It’s the time of year the NBA’s MVP discussion usually heats up. Don’t bother this season, though. The 2019-20 winner has been locked in already.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record through three-quarters of the 2019-20 NBA season. He has the wins, is putting up numbers, and the punters have been all over him to see the odds fall from $4 to $1.08.
Barring an injury that wipes him out for the rest of the season, Antetokounmpo already has two hands on the Most Valuable Player trophy.
Despite what James Harden says about Antetokounmpo having “no skill”, the Greek Freak’s numbers say otherwise.
He’s averaging 29.9 points per game on 55.4% shooting. While his 31.6% isn’t quite at the league average, it’s enough of an improvement for defences to close out on his 4.7 three-point attempts per game. Around the scoring, Antetokounmpo is dragging down a career-high 13.8 rebounds while handing out 5.8 assists per game. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year candidate behind his one steal and 1.1 blocks per game too.
The 25-year-old leads the NBA in usage rate at 37.5% and does more than anybody else with it.
Against the rest of the NBA:
- PER: 32.3 – 1st (Best in NBA history)
- Offensive Win Shares: 8.6 – 4th
- Defensive Win Shares: 4.6 – 1st
- Win Shares: 10.3 – 2nd
- Offensive Box Plus/Minus: 7.7 – 4th
- Defensive Box Plus/Minus: 4.0 – 1st
- Box Plus/Minus: 11.7 – 1st
- Value Over Replacement: 5.8 – 2nd
Antetokounmpo is towards the top in every advanced metric. He dominates both sides of the ball, and as a result, his Bucks are the best team in the NBA as we approach the end of the regular season.
Giannis against the East: 28.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists per game with a 61.0 TS% (30-3 record).
Giannis against the West: 32.2 points, 14.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists per game with a 61.7 TS% (17-4 record).
Can we retire this talking point now? https://t.co/bePlq0f31K
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) March 2, 2020
Right now, the Bucks lead the NBA with a 52-8 record. With the Los Angeles Lakers five games behind them in the loss column, the Bucks are all but certain to end the regular season with the most wins.
Unless you’re doing something out of the ordinary and averaging a triple-double like Russell Westbrook in 2016-17, wins matter. Being the best player on the best team in the league is half of the criteria most years.
Antetokounmpo has that covered while cracking 70 wins would add further weight to his MVP campaign.
Punters have been all over Antetokounmpo for his MVP odds to come in from $4 into $1.08 going into the final quarter of the regular season.
Big bets have come in at regular intervals with one for $5,000 at $3, $2,500 at $2.20 and, more recently, $10,000 at $1.50.
— Palmerbet (@PalmerbetAU) March 2, 2020
Antetokounmpo is blitzing the MVP market with LeBron James, Luka Doncic and James Harden filling out the next three lines of betting at $10.20, $15.25 and $19.75 respectively.
Voter fatigue is real, but that doesn’t usually kick in until a third consecutive award is being talked about. Steph Curry, James, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan have all won back-to-back MVP’s in the last 20 years.
Punters already know it and the odds further reflect it.
Antetokounmpo is a lock for the 2019-20 NBA MVP at $1.08.