The NBA preseason has officially begun with media day underway for many teams, and a preseason game being played by Houston tonight against an international opponent. The regular season picks off in under a month, and that means that you are running out of time to place your future bets for the upcoming season. These picks are the best value bets, not necessarily who I think will win.
All lines come from Fanduel as of 10 PM on September 30th.
Regular Season MVP – Lebron James +850
The Los Angeles Lakers will look a lot different this year, and we will see a team that has talent around LeBron, unlike last year. He should be healthy and most importantly the team will be in a position to win games. If anyone is giving me more than +500 on LeBron winning the Most Valuable Player award I am taking him in a heartbeat, and that stays true here.
Rookie of the Year – Zion Williamson -150
I know I said that I was going to be talking about value bets, and not necessarily the favorite to win the award. However, there is no question in my mind, barring injury, that Zion doesn’t win this award. The hype about the former Duke phenom is the highest we’ve since LeBron James, and he has the chance to be the face of his franchise on day 1. He gets the benefit of playing with Jrue Holiday, one of the NBA’s most underrated guards. He will have the insane dunks. The hustle plays. A chance for a few buzzer-beaters. Nobody else in this rookie class will come close.
Defensive Player of the Year – Paul George +500
The Clippers have the best two wing defenders in the NBA with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and have a chance to wreak havoc on the rest of the NBA. PG will get the steals, and lock up opponents best perimeter player for the Clippers. I know that Gobert will come out wanting to win this award, but I don’t think he will do enough to win it, and isn’t worth taking only +155.
6th Man of the Year – Montrezl Harrell +950
This may be my favorite bet out of any that I am listing out of pure value. We saw what Harrell could do last year for the Clippers, and this year he gets to add Kawhi and PG to his team. He won’t have nearly the focus that was on his last year, which helps him a lot. He will also play on one of the NBA’s best teams, which never hurt anybody. Harrell averaged over 16 points and 6 rebounds last year, and I expect those numbers to fall a little bit, at least in points, but if he plays for a top 3 team in the West it won’t matter.
Scoring Title – Steph Curry +300
Steph Curry no longer has KD on his team, and Klay Thompson will be out for a majority, if not all, of the year. That means that Steph can do what he does best: shoot the basketball. James Harden, the favorite for this award, has to share the ball with Westbrook, who is a huge shot hunter. Curry isn’t a big value play here, but I expect him to win this title fairly sweatless.
Be on the lookout for my over/under article on every single team in the NBA within the next week.