Betting on the NBA Awards (Categories, Contenders, Odds)

Updated: 272 Basketball

Betting on the NBA Awards (Categories, Contenders, Odds)
Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

The NBA player awards occur annually, and that means it’s always time to consider who you’re going to place a bet on for MVP, Rookie of the Year, or 6th Man of the Year in addition to your weekly NBA picks and predictions. Superstars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry are almost guaranteed to be in the mix, but what exactly are they in a race for?

Whether you’re a major fan of the NBA or just want something to keep you occupied betting-wise, NBA Individual Awards are worth a look. You can place bets from the comfort of your home with online betting sites now available.

We’re going to break down which awards you should be looking at lines for, as well as which players will give you the best chance at making some bank. LeBron is nearly 40 years old and still playing well, while young stars like Trae Young and Cade Cunningham are hoping to follow in his footsteps.

If you aren’t sure what the awards are, or who you should be betting on, you’re in the right place. We’ll go through all of the major individual awards for the NBA, as well as take a look at some of the most popular candidates. 

  • Who has the best odds for Regular Season MVP?

  • Who do we like for the 6th Man of the Year?

  • All-NBA Team Odds

  • Contenders for ROTY, MIP, COTY, and 6th Man

NBA Individual Awards Betting Odds

Here are the current odds for the Individual Awards which will be updated throughout the year, we start with the regular season MVP

Regular Season MVP Award Betting Odds

The 5 best lines for Most Valuable Player (of the Regular Season) come from Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic. It’s strange to see a Top 5 without LeBron James in it for MVP, Father Time comes for everyone in the NBA. The sheer number of superstars is outstanding, and if you’ve watched any of these 5 players on the court, you know that they have something truly special to offer.

Player Moneyline Probability
Luka Doncic 425 19%
Giannis Antetokounmp 600 14.30%
Joel Embiid 650 13.30%
Kevin Durant 800 11.10%
Nikola Jokic 900 10.00%

Giannis could have a chip on his shoulder due to the early playoff exit that he had in 2021, while Nikola Jokic could be looking to retain his MVP title. Luka Doncic is always a player to watch out for in both the regular season and the playoffs, but injuries had a tendency to limit his impact at times. There isn’t a player out there who has better numbers though, and if Luka can lead Dallas to the best record in the West, odds are he’ll take home the crown.

Of course, you can always consider other stars like Kawhi Leonard, Trae Young, or even Jimmy Butler to take home the MVP award. It’s sports after all, and nothing is set in stone.

NBA Rookie of The Year Betting Odds

Paolo Banchero was drafted 1st overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, and people are expecting him to hit the ground running. He’s the only rookie at under +200 to win the ROTY award, which means even the bookies are expecting him to take home the award this year. Of course, you can always expect some sort of competition from a player that you least expect. As such, it may not be a terrible idea to throw a few dollars at a massive underdog like Benedict Mathurin. 

Player Moneyline Probability
Paolo Banchero 190 34.50%
Keegan Murray 450 18.20%
Jaden Ivey 700 12.50%
Jabari Smith Jnr 700 12.50%
Benedict Mathurin 1000 9.09%

Chet Holmgren was injured in a pro-am game before the season so he’s out of the equation, which means this award is basically Paolo’s to lose. Will he stay on top the entire way, or will one of the youngbloods give him a run for his money?

NBA Most Improved Player of The Year Betting Odds

Player Moneyline Probability
Anthony Edwards 1000 9.09%
Tyrese Haliburton 1200 7.70%
Zion Williamson 1600 5.90%
Jalen Brunson 1600 5.90%
Cade Cunningham 2000 4.80%

NBA Coach of The Year Betting Odds

Coach of the Year can be tough to predict, as nobody knows which teams are going to come out hot. Some of them look great early on and your COTY award pick seems smart, only for them to hit a rough patch in the middle of the season and throw a wrench in your plans. Betting on a coach that has a roster full of talented players is your best bet. Ime Udoka was the odds-on favorite just a few weeks ago, but the Boston Celtics’ head coach has been ensnarled in a scandal that may leave him sidelined for the entire season. This has opened the door for a handful of coaches that were previously listed in the +1300 or greater range.

Boston Celtics, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Boston Celtics remain a talented team and full of size, but the loss of Udoka opens the door for a handful of contenders. The Golden State Warriors and Steve Kerr are defending champions and present great value at his +1000 price tag. But Chris Finch, Minnesota’s head coach has now been installed as the favorite after helping the Timberwolves double their win total from the previous season. 

