Previewing the upcoming NBA season, there are NBA lines for every award and futures out there. But the most interesting is easily the NBA’s Most Improved Player award race since this one is always a wide-open contest.
Sure, we’ve got several favorites on the board. But getting this award right can be as difficult as beating Steph Curry in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Literally, every player listed in this table of 65 players has a shot.
So before betting online, we broke down all the contenders into five distinct tiers based on their odds.
NBA Most Improved POY: A Tier For All 65 Players
Tier A: From Michael Porter Jr. To Fred VanVleet
Michael Porter Jr. (MPJ) of the Nuggets, who also had top-three MIP odds last season leads everyone as the sportsbook’s favorite to win the award. We’re not crazy about anyone from this tier, but as proof that the oddsmaking here is as arbitrary as Westbrook’s decision-making when choosing his outfit, check Zion Williamson.
Now, Williamson would have to go crazier than he did last season if hopes to win the award. How much more can he improve on his 27-point average? But the NBA and media love him so much they’ll find any excuse to give him an award. MVP is out of reach so maybe this?
Pick: Zion Williams +1400
Tier B: From Dejounte Murray To Darius Garland
Now, this is more like it. The players in this tier range from 20-1 to 33-1 but you can make a strong case they have a better chance than the ones from Tier A. Dejounte Murray will have the most opportunity with DeMar DeRozan’s departure from the Spurs.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a teammate of Williamson, could also see his role increase in the Pelicans while the pariah that is Ben Simmons may finally develop the spine to hit jump shots when he gets traded to a new team.
Pick: Dejounte Murray +2000
Tier C: From OG Anunoby To Shake Milton
Otherwise known as the tier of sleepers or dark horses, almost every player in this chunk is worth a bet. Most players in this tier still have plenty of room to grow and can benefit from several NBA trades that opened spots on rosters.
Like Murray and Derrick White, Keldon Johnson and Lonnie Walker will see their usage increase in San Antonio. Memphis’s Brandon Clarke can improve on his disappointing season last year while Kyle Kuza may flourish in Washington. Last but not least, keep an eye on Marvin Bagley if he gets traded from Sacramento.
Pick: Brandon Clarke +5000
Tier D: From PJ Washington to Devonte Graham
Kristaps Porzingis sticks out like a sore thumb here though a return to form pre-Dallas could clinch him the award. But other than he and Dennis Schroder, the players here have plenty of chances to improve on their stats.
Cam Reddish has shown signs of being a future star. He’s also entering his third year in the league, which is a magic number for prospects to take a leap in production. Talen-Horton Tucker may also boost his stats if he sees more playing time with the Lakers.
Pick: Cam Reddish +8000
Tier E: From Saddiq Bey To Josh Jackson
There are a few deep sleepers in this tier and that includes Bam Adebayo at a ridiculous price of 100-1. He has as much of a shot at winning as several All-Star caliber players at much shorter odds.
Josh Jackson and Josh Richardson are also interesting choices. Jackson could continue padding his stats with a losing Detroit team while Richardson could return to form in Boston.