The National Basketball League’s Most Valuable Player award – or MVP – is a trophy awarded to the competition’s best player of any given year.
The award, which is voted on by the media, is presented during the NBA playoffs and grants the winner basketball immortality.
The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honour of the first NBA commissioner – who then went on to be President – of the NBA; who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.
The award generates a lot of controversy as everyone has a different opinion on who the best player is of any given year.
The battle for the trophy is so ferocious that until 2016, no player had been unanimously selected by the judges as the best player in the competition.
For those who are not sure about the ins-and-outs of the award, as well as how to bet on it, this article will run through the history of the award, how it’s voted upon, the past winners and tips for investing on the NBA MVP award.
Best bookmakers to place a NBA MVP bet at
There are plenty of bookmakers around these days that claim that they place the NBA at the top of their sporting tree, but who can trust the spin the bookies put on these days?
Luckily we have gone through all the bookmakers with a fine tooth comb so our readers do not have to.
Here is our list of the trusted sites we would happily invest our hard earned on:
WilliamHill.com.au has proven since its Australian inception that they take sports betting very seriously and the National Basketball League is no exception.
Markets on both the league title and the MVP were up even before the current season had concluded.
Along with the futures markets, William Hill offered punters multi insurance, daily specials and terrific odds on all the NBA matches.
Sportsbet.com.au is one of the heavy hitters in the online sports betting world, and their attention to detail in providing punters the best possible odds across all markets will no doubt come to the new NBA season.
All the futures markets including the NBA title and MVP are there, as well specials on the Golden State Warriors, Aussie basketball prodigy Ben Simmons and all the rookie of the year markets.
Sportsbet offered a number of money back specials and daily promotions throughout the year, so serious punters should open an account if they are keen to invest this season.
Crownbet.com.au has made a huge effort to make inroads into the hugely competitive sports betting market, and their NBA markets prove they are prepared to think outside the box in order to build their client base.
Crownbet is offering markets on the title and MVP, but in a unique twist all three of the major statistical categories.
Scoring, assists and rebounds can be invested upon at Crownbet, so punters who think they can pick a good thing prior to the start of the season can make some serious cash.
Interesting NBA MVP facts
- In 2016 Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry became the first player in NBA history to be voted the unanimous MVP.
- Former Laker and Buck Kareem-Abdul-Jabbur has the most MVP awards in history, winning six trophies from 1971 through to 1980.
- Every single past player who was won the regular season MVP award has gone on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and those who have not yet are simply biding their time until they are eligible.
- Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Steve Nash of Canada and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only international MVP winners.
- Only a trio men in NBA history have won three consecutive MVP titles – Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlin and Larry Bird.
- As of 2016, Steve Nash, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant are the only six men in the sport’s history to win the regular season MVP but never win an NBA title.
- Two players in the competition’s history (Wilt Chamberlin 1959-60 and Wes Unseld 1968-69) have won the Rookie of the Year award and the regular season MVP in the same campaign.
- Only one player in the award’s history has failed to guide his team to the playoffs but still managed to win the MVP – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975-76
Past winners of the NBA regular season MVP award
1955–56 Bob Pettit
1956–57 Bob Cousy
1957–58 Bill Russell
1958–59 Bob Pettit
1959–60 Wilt Chamberlain
1960–61 Bill Russell
1961–62 Bill Russell
1962–63 Bill Russell
1963–64 Oscar Robertson
1964–65 Bill Russell
1965–66 Wilt Chamberlain
1966–67 Wilt Chamberlain
1967–68 Wilt Chamberlain
1968–69 Wes Unseld
1969–70 Willis Reed
1970–71 Lew Alcindor
1971–72 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1972–73 Dave Cowens
1973–74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1974–75 Bob McAdoo
1975–76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1976–77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1977–78 Bill Walton
1978–79 Moses Malone
1979–80 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1980–81 Julius Erving
1981–82 Moses Malone
1982–83 Moses Malone
1983–84 Larry Bird
1984–85 Larry Bird
1985–86 Larry Bird
1986–87 Magic Johnson
1987–88 Michael Jordan
1988–89 Magic Johnson
1989–90 Magic Johnson
1990–91 Michael Jordan
1991–92 Michael Jordan
1992–93 Charles Barkley
1993–94 Hakeem Olajuwon
1994–95 David Robinson
1995–96 Michael Jordan
1996–97 Karl Malone
1997–98 Michael Jordan
1998–99 Karl Malone
1999–00 Shaquille O’Neal
2000–01 Allen Iverson
2001–02 Tim Duncan
2002–03 Tim Duncan
2003–04 Kevin Garnett
2004–05 Steve Nash
2005–06 Steve Nash
2006–07 Dirk Nowitzki
2007–08 Kobe Bryant
2008–09 LeBron James
2009–10 LeBron James
2010–11 Derrick Rose
2011–12 LeBron James
2012–13 LeBron James
2013–14 Kevin Durant
2014–15 Stephen Curry
2015–16 Stephen Curry
How does the regular season NBA MVP voting system work?
The Regular season Most Valuable Player has had two different methods of voting across its history.
Until the 1979–80 season, the MVP was selected by a vote of NBA players. After that, the award has been decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout North America.
Each judge casts a vote for first to fifth-placed selections. Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one.
The process was slightly tweaked in 2010, allowing for one ballot to be cast by fans through online voting.
The player with the highest point total wins the award.
Tips for betting on the regular season MVP
- Being the best scorer does not equate to being the best player
One of the other major individual awards in the NBA is the leading scorer in the league.
You could be forgiven for thinking the MVP and the leading scorer award go hand-in-hand, but that is not always the case.
From the period of 2000 through to 2016, only two men have won the regular season MVP award and lead the league in scoring in the same year.
- MVP success does not always lead to that elusive ring
More often than not in basketball, the very best take centre stage in the NBA finals and guide their team to victory, but seldom does the regular season individual success translate into team success.
Since 1998 only five players in the NBA have won the regular season MVP and also gone on to win the league title.
- A title might not be a must, but the playoffs are
Every fan of sport knows that you do not need to be on the best team to win individual awards, but the NBA is one sport that seems to be an exception to the rule.
Only once in the competition’s history has a player won the regular season MVP – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Lakers in 1975-76 – and failed to play in that campaign’s post season.
It will take an exceptional year from a superstar player to ever buck this trend, and we unfortunately think that Kareem may hold this dubious honour alone for the foreseeable future.
2016/17 NBA Regular Season MVP Odds
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Russell Westbrook $3.76
Stephen Curry $4.20
LeBron James $5
Kevin Durant $9
Kawhi Leonard $12
Paul George $15
James Harden $16
Anthony Davis $18.50
Blake Griffin $21
Damian Lillard $26
Carmelo Anthony $31
Kyrie Irving $31
DeMarcus Cousins $31
Chris Paul $31
Karl Anthony Towns $33
Giannis Antetokounmpo $35
John Wall $41
Draymond Green $41
Dwyane Wade $51
Kyle Lowry $51
Isaiah Thomas $51
LaMarcus Aldridge $51
DeMar DeRozan $67
Jimmy Butler $101
Hassan Whiteside $101
Andrew Wiggins $126
Andre Drummond $126
Bradley Beal $126
Kevin Love $151