Stephen Curry is the odds-on favorite to win his third consecutive MVP award, according to Las Vegas sportsbook Bovada.
The latest odds have Curry and LeBron James as the co-favorites with 15/4 odds while Russell Westbrook (4/1), Kevin Durant (8/1) and Anthony Davis (14/1) round off the top 5.
Stephen Curry to join Wilt, Russell?
Interestingly enough, ESPN has projected Curry to finish No. 5 in the MVP voting ballot behind James, Westbrook, Durant and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
Several analysts believe that Durant’s arrival in Oakland would reduce the significance of Curry to the success of the Golden State Warriors, who won a NBA record 73 games last season.
For the record, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell are the only other players to win three back-to-back MVP awards. Celtics legend Russell won the award thrice over between 1960 and 1963 while Chamberlain won three of his four MVP awards between 1965 and 1968. Could Curry emulate those legendary centers?
For Westbrook to win the prized award, the Oklahoma City Thunder would have to finish as a top-3 seed, which remains highly unlikely after Durant’s exit. However, Westbrook could win the award with the sheer volume of numbers he has been projected to put up in the coming season.
Russell Westbrook has a good shot
Last season, the athletic guard became the first player since Magic Johnson to register 18 triple-doubles in a season. Westbrook averaged an amazing tally of 23.5 points, 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds last season.
Westbrook won the scoring title a year before that when Durant missed most of the season with a foot injury. Therefore, it’s possible that Westbrook averages close to 30 points per game next season and wins his first MVP award.
If James were to win his fifth MVP award, he would join Michael Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar and Russell as the only players in history to win the prestigious honor on five or more occasions.
Who would win the 2016-17 MVP award? Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook or LeBron James? Or a darkhorse candidate like Paul George or Kawhi Leonard? Cast your votes below.