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NBA futures check-in: How the MVP, ROY, and other awards are shaping up

Rocky Widner / National Basketball Association / Getty

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The NBA's All-Star hiatus is the perfect time to check in on midseason awards. There's just over 30% of the season remaining, and while many of the awards have a substantial leader, there are a few that'll be decided in the final months.

We'll take a look at what the odds say about who's leading the pack to claim the NBA's prestigious honors.

MVP Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Nikola Jokic -140 58%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +215 31%
Giannis Antetokounmpo +825 10%
Luka Doncic +1300 7%
Jayson Tatum +2500 4%
Kawhi Leonard +5000 2%
Jalen Brunson +7500 1%

Barring catastrophic injury or an unforeseen abysmal stretch from the Nuggets and Nikola Jokic, the MVP race is over. It appeared a couple of months ago that another contentious race between the league's two best bigs was on the horizon, with Joel Embiid as the favorite. Then, Embiid injured his knee and was disqualified.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having an MVP-worthy campaign as the leader of the Thunder, one of the NBA's best and youngest teams. But Jokic's dominant playoff run last campaign that culminated with the NBA Finals MVP showed how significant the Serbian star is to the Nuggets, the favorites to come out of the West again.

Although the award is supposed to be strictly based on this season's performance, last campaign's results will have a lingering mark on voters' decisions.

In ESPN's most recent MVP straw poll released last week- a survey that polls the actual voters - Jokic received 69 first-place votes and Gilgeous-Alexander came in second with 24.

Player impact estimate (PIE) - an advanced stat used to evaluate a player's overall impact on their team - is a good indication of who the MVP is and who'll win the award. Many voters rely on this metric when filling out their ballots.

The last eight leaders in PIE who played in at least 80% of their team's games won MVP. Jokic is currently the leader in PIE. Gilgeous-Alexander has the fourth-best mark behind Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Although the Thunder are a game-and-a-half ahead of the Nuggets, the MVP award is Jokic's to lose. If you already have a ticket on him at longer odds - I gave out Jokic to win MVP at +425 before the season - you're in luck. He may even be worth a wager at -140.

Rookie of the Year Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Victor Wembanyama -600 88%
Chet Holmgren +600 14%
Brandon Miller +15000 0.66%

The Rookie of the Year race is over.

Victor Wembanyama entered the league with a ceiling as high as the Empire State Building. Somehow, he's reached it.

Wembanyama has had one of the best rookie seasons in recent history. He has the chance to be the face of the league for the next decade-plus.

The 7-foot-4 French phenom is averaging 20.5 points, 10 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 3.2 blocks per game. Although he plays for the NBA's third-worst team, he's leading all rookies in points, rebounds, and blocks.

Chet Holmgren would earn the honor almost any other year. He's averaging 16.7 points on 39% shooting from three. Holmgren's an integral part of a team that has the fifth-best odds to win the West. Although he has better teammates, he also has more pressure to perform for a contending team than Wembanyama.

Regardless, Wembanyama's brilliant numbers and jaw-dropping highlights have him well on his way to the Rookie of the Year award.

Defensive Player of the Year Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Rudy Gobert -700 87%
Jarrett Allen +1000 9%
Chet Holmgren +2500 4%
Derrick White +2500 4%
Bam Adebayo +3000 3%
Victor Wembanyama +3000 3%

This is another award that should be locked up.

Rudy Gobert's been the most impactful rim-protector on the league's best defense. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner is back to defending at a high level after a down season. He's a nightmare for driving players and has improved as a defender in open space, which could be key for a potential Timberwolves playoff run.

Opposing players have a 44.8% effective field-goal percentage when Gobert is the primary defender, the third-best percentage among qualifying players.

Jarrett Allen, Bam Adebayo, and Chet Holmgren all serve as rim-protectors for top defenses, but Minnesota's higher defensive rating gives the edge to Gobert.

Derrick White's a phenomenal perimeter defender, but guards rarely win the award. Marcus Smart - also a Celtic at the time - has been the only guard to win this century.

Sixth Man of the Year Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Malik Monk -115 53%
Tim Hardaway Jr. +200 33%
Norman Powell +600 14%
Caris LeVert +1200 7%
Bogdan Bogdanovic +2500 4%

Malik Monk has been a steady offensive presence for the Kings. He's their third-leading scorer despite playing the fifth-most minutes. Monk is averaging 15.1 points but has elevated his game in recent weeks, recording 20.4 points per game in February. That has led to his emergence as the Sixth Man favorite.

Monk averages the third-most points among bench scorers behind Bogdan Bogdanovic at 16.8 points per game and Tim Hardaway Jr. at 15.9.

The winner usually plays for a playoff team, which is why Bogdanovic has long-shot odds. It'll likely come down to Hardaway or Monk. Hardaway was the favorite for much of the season, but he's trended down as Monk has trended up. He's averaging 10.6 points over his last seven games, and his 3-point shooting is down. His minutes have also dwindled.

The Mavericks' addition of P.J. Washington takes away opportunities for Hardaway. Monk is worth a bet before his odds shorten.

Most Improved Player of the Year Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Tyrese Maxey -190 65%
Coby White +400 20%
Alperen Sengun +700 12%
Jonathan Kuminga +800 11%

This one has seen the least odds movement for the favorite among all the awards. Tyrese Maxey emerged as the leader after a fiery start to the Sixers' season and has remained the favorite for months, although Coby White and Alperen Sengun have closed the gap.

White and Sengun have increased their points average from last season by more than Maxey. However, their jumps were from average players to really good players on poor teams. Maxey's leap turned him into an All-Star on a contending club.

Unless White or Sengun explode on dominant season-ending runs, this award should be Maxey's to take home.

Coach of the Year Odds

Player Odds Implied prob.
Mark Daigneault +180 36%
Chris Finch +230 30%
JB Bickerstaff +400 20%
Tyronn Lue +450 18%
Rick Carlisle +1500 6%
Tom Thibodeau +2200 4%

The Coach of the Year award is one of the few that'll come down to the final months of the season. It's (usually) given to a coach of a team that exceeded preseason expectations. It's rarely given to a coach leading a team that was expected to be great.

There are a few candidates who fit the criteria this season. Neither oddsmakers nor pundits forecasted the Timberwolves and Thunder sitting atop the West standings at the All-Star break.

Oklahoma City had a preseason win total of 44.5; the Timberwolves' was 43.5. They now have 39 and 37 victories, respectively, with 27 and 28 games remaining.

Mark Daigneault is the Thunder's fourth-year coach. Last season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander emerged as an All-NBA first-teamer under his tutelage. This season, Daigneault has turned the NBA's second-youngest team into a contender.

Chris Finch has led the Timberwolves to playoff appearances in his first two full seasons at the helm. Before 2022, Minnesota had just one postseason appearance in the last 17 years.

An impressive start to the season shifted the Timberwolves' expectations after losing in the first round the last two campaigns. Finch's defense is the NBA's best, and the Wolves are the current top seed in the West.

Tyronn Lue - my preseason pick to win the award at +2500 - has done a phenomenal job steering what looked like a sinking ship. Lue has the Clippers appearing like the team to beat in the West after navigating a difficult James Harden arrival.

After being on the hot seat early on this season, JB Bickerstaff has the Cavs as the 2-seed in the East and steered them through a difficult stretch with two starters injured.

Daigneault is rightfully the favorite, but this race is far from over. Whichever Western Conference team pulls away from the pack in the final stretch will likely earn its coach some hardware. The Thunder have the seventh-easiest schedule to finish the season, according to Tankathon.

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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