The NBA's 2016/17 awards will be handed out on Monday, June 26th. For the first time, the awards will be announced in an inaugural television show. Among all the awards to be given out the premier one is the MVP Award - the award meant to recognize the player that was most valuable during the NBA's regular season.

As always, fans and pundits alike will debate what it means to be "most valuable," but generally the award is accepted as recognizing the best individual player season. Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder is currently the large favorite to win the coveted individual award.

Westbrook's odds to win the NBA MVP

Sportsbooks that are offering betting odds on the award at this point are not numerous. However, BetVictor and Paddy Power are two firms that are active in the market at the time of writing. The former makes Westbrook 1/10 to win the award while the latter prices that event even shorter at 1/16. To convert those odds to percentages, each would imply a greater than 90% chance for Westbrook to win the MVP.

The guard's numbers were incredible from 2016/17, perhaps in no small part due to the exit of Kevin Durant from OKC.

Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, and he won the NBA title as part of that franchise. However, it created a situation in Oklahoma where Westbrook was overly counted on for offensive production.

That circumstance and the fact that Westbrook enjoyed a season without serious injury both helped him score 31.6 points per game. He also averaged more than 10 rebounds per game and more than ten assists per game, meaning he averaged a triple-double for the regular season.

That fact will be incredibly difficult to ignore, and it has indeed made the other finalists afterthoughts for the award.

James Harden is 2nd favorite

Those other finalists are James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Kwahi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. Harden is priced at 9/2 with Paddy Power while Leonard is a long shot, priced at 33/1 with the same firm. Leonard's team was the strongest, however playoff success is a not a factor in the award, and team success is not really either.

That said, the award is the product of vote counts, and that adds subjectivity to the mix.

One player that was snubbed as a finalist was Lebron James. James logged huge minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers and seemed to rediscover his outside jump shot. That helped him average 26.4 points per game on the year. However, it did not make him a finalist. The way the pieces are set, it would be shocking for Westbrook not to win the award, but nothing will be official until the announcement of the winner is made on Monday night.

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