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2017-18 NBA Scoring Props
Harden Favored To Win 2017-18 NBA Scoring Title

Being the scoring champion of any NBA season is important. Nobody wins this title by accident, and the short list of players that have earned this award since 1984 are all in the Hall of Fame. So who’s up for it in 2017-18?

Russell Westbrook led the league with a ridiculous 31.6 points per game average last season, but those numbers are sure to drop off with the arrival of Paul George and Melo in town. It’s true that Kevin Durant was a four-time scoring champion while at OKC, but he didn’t have a third wheel to defer to that could score like him.

The obvious choice is James Harden, who will have a better distributor in the form of Chris Paul. As one of the better defensive guards in the league, Paul will have other duties and he loves running the offence. But this is still Mike D’Antoni. Paul is likely to maintain the 18.1 PPG he averaged last year, but there’s a big chance of Harden’s numbers improving enough to crest 30 per game.

The other options are pretty intriguing. LeBron James is the third choice on the board at +700, but that feels like a public factor listing if I’ve ever seen one. James hasn’t led the league in scoring for a decade, largely because he hasn’t needed to. There may be an uptick in his scoring to make up for the lack of Isaiah Thomas, but there’s also other mouths to feed and much less work to do out east. James is not a bad bet considering a 7-to-1 return, but there’s better value for the longshots.

Odds To Win 2017-18 NBA Scoring Title - per Betting Odds
Player Team Odds PPG
James Harden Houston +400 29.1
Russell Westbrook OKC +600 31.6
LeBron James Cleveland +700 26.4
Kevin Durant OKC +800 25.1
Kyrie Irving Boston +1000 25.2
DeMar DeRozan Toronto +1200 27.3
Damian Lillard Portland +1200 27.0

I like DeMar DeRozan at +1200, but don’t love the play overall. The Raptors are harrowingly inconsistent. Same goes for Lillard and the revamped Blazers, who have added scoring weapons this summer to take away from his load. Irving feels like a good play, but is also moving away from an isolation offence that he thrived in during his tenure in Cleveland.

Turns out that the best outside shot on the board might actually be Kevin Durant at +800. The NBA Finals MVP is coming off his worst scoring year since his rookie season. That’s not to say it was bad, but there were some issues going on earlier with Durant dealing with the vitriol of the fans after he migrated and the chemistry solutions that needed to be sorted before the Warriors started ripping wins off like clockwork.

Legacy is important to Kevin Durant to a certain extent. That’s why he went to Golden State in the first place. So it’s important to note that KD is tied for third overall in scoring leaders along with George Gervin and Allen Iverson. Wilt Chamberlin has 7 and Michael Jordan has the most with 10 titles. There’s a part of me that loves the idea of Durant hunting down another scoring title with all the kinks worked out on his new team, and the monkey well off his back after an incredible performance in the NBA finals against LeBron.

James Harden is the easy money play in this market given his circumstances, and his recent performances. Harden has averaged 27.4 points per game while in Houston over the last five seasons, with averages of 29.0 and 29.1 in his last two seasons.

But if you want double the odds for just as good of a chance, then Kevin Durant is as smart of a bet as there is. Why not lean heavy with Harden and hedge with Durant? It doesn’t feel like there are any other, better options on this board.

Get to to wager on the NBA futures before the season tips off! Kevin Durant and James Harden face off on Tuesday, October 17th during a fantastic double-header for opening day!

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