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Anthony Davis on the Rise on NBA MVP Odds

NBA MVP Odds at Bovada Sportsbook

New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis made major strides last season in his bid to shake his reputation as an injury-prone star, appearing in 75 games for a second straight year and finishing second in the NBA in scoring at 28.1 points per game. That consistent play and newfound resilience has paid off for the 25-year-old, who has opened among the favorites on the odds to win NBA MVP award this season, trailing only LeBron James at +400.

Davis arrived in the NBA amid great fanfare, with New Orleans taking him with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, the 6-foot, 10-inch big man was struck by the injury bug soon after his pro debut, suffering a concussion in just his second NBA appearance, the first of a wide array of ailments that forced him to miss 68 total games over his first four seasons.

The 25-year-old managed to avoid major injury during the 2016/17 season, which also proved to be a breakthrough campaign in which he averaged 28.0 points per game and a career-high 11.8 rebounds. Davis produced near identical numbers in 2017/18 while leading the Pelicans to 48 regular-season wins, followed by their first playoff series victory in a decade, and represents the primary justification for the club’s strong -125 odds to win OVER 44.5 games.

King James holds a narrow edge over Davis atop the 2018-19 NBA MVP betting odds, perched as a +333 favorite. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo closely follows Davis at +450, while reigning MVP and NBA scoring champion James Harden rounds out the list of favorites at +550.

James stole the headlines earlier this summer with his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. The 33-year-old is coming off a spectacular season, averaging 27.5 points per game and 9.1 assists while appearing in all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career.

The 15-year veteran further strengthened his case to be considered the greatest player in NBA history with a memorable postseason performance, topping 40 points on eight occasions while leading the Cavaliers to a fourth straight appearance in the NBA Finals. James now inherits the leadership mantle of a Lakers squad that has recorded five straight losing seasons, but has rocketed to a strong +800 bet on the NBA championship odds since his arrival in Hollywood.

 

Antetokounmpo Coming off a Breakthrough Season

Antetokounmpo is also coming off a breakthrough season, finishing tied for fourth in scoring with 26.9 points per game, while adding 10.0 rebounds per game to earn NBA Most Improved Player honors. “The Greek Freak” emerged as one of the bright lights of Milwaukee’s first-round playoff loss to Boston, scoring 30 or more points on three occasions.

Harden averaged a career-high 30.4 points per game during the regular season, and 28.6 points per game in the postseason, and remains the anchor of the Houston Rockets, who trail only Golden State as a +500 wager on the NBA Western Conference championship odds.

Further down the NBA MVP odds, Warriors star Kevin Durant is pegged at +900, and Kawhi Leonard travels to his new home with the Toronto Raptors as a +1100 bet, while Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook follows at +1400.

 

*Odds as of August 17, 2018

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