Greek Freak remains MVP favorite despite LeBron’s surge

Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the heavy favorite to win NBA regular-season MVP honors despite LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers in the span of three days over the weekend.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Antetokounmpo is being offered at -560 by DraftKings and -416 by PointsBet. That’s compared to +450 and +300 for LeBron James, who is on pace to lead the league in assists at age 35.

DraftKings lists Dallas Mavericks star Luka Donic at +2500, followed by the Houston Rockets’ James Harden at +3300, while PointsBet has them reversed – Harden at +2000 and Doncic at +3000.

James will likely have a difficult time significantly closing the gap on Antetokounmpo because of the presence of teammate Anthony Davis, who is +6000 at PointsBet and +10000 at DraftKings. That gives the Lakers two of the top-five favorites at both sportsbooks, while the Bucks don’t have anyone else in the top dozen.

Another factor is James already owning four MVP awards, with the most recent coming in 2013. Antetokounmpo, 25, is seeking his second straight MVP.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant remains the overwhelming favorite to win rookie of the year honors despite the surge from New Orleans Pelicans No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson since returning from knee surgery.

Morant is -715 at DraftKings and -400 at PointsBet, with Williamson at +350 and +250. No other rookie is lower than +10000 at either book.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Dennis Schroder also appears to have a vice-grip on Sixth Man of the Year honors. He’s -134 at DraftKings and +100 at PointsBet, which does have the Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams within shouting distance at +175. Williams and Clippers teammate Montrezl Harrell are both +225 at DraftKings.

The Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram is favored by both (+175, +150) to win Most Improved Player, with the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum the next closest at (+250, +300).

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)