NBA Awards Closing Odds, Finalists, & Betting Data

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NBA Awards Closing Odds, Finalists, & Betting Data

The NBA recently released the finalists for each regular season award, and winners are finally being named with the votes tallied. Check out the NBA odds and public betting trends for each major award according to BetMGM last week, as well as a case for every finalist. 

NBA award finalists & preview

Here are how the various finalists’ odds stack up at NBA betting sites. You can also check out additional info about how to bet on basketball.

Most Valuable Player

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Nikola Jokic+50021.5%46.2%
Luka Doncic+50013.8%12%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+200010.9%10.7%

The case for Nikola Jokic: He’s the best player in the world. Players know it, coaches know it, and even fans have now accepted it. The reigning Finals MVP led the league in the advanced metrics BPM and win shares per 48 minutes, which correlate highly with MVP voting. Jokic also produced the largest on-off rating swing, and Denver snagged the second seed due to his historic offensive impact. Plus, averaging a near 26-point triple-double on elite 65% true shooting is not too shabby. Essentially, he provides the largest championship equity of any individual. 

The case for Luka Doncic: Speaking of records, Doncic directly generated 57.2 points per game this season via scoring and assists — the largest mark in NBA history. He ranked second in usage percentage and touches per game but still had a 61.7% true shooting mark. In other words, Doncic possessed a colossal offensive load and managed to produce elite, efficient offense with this burden. Dallas claimed the fifth seed, but it tied for the sixth-best record for context. 

The case for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Gilgeous-Alexander was a consistent performer for the top-seeded Thunder; he broke the record for most games in a season between 30 and 34 points. SGA also joined Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry as the only players in history to average at least 30 points and two steals per game while clearing 50% shooting from the field. Overall, SGA’s two-way impact and consistent floor-raising outings formed the foundation of this young team. 

Rookie of the Year

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Victor Wembanyama-22522.2%58.4%
Chet Holmgren+50028.6%22.9%
Brandon Miller+9508.3%2.3%

The case for Victor Wembanyama: He averaged roughly 21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal per game this season. The only players to match all of those marks in NBA history for a season are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Bob Lanier. Meanwhile, San Antonio boasted an elite defense with him on the court, and Wembanyama’s advanced metrics were excellent. 

The case for Chet Holmgren: Holmgren didn’t quite match Wembanyama’s box score production, but he still had respectable averages while ranking second in block percentage. Unlike Wembanyama, Holmgren was a massive contributor to a highly successful team that clinched a top playoff seed. 

The case for Brandon Miller: Of all the finalists for all of the awards, Miller’s case is the weakest. However, he does have a few strong bullet points. He scored at least 25 points in 11 games and made at least five threes in 10 games. Miller looked like a future elite scorer with the all-around chops to become a Paul George lite and frequently carried Charlotte’s offense for stretches. 

Clutch Player of the Year

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Stephen Curry+220023.8%65%
DeMar DeRozan+30009.8%16.5%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+120015.9%5%

The case for Stephen Curry: Curry paced the league in total clutch points through blistering 69% true shooting, and Golden State went 23-20 during clutch games this season. Although that record may not seem that impressive, the roster was highly ineffective outside of Curry. The fact that the Warriors won more than they lost is a testament to his crucial shot-making. 

The case for DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan only finished seven points behind Curry and also had 62% true shooting. Meanwhile, Chicago had a superior 24-16 record in the clutch. In other words, DeRozan narrowly finished with worse clutch stats than Curry, but his team had more late-game success. 

The case for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Gilgeous-Alexander wound up seventh in clutch scoring on exceptional 70.7% true shooting. The MVP candidate also produced 19 assists compared to six turnovers in the clutch, and Oklahoma City went 23-11. For context, that winning percentage equates to a 55-win pace, which is absurd considering all of those games would start within points of each other and be decided by a few minutes of play. Overall, SGA has the best blend of stats and winning impact. 

Winner: Stephen Curry

Defensive Player of the Year

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Rudy Gobert+18006.4%23.4%
Victor Wembanyama+400043.2%39.9%
Bam Adebayo+10004.7%3.9%

The case for Rudy Gobert: Minnesota easily paced the NBA in defensive rating, and Gobert was the clear anchor of the unit. He allowed the lowest rim defensive field goal percentage versus expected in the league (minimum of 1,000 minutes), and opponents averaged the worst paint field goal percentage versus Minnesota largely due to Gobert’s brilliance. Not only did he shut down teams, but the Wolves’ team success provides a boost to his case. 

The case for Victor Wembanyama: The rookie somehow exceeded expectations and immediately staked his claim as one of the top defenders in the league. He recorded the fourth-highest block percentage in NBA history, and players were absolutely petrified to challenge him in transition even with the numbers advantage. San Antonio finished 21st in defensive rating, and the previous 15 winners all hailed from top-five teams. Although team success may cost Wembanyama the award, it’s worth noting that the Spurs had an excellent 111.2 defensive rating with him on the court. This mark would have ranked fifth best. 

The case for Bam Adebayo: He isn’t a premier shot-blocker, but Adebayo has more defensive versatility than any other center. The Kentucky product can seamlessly switch on the perimeter and defend every imaginable action. Plus, Adebayo arguably owns the most defensive responsibility of the elite defenders. He compensated for a porous point-of-attack unit and guided Miami to the fifth-best defensive rating.

Coach of the Year

CoachOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Mark Daigneault+1200-90015.6%39.3%
Chris Finch+3000+65010.6%12.2%
Jamahl Mosley+3000+30006.7%7.3%

The case for Mark Daigneault: Oklahoma City became the youngest team ever to secure the first seed, and the fact that it occurred in this brutal Western Conference makes that feat all the more impressive. Mark Daigneault’s calm leadership gave the youthful Thunder a steady presence, but he also displayed an excellent understanding of X’s and O’s. For evidence, Oklahoma City led the league in points per game and effective field goal percentage after timeouts. Daigneault’s complex schemes also helped the Thunder rank in the top four in offensive and defensive rating. Finally, they shattered preseason expectations, which definitely aids his case. 

The case for Chris Finch: After a disappointing first season with Rudy Gobert, questions about his fit with Karl-Anthony Towns echoed throughout the NBA world. However, Finch helped this team gel and find its groove, morphing it into a championship contender. Minnesota finished the regular season as the third seed with the third-best net rating. Team success combined with solving an issue that few thought would work represents the essence of his case. 

The case for Jamahl Mosley: During the 2023 season, Orlando went 34-48 and ranked 24th in net rating. This year, the Magic spiked to 47 wins and snatched the fifth seed. Internal development from their youth assuredly was a leading factor, but Mosley also instilled a level of discipline that is rare to see from teams this young. It led to the Magic entering the playoffs with the third-best defensive rating. Overall, Orlando’s drastic improvement is a huge reason why Mosley earned a finalist spot. 

Winner: Mark Daigneault

NBA award winners

Most Improved Player

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Tyrese Maxey+1200-160013%35.1%
Coby WhiteOff the board+65018.7%20.9%
Alperen Sengun+1800Off the board4.2%4.1%

Winner: Tyrese Maxey

Sixth Man of the Year

PlayerOpening OddsClosing OddsTicket%Handle%
Malik Monk+1200-19016.7%34.6%
Naz Reid+5500+14011.9%19.9%
Bobby Portis+2200+1000013.3%5%

Winner: Naz Reid