Coach Moneyline Probability
Ime Udoka 650 13.30%
Chris Finch 1200 7.70%
Taylor Jenkins 1200 7.70%
Erik Spoelstra 1300 7.10%
Tyronne Lue 1300 7.10%

NBA 6th Man of the Year Betting Odds

Moneyline Probability
Jordan Poole 450 18.20%
Tyler Herro 500 16.70%
Malcolm Brogdon 1200 7.70%
Bones Hyland 1400 6.70%
Jordan Clarkson 1800 5.30%

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Betting Odds

Despite winning the award last season, Marcus Smart isn’t even one of the Top 5 candidates when it comes to betting lines. Rudy Gobert is always a solid bet to make since most of his game takes place around the rim on defense – he’s also won the award in the past. Picking Marcus Smart again might be ideal since he’s on one of the better teams, but guards very rarely win this award. Rudy Gobert has won 3 times throughout his career, and if for some reason you think Dwight Howard is ready to revive himself, he’s done the same.

Player Moneyline Probability
Rudy Gobert 425 19%
Robert Williams 700 12.50%
Bam Adebayo 750 11.80%
Draymond Green 1100 8.30%
Giannis Antetokounmp 1200 7.70%

Guards like Gary Payton, Michael Cooper, and Michael Jordan have won DPOY in the past, but other than that it’s always been a big man. Take that into account before placing your bet, and regardless of how enticing the lines may look, try to find a big man that you think will win the award.

All NBA Team Betting Odds

Player Moneyline Probability
Giannis Antetokounmp -290 74.40%
Luka Doncic -265 72.60%
Nikola Jokic -135 57.40%
Joel Embiid 125 44.40%
Stephen Curry 145 40.80%

What are NBA Individual Awards?

NBA Individual Awards are given out every season and represent a specific part of the game that a player has excelled in. For example, being named the Regular Season MVP means you were the Most Important Player on the best team (well, at least that’s how it usually works). Most bettors will pick their favorite players and pray that they do well, or stick with the “Top 10” and see where the season takes things. 

There are times when a player like Steve Nash or Derrick Rose will sneak in and “steal” the Regular Season MVP trophy; if you happened to place a bet on Derrick Rose back in 2011, bless your soul. You must have had a crystal ball or something! This is why finding the best lines/betting odds can be important before the season begins, as things are sure to change once games start to be played.

Derrick Rose, Suprise or Deserved MVP winner - or Both? Phot Credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

It makes the storylines that we see throughout the season much more exciting when money is on the line. You can follow the person you’ve picked to win any of these awards and cheer them on as they work their magic on the court. Of course, you could also be let down by poor performances; that’s the beauty of gambling, after all. Do your due diligence and odds are you’ll be able to pick a winner with ease!

Whether it’s Rookie of the Year or Most Improved Player, many people prefer to bet on these awards because there is a larger room for profit. Chances are Luka or The Joker will have immaculate seasons and remain front-runners for MVP, but almost anybody could end up being the 6th Man of the Year. Many variables need to be considered though, and that’s where we come in to save the day. 

Things don’t always go as planned. Chet Holmgren got hurt, but does this mean that he will be able to win ROTY as Ben Simmons did after missing his first season? Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there – for now, let’s dive deeper into the different NBA Individual Award Markets. 

NBA Individual Awards Markets

You can win in 5 different categories as a player and one as a coach, with the final category (All-NBA Team) being reserved for the best players in the league. 

Rookie of the Year 

is strictly reserved for players who are fresh out of college, the G-League, or overseas. As long as it’s their first official season of playing in the NBA, there’s a chance they could win this award.

The Most Valuable Player for the Regular Season

is likely going to be determined by which teams come out on top. This award is often reserved for the best player on the best team, but if a player is playing undeniably well, they can still end up taking the trophy home. For example, Nikola Jokic didn’t carry the Nuggets through the playoffs last season, and they didn’t have the best regular season record – despite all of that, he still ended up winning MVP.

Most Improved Player

is an award that goes to whoever makes the largest jump in skill from last year. The perfect example of this would be Ja Morant, who turned into a superstar over his past few seasons and recently won the award himself. Other notable winners would be Tracy McGrady (who also made an All-NBA Team in the same season), and Spicy P (Pascal Siakam).

Coach of the Year

is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s given to the best coach in the league. This award is actually voted on by both a party of past and present players, so it’s one that comes with a lot of respect and pride. Often reserved for the coach of the winningest team throughout the regular season, this award has been bounced around all over the NBA ever since it was introduced. 

6th Man of the Year

is an award that goes to the best player coming off of the bench. If a player starts the majority of the season, they’re likely ineligible for this award. That’s why it’s ideal to target players that are skilled and can stuff the stat sheet, but are often underappreciated and don’t start for their teams. Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams are the only players to have won this award three times throughout their careers, which is a testament to how skilled they are regardless of where they ended up in the rotation. 

Defensive Player of the Year

Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace both dominated the Defensive Player of the Year rankings for the 3 or 4 seasons a piece, and that’s a hard thing to do. When you can compete with some of the largest and most athletic human beings in the world, it’s going to be tough; now imagine trying to stop them from scoring. Many modern players have become known for their defense, and that’s why there are so many ripe candidates to pick from for this particular award. 

