Books adjust to Bucks
October 25, 2017
All Hail The Greek Freak
Right before the NBA season started, it seemed like James Harden was a no brainer to win the scoring title at +400. He’s doing well with 26.3 points per game, but has lost Chris Paul to a knee injury. You would think that his scoring would jump, but it’s held steady as the Rockets have seemingly hit a bit of a plateau at just 2-2 ATS. In his place, Giannis Antetokounmpo has risen to steal the spotlight.
The Greek Freak has averaged a staggering 36.8 points per game to go along with 10.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists while leading the league in minutes and usage. The league has always feared that this superstar-in-the-making would realize his awesome potential, and the 2017-18 campaign has become all his.
MILWAKEE BUCKS SEASON FUTURES - per BetOnline.ag
To Win Eastern Conference +1600
To Win Central Division +600
To Win NBA Championship +3300
Over the course of his career, Antetokounmpo has averaged just 14.8 points per game over the course of his first four years. After showing more consistent glimpses of his ceiling last season, Antetokounmpo has busted through the stratosphere and is setting a new standard.
There are a lot of superstars in this league, but few have the ability to alter the landscape in a meaningful way. Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, John Wall, Kevin Durant and a handful of others have established their ability to be impactful forces in the NBA. The only other two left are Anthony Davis and Giannis.
And it’s happening. Giannis has long been the league’s sleeping giant because of his tsunami like influence on both ends of the floor. To so many in the NBA, he represented the potential of another Kevin Garnett, but even KG wasn’t this athletic. We’re talking about a former MVP who was once the closest thing to a Kraken on the court.
If you want to know how good Giannis has become, then look at the revised MVP odds. Giannis is now a +200 favorite in a market where he was an outsider in the preseason. Trailed by the usual candidates, Giannis stands out not only as the league’s breakout player but also the most impossible to gauge. What many have said throughout his early career is very true – we have never seen a player like Antetokounmpo before.
Updates NBA MVP Odds for 2017-18 - per BetOnline.ag
Giannis Antetokounmpo +200
LeBron James +500
Kawhi Leonard +800
Kevin Durant +1000
Russell Westbrook +1200
James Harden +1200
Stephen Curry +1200
We’re only four games in to the season, but the teams that Giannis has put these numbers up against are impressive. He obliterated the Charlotte Hornets, defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on the last plays of the game and also helped grind out a win against Boston. He posted 34 points against Cleveland in a loss, but that’s more so on his teammates not showing up.
To get the best value out of Giannis, you basically have to take him now. Whether he’s +200 or +150, he’s going to have value because the awe inspiring nature of the way he’s blossomed in to an elite, two-way force is the type of x-factor that buoys a an MVP campaign.
As Russell Westbrook proved last year, it doesn’t matter where the Bucks end up in the Eastern Conference for their leader to win the MVP. More importantly, they just need to be in the conversation. They’re already there and will remain there as long as they can stand on the shoulders of their 6-foot-11 superstar.
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