Why Luka Has the Best NBA Most Improved Player Odds
[table id=1707 /]
Happy Tuesday NBA fans. As you know, we’ve been tracking a few individual awards this season, including Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year as well as the teams with the best odds to win it all this year. While it can be easy to predict which players will dominate certain categories, it is a bit different when it comes to betting on the Most Improved Player award. Coming into the season, all eyes were on Dallas Mavericks‘ second-year shooting guard Luka Doncic following a rookie campaign in which he put up 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.
Will Doncic turn out to be the heavy favorite from a betting standpoint or will a few other guys be able to give him a run for the money? With that in mind, here’s a look at the updated odds for the players in the running for the MIP award based on how they performed during the past week (Jan. 28 through Feb. 3).
The Third-Best Most Improved Players Odds: Devonte Graham (+350)
Unlike Doncic, Devonte Graham wasn’t exactly a household name during his rookie season. In fact, he averaged 4.7 points and 14.7 minutes per contest scattered across 46 games. This season though, Graham has been playing on a different level, compiling averages of 17.9 points 3.5 rebounds and 7.6 assists. Over the seven days, Graham and the Charlotte Hornets had a week that they would like to forget in a hurry.
In the four games they played, the Hornets’ only win came against the New York Knicks on Jan. 28. They won that game 97-92 before losing the next three games to the Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, Graham was held to single digits in two of the first three games during that stretch. Fortunately, he concluded the week with a good performance, scoring 15 points to go along with five assists against the Magic. Graham may be the odd man out for right now, but the race is far from over.
The Second-Best Most Improved Player Odds: Brandon Ingram (+200)
Ingram spent the first three years of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers before becoming a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. It should also be mentioned that he came into the 2019-20 campaign having increased his scoring output in each of his first three NBA seasons.
Graham played in three games over the past week. After scoring 24 and 20 points respectively, against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Memphis Grizzlies, Ingram saved his best performance for last. In a road game against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 2, he contributed 28 points, 13 rebounds and three assists on 10-for-23 shooting from the field and a 5-for-11 effort from beyond the arc. Graham may be at the No. 2 spot for now, but he isn’t far behind the player who holds the top spot on the list.
The Best Most Improved Player Odds: Luka Doncic (+175)
As good as Doncic’s numbers were last season, he has been even better this season, putting up averages of 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game. Based on those numbers, he will more than likely be included in the MVP conversation as well. Unfortunately, thanks to an ankle injury he sustained during practice, not only did Doncic play in just one game over the past week, he is expected to be on the shelf until at least Feb. 10.
In his lone appearance, Doncic scored 21 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists against the Phoenix Suns. It was all for a losing effort though, as the Suns steamrolled over the home team 133-104. Doncic continues to be the odds-on favorite in this race, and rightfully so. At the same token, don’t be surprised if his odds dip a bit should he be out of the lineup longer than expected.