How to Bet on NBA Individual Awards?

You can place a bet by signing up for an online betting site and depositing money into your account. Many of these sportsbooks will ask you to verify your identity. 

Placing a bet on the NBA Individual Awards isn’t tough by any means, but picking the right player will be. We’re going to go through some of the most popular contenders for these betting lines in the next section; if you wouldn’t consider yourself an expert on basketball, make sure you’re ready to take notes.

As we’ve said numerous times throughout the article, anything can happen – but choosing one of the superstars in the NBA will likely give you a better chance of winning some cash. 

NBA Individual Awards Contenders

There will be a huge number of players that could pick up individual NBA annual awards at the end of every season, but often there will be a few standouts, you can expect to be very close to the running right from the outset of the season and before a single tip-off.

LeBron James

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Often referred to as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), LeBron James is a solid candidate for most of the NBA Individual Awards. Even the DPOY isn’t out of reach for LeBron, and that’s usually an award that superstars aren’t awarded often. Defensive specialists are exactly that and tend to lack the skill needed to deliver on the offensive end. Of course, we know LeBron James can put the ball in the net, but he also has immaculate defense.

Being the superstar of any NBA team will put you in a great position to be on the All-NBA Team. LeBron has made this team 18 times out of his 19 seasons in the NBA, so you can pretty much expect him to make one of the teams. Most lines are only for the 1st All-NBA Team though, and LeBron only made the 3rd All-NBA Team last season.

That doesn’t mean LeBron can’t get healthy and bounce back better than ever, so he’s always a serious consideration for winning the MVP award. If he carries his team to the playoffs and maintains great stats throughout the season, you can expect him to win more than one of the NBA Individual Awards.

Luka Doncic

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Luka Doncic is a once-in-a-lifetime talent that has put the entire league on notice. We’re so used to seeing high-flying superstars that can dunk at will, that Luka leaves us concerned at times. If you’ve watched him play you’ll notice that he’s much slower than some of the other guards in the NBA, but that hasn’t stopped him from averaging nearly a triple-double over the past two years. 

Dallas Mavericks fans are happy about having Luka to head their franchise, and he’s one of the most polarizing superstars we’ve come to know. You either love him or hate him, there’s no in-between. He backs up all of the smack talking he does with great games, and despite being injured or tired at important times, he’s still one of the greatest players in the league at the moment. 

He doesn’t really have a chance at winning the DPOY, but he’s always a candidate for the All-NBA Team and MVP. If Luka can somehow bump his numbers up into Russell Westbrook territory (as in averaging an actual triple-double) and maintain a good record, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be named the league MVP at the end of the season. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is another player that you can expect to hear a lot about during the NBA Individual Award Season. He stands 6”10’ and weighs about 260 pounds, all of which is pure muscle. His nickname is perfect for what he does on the court, as there’s no other player in the NBA that is that large with that much speed and power. Zion Williamson is known for being a powerful dunker, but Giannis takes things to a new level.

His versatility means he’s a valid candidate for winning DPOY almost every year, and he can do so while winning tons of other awards as well. If Giannis goes all in and commits to this season 100%, it’s easy to see him winning both MVP and DPOY just like Michael Jordan did in 1988. 

It’s crazy to think about, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a player win both awards, and only three players have ever done it before. Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and you guessed it, Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Stephen Curry

Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Chef Curry is back for another season of potential greatness, but injuries are always lingering in the minds of Warriors fans. Stephen Curry, much like LeBron James, is getting up there in age. Recovery is going to take longer, and if he’s unable to avoid a significant injury during the season, he’ll miss a bunch of time and lose heat in the NBA Individual Awards race. 

Then again, he’s coming off of a championship season and could be ready to run things back. Only time will tell whether Steph is ready to take on the entire league again with a revitalized Klay Thompson and grey-bearded Draymond Green. 

Things to Consider When Betting on the NBA Individual Awards

Researching tendencies and figuring out who’s going to have the highest workload is a smart idea, but in the world of sports, anything can happen. LeBron James is always going to be a front-runner when it comes to being on the All-NBA Team, but he isn’t even in the Top 5 this season. 

As such, it could be an easy way to double your money or more (he’s currently at +265). LeBron is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but that’s irrelevant when you start to hit your late thirties. One injury is all it would take to put LeBron out of the All-NBA race; thankfully, he hasn’t been hurt much in the past. This is yet another variable that you’ll have to consider when betting on NBA Individual Awards. 

At the end of the day, you should trust your gut and pick who you think is ready to turn heads this season. Will LeBron reign supreme again? Does Stephen Curry have another amazing season left in him? 

We can only sit and wait for now, but with a bit of research (and a lot of luck), you should be able to make a decent amount of money by betting on the NBA Individual Awards.

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