James Harden led his Houston Rockets to the best record in the NBA last season, going 65-17 en route to his first NBA MVP. Harden will try to repeat as the league's most valuable player in the upcoming 2018-19 season.
The Rockets star is going off at +500 (wager $100 to win $500) on the 2018-19 NBA MVP Award odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. While Harden is certainly one of the top five players in the game and a worthy contender for this award, better value can likely be found elsewhere, as he may split votes this season with Chris Paul, should the team's point guard stay healthy.
Kevin Durant (+900 to win the NBA MVP Award) finds himself in a similar position. The 2014 NBA MVP will put up the stats to be in the conversation, but by playing on the stacked Golden State Warriors, it may be difficult to monopolize the votes. Stephen Curry (+1600) won the award in both 2015 and 2016, but his regular season MVP award days are likely over with Durant in town.
So in the hunt for good betting options on this futures board, four names stick out as players that can both produce the stats to qualify for the award and grab the lion's share of the votes on their respective teams: LeBron James (+400), Anthony Davis (+450), Giannis Antetokounmpo (+550) and Kawhi Leonard (+800).
James is a four-time winner of the NBA MVP Award, and his change of scenery to Los Angeles could get him back on top for the first time since 2013. Joining a team that has missed the playoffs in five straight seasons and is 126-284 over that stretch, James could grab a ton of votes for propelling this team back into the postseason with his always-spectacular stats.
Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo have never won the league's MVP award, but it feels like only a matter of time for these two elite big men. The stats will be there, so it may just boil down to how some of the other names on this list fare.
Other dark-horse contenders on the odds to win the NBA MVP include Russell Westbrook (+1500), Kyrie Irving (+1600) and Philadelphia teammates Joel Embiid (+1600) and Ben Simmons (+2200).