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Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo favorites to win top NBA honors

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the NBA regular season is about to get started in a week, fans are making bets and predicting what we’re going to see during the marathon.

More so than any other season over the past half-decade, everything seems to be up in the air. As many as a half-dozen teams have legitimate shots to win the NBA title.

When it comes to individual honors, however, it sure looks like their are odds-on favorites to win MVP and Rookie of the Year.

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favorite to take home that honor for a second consecutive year.

These are some really interesting odds right here. Both Anthony Davis and LeBron James being in the top five should very well lead to avoiding hedging your bets on either of them.

Teammates who usually find themselves with such favorable odds tend to cancel one another out. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant over the past three seasons are a prime example of that.

James Harden’s status is also interesting in that his Houston Rockets added fellow former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook (+3046) to the mix this past summer. Both are ball-dominant guards. How will that play out?

If we were to make a wager here, it would likely be on Stephen Curry earning his third top individual honor.

The Golden State Warriors lost the above-mentioned Durant in free agency and will be without fellow All-Star Klay Thompson until at least after the All-Star Break after he suffered a torn ACL in the NBA Finals.

If Curry is able to lead Golden State to 50-plus regular-season wins while averaging north of 30 points, he has to be seen as a legit contender. Plus-567 odds makes him a solid bet.

The Rookie of the Year race seems to be less about who wins the award and more about who finishes second.

  • Zion Williamson: -250
  • Ja Morant: +380
  • R.J. Barrett: +583
  • Darius Garland: +2442
  • Coby White: +3240

It’s hard to even put money on Williamson at this point. The generational talent is already dominating for his New Orleans Pelicans during the preseason.

At issue here is the unforeseen. Injuries. Placing a bet on someone that’s -250 for an individual award has to take this into account. You’re looking at just a $25 profit on a $250 bet. Willing to risk that over the course of an 82-game season?

Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies seems to be the better play. He’s going to be the face of a rebuilding squad and could very well pad his stats this season.