The wait is almost over. The NBA’s 2018-19 NBA season begins on October 16, 2018. The teams are currently playing in the preseason and we’ve seen some terrific individual performances already. But which of these NBA stars are going to take home some of the league’s top individual awards at the end of the season?
Let’s take a look at some of the NBA’s player futures bets and your favorite players’ best odds to win the awards:
Who Will Be The 2018-19 NBA MVP?
- LeBron James +350 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Anthony Davis +450 at Bovada
- Giannis Antetokounmpo +500 at Bovada
- James Harden +650 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- Kawhi Leonard +950 at Bovada
- Kevin Durant +1000 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- Russell Westbrook +1600 at Bovada
- Joel Embiid +1600 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Stephen Curry +1600 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Kyrie Irving +1800 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Ben Simmons +2500 at Bovada
- Paul George +12500 at Bovada
LeBron James is going to get most of the exposure here because he is playing in Hollywood. Not to mention that he is coming off one of his best seasons ever. James averaged career highs in rebounds and assists last season and his scoring average was his best since 2012. King James has always been an MVP candidate every season with the way he plays. But playing in a new city with high expectations, I don’t think the Lakers will be successful enough to help James win the MVP.
Kyrie Irving had an MVP-type season last year before he got hurt but with the return of Gordon Hayward, I don’t think he’s going to stand out as much this year. Embiid is going to have a 20-10 season and maybe 2 or 3 blocks per game but I don’t see him winning MVP honors either.
Anthony Davis? He’s going to be a finalist at best but the Pelicans won’t be successful enough for him to win. James Harden? He had one helluva season last year but that effort is very hard to replicate. Kawhi Leonard? The guy is so good in defense, his all around game is often overlooked. He’ll have a good year because it’s contract season for him but I don’t see him winning MVP either.
I really like Ben Simmons at +2500 because I think he is due for a breakout season. Simmons was great last season but was often criticized for his lack of outside shot. He may not be a three point threat this season but he’s shown in preseason games that he is more confident with his mid range game and his penetration has never been more forceful. With his triple double threat and the Sixers’ rise in the East, who knows?
But my bet belongs to the Greek Freak. I think Giannis has the most potential among all NBA players and given his desire and determination, I think he is due for an explosion this year. Antetokounmpo will have a new coach behind him in Mike Budenholzer. Milwaukee has a new arena and it is looking to bounce back from a disappointing season. And don’t forget, Giannis has been working out with Kobe Bryant during the offseason. I think the Mamba Mentality rubs off on Gianis. Best Bet: Giannis Antetokounmpo +500
Who Will Be the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year?
- DeAndre Ayton +375 at Bovada
- Luka Doncic +350 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Collin Sexton +600 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Kevin Knox +750 at Bovada
- Trae Young +1100 at Bovada
- Jaren Jackson Jr. +1200 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- Marvin Bagley +1200 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Grayson Allen +9000 at Bovada
The 2018-19 Rookie of the Year is likely going to be a two-man race between DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic. Ayton doesn’t have any competition in Phoenix so expect the big guy to put up the numbers. A double-double season is a sure thing. If he can average 20-10, who knows he’s going to win this award. If no one from the rest of the rookie field is going to have a special season, Ayton wins this outright because of stats.
As for Doncic, he is the sentimental favorite to win this award, like Lonzo Ball was last year. Doncic is probably the most-hyped rookie in the class and he’s proven in preseason that he does have the goods and is ready to play with the big boys. Unlike Ball who didn’t ( and maybe still doesn’t) have the outside shot, Doncic has decent range and good perimeter shooting. He won’t have the same numbers as Ayton but if he puts up something special like how Ben Simmons beat Donovan Mitchell last year, Doncic is a cinch for this award.
I like Doncic and there’s good value at +350. But there’s a young man that’s caught my eye in preseason play and even in the summer league. Grayson Allen in Utah could very well be the steal of the draft. He’s played so well in preseason that some believe he is the darkhorse to win Rookie of the Year. The problem with Allen is that he plays the same position as Donovan Mitchell so maybe he doesn’t get enough playing time to win this award. But given Utah has played Mitchell at point guard in several occasions, maybe Allen gets enough minutes to show his worth. Best Bet: Luka Doncic at +350 but keep an eye on Grayson Allen at +9000
Who Will Be the 2018-19 NBA Scoring Leader?
- Anthony Davis +300 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- James Harden +300 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- LeBron James +650 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
- Giannis Antetokounmpo +800 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Kevin Durant +1200 at Bovada
- Kyrie Irving +1600 at Bovada
- Damian Lillard +1400 at Sportsbetting.ag
- Stephen Curry +1600 at Bovada
- Russell Westbrook +2000 at Bovada
- Victor Oladipo +2200 at Bovada
- Donovan Mitchell +2500 at Sportsbetting.ag, Bovada
Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are probably serious contenders for the NBA scoring title if they played on different teams. But again, I will go back to the wealth sharing in the Bay Area and that’s going to prevent either from taking enough shots to win the scoring title. Same with Westbrook because after being consistently on top of this list, he disappeared last year with the arrival of Paul George in OKC. Giannis is going to have a great season but I think he does too many things to concentrate on scoring alone. I have the same thoughts on LeBron too.
Harden finished second in scoring from 2015-2017 before finally leading the league in scoring last season. Coming off an MVP season, you bet the Beard is more fired up than ever. Given Mike D’Antoni’s offensive scheme, Harden is the best bet to be this year’s scoring champion again. Best Bet: James Harden +300
Who Will Be the 2018-19 NBA Assists Leader?
- John Wall +150
- Russell Westbrook +270
- Ben Simmons +600
- Chris Paul +650
- James Harden +700
- Lonzo Ball +1100
- Ricky Rubio +1200
- Rajon Rondo +1200
Russell Westbrook led the league in assists last season but after two triple double seasons, you can only wonder how longer Russ can continue his pace. Westbrook recently had knee surgery and although that isn’t considered serious, you think about what it does to his torrid pace. I think with George assimilating pretty well in OKC, Westbrook will lay low somehow with his numbers and focus about being fresh and ready for the postseason and a title run.
Coming off his playoff injury, I think Chris Paul will be more concerned about the playoffs than the regular season. Ben Simmons does too much to focus on just passing. Same with John Wall who has to carry the offensive burden in Washington. Lonzo? Nah, let the kid have a quiet season and grow. Rubio’s a great floor general but he’s never been a threat to lead the league in assists. That leaves me with Rajon Rondo.
Rondo finished 4th last season 5th in 2015 and #1 2016. Forget 2017 because that was Rondo’s forgettable stint in Chicago. But playing for Los Angeles with so many offensive weapons around gives Rondo a big chance to lead the NBA in assists this year. Not to mention that while Paul, Harden, Simmons and Westbrook have winning the championship in mind, there isn’t as much pressure on Rondo as there is on LeBron. The Showtime aura in Los Angeles will also be a factor and it seems this early, Rondo is a fit there. Best Bet: Rajon Rondo +1200