NBA Most Improved Player Updated Odds

NBA Most Improved Player Updated Odds

Barry Devoe
2 years ago
3 min read
Utah Jazz' Lauri Markkanen dunks the basketball against Chicago Bulls

Every year, NBA bettors are drawn to individual awards like the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors. One award that can fly under the radar from a betting perspective is the league’s Most Improved Player award, which celebrates the player that has taken the biggest step forward in the season in question. 

This season, after the first quarter of the 2022-23 campaign or so, a few names have broken away from the pack as the favorites to win this award.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (-154)

The odds on favorite to win NBA MIP this season is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

SGA has gone from a player who was sat out for most of last season as the Thunder were trying to tank their way to the best draft pick they could to a flat-out star. But, with Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor this year, the Thunder have a top-five scorer in the league and a player who can get to the rim at will.

There is one question surrounding the candidacy of Gilgeous-Alexander for this award. That would be whether or not the Thunder opt to keep him on the floor as the season goes along. 

If they start to lose games and fall down the standings, he could be vulnerable to having his minutes cut to keep him healthy and to maximize the team’s chances of landing another top draft pick.

Lauri Markkanen (+350)

Lauri Markkanen was traded this offseason, going from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Utah Jazz. Fortunately, this was a move that has worked out well for all parties involved, as the Cavaliers have improved with Donovan Mitchell as their focal point. 

But the improvement of Markkanen as a player has been incredible on a Jazz team that has exceeded expectations as a whole.

Since going to the Jazz, Markkanen’s role has evolved from his time in Cleveland, where he was more or less a spot-up shooter. In Utah, he can still shoot the ball, but the offense runs through him more often. 

This has allowed him to showcase his game at multiple levels, as he has shown an ability to score from the mid-range and the paint, in addition to the perimeter.

Tyrese Haliburton (+800)

The third player on the list of favorites to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award is Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is another team that was expected to be tanking for Victor Wembanyama this season, but they have shown tremendous heart in exceeding the expectations laid out before them. 

Haliburton is a huge reason for that, as he has led the league in assists with over 11 dimes per game thus far.

Haliburton has been pulling the strings for a really fun, young Pacers team that has another award contender on it in Rookie of the Year hopeful Bennedict Mathurin. While Haliburton is just 22 years old, he feels like an elder statesman on a team giving so many minutes to so many young players. 

If he can keep distributing the ball the way he has, and the Pacers can keep winning games, a Most Improved Player trophy could be coming his way.

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