • Now he's lost the top spot to Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is listed at -250.

It seems like it was only yesterday that the entire NBA community had essentially named James Harden the 2018-19 MVP. Harden averaged 43.6 points per game in January, and honestly hasn’t missed much of a beat this month (37.3 PPG).

In fact, just one month ago he was listed as a -500 favorite to win the award. The race looked all but over.

Well, things have changed a bit since then.

A couple of weeks following that listing Harden was down to -300, and just last week the race turned into a pick’em. Now it has become Giannis Antetokounmpo’s award to lose.

Before adjusting for the vig, -250 odds suggest Giannis has a 71.43% chance of ultimately earning MVP honors.

Here’s a look at the latest odds to win the 2018-19 NBA MVP (if you’re unfamiliar with the odds below, a $250 bet on -250 odds would net $100, and a $100 bet on +200 odds would net $200):

The movement toward Giannis comes on the heels of a Rockets win over the Warriors without Harden. And while a one-game sample shouldn’t be blown out of proportion, that doesn’t exactly help Harden’s case for value.

The move is also directly in the line with the straw poll of likely MVP voters conducted by the The Action Network last week. Thirteen of those 21 voters landed on Giannis, with only seven on Harden (the other vote went to Paul George).

Still, 23 games apiece — more than a quarter of the season — remain for both the Bucks and Rockets, so there’s plenty of time for more odds changes down the stretch.

If a -500 favorite can fall to +200 in a month’s time, a -250 favorite is no sure thing with so much season still left to be played.