Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 16 mins

NBA Awards Betting Odds & Picks For MVP, 6th Man & More

NBA Awards Betting Odds & Picks For MVP, 6th Man & More
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We’re heading into the final few weeks of the NBA’s regular season, and there are still a number of individual awards that have yet to be decided. We’ll analyze each of the races, make our NBA picks, and let you know if there are any long shots that are worth a small wager at top betting sites.

Most Valuable Player

PlayerOdds
Joel Embiid -160
Nikola Jokic +135
Giannis Antetokounmpo +800

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Though Giannis Antetokounmpo is putting up eye-popping numbers, this is officially a two-man race. Joel Embiid has the Sixers playing incredible basketball while averaging a career-best 29.8 points per game. He hasn’t skipped a beat with James Harden joining the Sixers—Philadelphia is 8-3 when Embiid and Harden play, and Embiid has actually improved his scoring average since Harden entered the fold (30.8 points per game since Feb. 25 compared to 29.6 before it).

But Embiid isn’t running away with this race just yet. Nikola Jokic is eyeing back-to-back awards with his stellar play and video-game averages of 26.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists. He’s doing this all without his top two teammates in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., making it all the more impressive that Denver stands sixth in the daunting West.

NBA MVP Pick: Joel Embiid

We liked Embiid in February and we certainly like him now. Even if Jokic has matched him in the stats department, Embiid feels like a legacy winner.

Remember, this is a media-voted award, and Embiid has been an MVP contender for years. Given the success he’s had amid all the Ben Simmons drama and then adding Harden, it’s his to lose. We’d hammer Embiid.

Most Improved Player

PlayerOdds
Ja Morant -1300
Darius Garland +1400
Miles Bridges +1600
Dejounte Murray +1800

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We can keep this one brief. Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant exploded onto the scene in Year 2, going from Rookie of the Year to bona-fide superstar. He’s had this award wrapped up since January, and we hope you got in early enough to profit.

Though he’s not going to win the award, Darius Garland is a worthy runner-up, averaging an absurd 26.7 points and 10.1 assists over the last six weeks. Still, as we wrote in February, Morant will win this award unanimously. The NBA odds tell us so.

Rookie of the Year

PlayerOdds
Evan Mobley -900
Cade Cunningham +550
Scottie Barnes +700

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It’s a shame that the NBA regular season isn’t going another month or so, because Cade Cunningham might have had a shot to catch Evan Mobley. Cunningham has really started to blossom late in his rookie season, averaging 21.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists over the last five weeks. But we—and Rookie of the Year voters—can’t overlook his pedestrian start in which he averaged 13.0 points on 33% shooting through Thanksgiving.

It's why Mobley is the runaway winner. He has anchored the Cavs defense all season and is only getting stronger down the stretch, averaging 17.2 points on 53% shooting and 9.2 rebounds in March—those are all his best averages of any month. What’s more, Cleveland is sixth in the East after being projected to win 28 games. Mobley is a major reason why. He’ll win this award easily.

Sixth Man of the Year

PlayerOdds
Tyler Herro -20000
Kelly Oubre +5000
Kevin Love +5000

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Tyler Herro is your winner and it will be unanimous. Off the bench this season, Herro has averaged 20.9 points—the only other reserve to average 20+ points was Lou Williams in 2018 and 2019, and he won 6th Man Of The Year both seasons.

Herro has been extraordinary for the top-seeded Heat and will win this one going away. Just look at those NBA futures odds! No one is really worth mentioning here, but shoutout to Kevin Love for his career revival.

Coach of the Year

PlayerOdds
Monty Williams -1000
Erik Spoelstra +700
Taylor Jenkins +800
JB Bickerstaff +1000

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We’ve written about it before, but Monty Williams was snubbed by the media last season and it won’t happen again. Phoenix, as of this writing, has the NBA’s best record by nine games—and they’ve gone 10-4 since Chris Paul injured his thumb. That’s a testament to Williams’ coaching and ability to always pull the right strings with his group.

Though the race is over, we’ll mention that Erik Spoelstra has done a magnificent job taking his Heat to the top of the East despite myriad injuries and personnel changes (Miami has had 21 players log minutes). Taylor Jenkins took the Grizzlies from the Play-In Tournament to the second seed in the West and deserves heaps of credit for that. It just won’t be enough to beat Williams.

Defensive Player of the Year

PlayerOdds
Bam Adebayo +115
Rudy Gobert +155
Giannis Antetokounmpo +650

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Seemingly out of nowhere, Bam Adebayo has taken over the frontrunning of this award. Adebayo anchors Miami’s No. 4 defense, and Adebayo has averaged 10.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks over the last five weeks. We’re a bit perplexed that he’s taken over the lead for this award considering he missed six weeks from December to January, but here we are.

It’s no surprise to see Rudy Gobert near the top of the leaderboard. Gobert has won the award three times and is at it again in 2022, averaging an NBA-best 14.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Utah is actually ranked ninth in defensive efficiency, which would be far lower than the years Gobert won this award (3rd, 2nd, and 1st). Opponents are 6.5 points per 100 possessions worse when Gobert is on the floor, which strengthens his case.

Defensive Player Of The Year Pick: Rudy Gobert

Giannis is also lurking in the background but we’re not expecting him to make much noise this late in the season—and the Bucks defense is just 13th in efficiency. Because Adebayo hasn’t really stood out, we think voters will default to Gobert and his incredible raw numbers. There’s some value at sports betting apps at this number.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports.