James Harden the 2017 NBA MVP

Two years and four months have passed since the trade of James Harden to the Houston Rockets, and Harden is now a 25-year-old prolific scorer in the NBA and one of the most productive passers “Our best player since Hakeem Olajuwon,” says Rockets owner Leslie Alexander.

Most valuable player in my opinion means one that carries the most value to his team, and contributes the most.

James Harden photo By: Ezra Shaw

The odds be ever in your favor

It took a little over three months, but the man they call ‘The Beard’ has become the new odds-on favorite to win the 2016–17 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. according to sportsinsight.com

James Harden is the -110 front-runner to garner the hardware at Bovada, with Russell Westbrook (+125), LeBron James (+1100), Kawhi Leonard (+1200) and Kevin Durant (+1200) behind him.

Those accomplishments usually take a normal player a whole career to accumulate, and Harden has been extremely dominant. This is the first time since the campaign tipped off in late October that Westbrook hasn’t been the favorite.

There’s reason behind it all

Last week January 27th, Harden became the first player in NBA history to post multiple 50-point triple-doubles in a single season after he piled up 51 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Houston’s 123–118 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. It was the 27-year-old’s 14th triple-double of the season and pushed his averages to 29.1 points (tied for second in the NBA), 11.6 assists (first) and 8.2 rebounds (third among guards).

After more than three months of action, there have been several players who saw their odds jump substantially including the two front-runners: James Harden and Westbrook. Stephen Curry, who opened as the MVP favorite at Paddy Power, is currently listed as a 40/1 long shot.

The table below displays the past 7MVP winners along with their odds to win the awards prior to the season.

(Historical odds via SportsOddsHistory.com)

Historical odds via SportsOddsHistory.com

In today’s game we rely so much on saber-metrics that one has to take into account all of these new statistical analyses to pick a winner for the MVP. Given by Hardens track record not only with traditional stats, but with new statistical measurements Harden is the most probable winner for the 2017 NBA Most valuable player.

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