Cleveland +500 (4u) [Nitro] / Boston +1000 (2u) [MyBookie]
The Warriors might be in their own tier above the rest of the NBA but there's just no value on taking any team to go all the way at odds around -200. The East is historically weak and a Finals matchup without either the Cavs or Celtics would be a massive upset, so I'd much rather take the top two teams in the East at these odds and have the option to hedge in the Finals. Assuming one of these two teams wins the East and the Warriors make the Finals again, you could get creative with the hedge by taking Warriors -1.5 games (must win in 6 games or less) and also take Warriors in exactly 7 games to cover all outcomes and guarantee a small profit.
Regular Season MVP:
Kawhi Leonard +400 (4u) [MyBookie] / Giannis Antetokounmpo +1000 (2u) [Bovada]
Last season was a prime example that winning the MVP isn't about being the best player in the league, it's about usage rate. After a wild offseason, some of the top MVP candidates have joined forces with other stars and should lose enough touches to take them out of the MVP race. Harden paired up with CP3, Westbrook formed a new big 3 with PG13/Melo, KD/Steph will continue to split MVP votes, and LeBron is the human embodiment of voter fatigue. This leaves perennial MVP/DPOY candidate Kawhi at the top who should be looking to increase his 31.3% usage rate and lead the Spurs to yet another 50+ win season.
The Greek Freak should be filling up the stat sheet this year like Westbrook did last season and makes for a sneaky play at 10:1 odds. He gets a lot of media attention and the narrative could definitely give him a boost at winning the MVP if the Bucks are able to pull off 50+ wins. At only 22 years old (!), he will definitely be in the MVP conversation for years to come and I don't mind putting 2 units on him to pull it off this season.
Rookie of the Year:
Dennis Smith Jr. +500 (4u) [Bovada]
There's going to be a lot of hype with Lonzo getting the spotlight in LA and Fultz/Simmons splitting votes on an extremely young and entertaining Sixers team, but there's a ton of value taking DSJ at 5:1 odds. He'll be given the keys to run the offense with fewer mouths to feed in Dallas and should lead all rookie guards with 16+ PPG in 30+ MPG, utilizing his ability to get in the paint coupled with a decent outside shot. Throw in the fact that Seth Curry is out indefinitely with a leg injury and I'll gladly grab the value with DSJ.
Coach of the Year:
Brad Stevens +400 (2u) [Bovada] / Billy Donovan +800 (2u) [Bovada]
This award is pretty hard to predict but both of these coaches have a tall task ahead of them in trying to seamlessly integrate all-NBA talent into their lineups. On paper, both teams have the ability to pull off 60+ wins but it'll be up to their respective coaches to lead the team in doing so. I don't see D'Antoni winning this award in back to back years and there's not much that Kerr or Pop could do that they haven't done already, so I feel comfortable taking these two to win a Coach of the Year award this season.
All odds available at the listed books as of Oct 10 3pm PST.