NBA MVP Odds: Sleeper Pick Dame Lillard Accounts For 40% Of Handle
Thursday was a rough day for one of the NBA’s premier players. Damian Lillard was a surprising All-Star starter snub as Luka Doncic and Steph Curry landed the starting jobs. Lillard and Doncic actually tied in the weighted score, as fans voted for Doncic and the players and media voted for Lillard. However, the tiebreaker was the fan vote leaving Lillard snubbed.
Dame is still one of the premier players in the league and a lock for the All-Star team. He ranks third in the NBA in scoring, 10th in assists, and he’s fifth in PER. There’s little doubt that he’s been one of the best players in the NBA over the first half of the season, and he’s done it with little support around him. Still, the Trail Blazers rank fourth in the tough Western Conference.
There’s an easy argument to be made that no one player means more to their team’s success than Damian Lillard means to Portland. That would make him the most valuable player in the NBA, even if he’s only among the top five statistically.
A number of bettors believe that the oddsmakers are sleeping on Lillard. His +3000 odds are only eight-best. Behind the likes of Kevin Durant +1600, Giannis Antetokounmpo +1600, and Luka Doncic +1400. When the time comes to vote on the MVP, fans won’t have as big a say. The media who showed their love for Dame in the All-Star voting will have the largest say.
If Lillard’s play picks up in the second half as Portland gets healthier then it’s going to be hard to make an argument against giving Lillard his first MVP award. So, he may seem like a longshot now, especially after his All-Star snub, but Lillard may be the best long-term play on the market.
Surprisingly Dame only makes up 1.5% of all NBA MVP bets taken through OddsChecker over the past month, which makes him the tenth most attractive option to MVP bettors.
LeBron James leads the betting and accounts for a huge 44.61% of all bets. The Lakers star has nearly four times the amount of wagers than his nearest rival Joel Embiid, who accounts for 11.98% of all bets, marginally ahead of Denver's Nikola Jokic, who makes up 11.68% of bets.
Despite only raking in 1.5% of the total amount of bets we can reveal that Dame Lillard accounts for 40.58% of all money staked upon the market, indicating that there has been some substantial money wagered on the Portland star. If the sharp money is investing in Lillard then we'll likely see his odds shorten soon as it becomes a more popular bet.