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Updated Odds for The 2022 NBA Season Awards: Odds and Best Bets to Win
The NBA gets back to its regular season-scheduled programming with games on Thursday, Feb. 24, following another fun, exciting All-Star Weekend (well, the Slam Dunk Contest wasn’t exactly thrilling) so now let’s take a look at the current favorites to win the big six awards leading up to the season-ending night April 10.
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Joel Embiid, the NBA’s leading scorer, remains the favorite (+130). But his stats figure to fall following Philadelphia’s trade for James Harden. We’ll have to see how the Sixers’ dynamic duo meshes. The reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic, is at +290, but I”m gonna say that Giannis Antetokounmpo will join an ultra-exclusive NBA club (which includes only eight members: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James) to win the coveted award three or more times.
Rookie of the Year
This looks like easy money although the odds on Cleveland’s Evan Mobley (-500) do not rock; in fact, they suck. But he’s basically a lock at this point unless another player makes an incredibly impressive push and that’s highly unlikely.
Most Improved Player
Another one that appears to be a cinch, which, again, means not much money to be made, but the Memphis star (as in, All-Star starter in his third season) has really elevated his game to new heights – figuratively and literally. His dunks have been dyno-mighto, must-see cable TV highlights, he’s seventh in the league in scoring and he has the scary-good Grizzlies surprising everyone as the current No. 3 seed in the West.
Ja, man. That’s dope.
Coach of the Year
Tough one to call here: J.B. Bickerstaff has done an incredible job with the suddenly dangerous Cleveland Cavs (currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings and I promise you, nobody wants to face them in the playoffs) while Phoenix, led by the well-respected Monty Williams (who finished second in the voting last year to the Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau) has guided the Suns to the NBA’s best record. If he can keep Phoenix atop the West with the injured Chris Paul out 6-8 weeks (a tall task) with only 7 weeks to go, he’ll win. Meanwhile, the Cavs could improve their seed in the East. I’m going with Bickerstaff.
Sixth Man of the Year
There goes Miami’s Tyler Herro. Watch him as he goes… on to easily win this award. He’s averaging over 17 points a year this season off the bench for the Heat. Unfortunately, his odds (-1400 - gasp!) are even more ugly and awful than Mobley’s.
That’s a lot to risk for a small payout but it’s gonna happen. Don’t any chance of an upset here.
Defensive Player of the Year
Draymond Green appeared to be on his way to his second DPOY award but a bad back has kept him out since Jan. 5 and he’s still 3-4 weeks away from returning. That’s too many games to miss to win the award. So it’s likely down to Giannis Antetokounmpo (who won the award for his D-work in the 2019-20 season) and Rudy Gobert. If Gobert wins (and he’s the favorite at +130 and I think he will), he’ll join Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo as the only three players in NBA history to earn the honor four times.
Best value bet: Jaren Jackson Jr.: (+700)