The end of the NBA regular season not only brings the start of the playoffs, which for any basketball bettor is heaven on earth, but it also is time for the league to pass out its annual regular-season awards. The MVP race may lack any sense of intrigue as it was already decided by mid-January. However, most of the other awards were up for debate until the last night of the season, and are still open for interpretation as to which players should win.
The ATS blog might not have an official vote for the regular-season awards, but we do have an opinion. So let’s take a look at a few categories, pick our winners, and even add a couple of gambling-related awards of our own. Here is a peek at the ATS blog’s regular-season awards ballot.
Most Valuable Player—LeBron James is winning this category and it should not even be close. James put up one of the most statistically dominant season in NBA history, as he average 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assist with a 31.67 PER while shooting 56 percent from the field. The gap between James and the rest of the NBA is widening every season, and ‘The King’ might have six or seven MVP trophies by the time his career is done.
2nd place: Kevin Durant
3rd place: Carmelo Anthony
Most Valuable Betting team—The Denver Nuggets were this season’s most valuable betting team. The under-the-radar group ended the year with a 49-34 ATS record—a 59 percent cover rate—which was good for the second best ATS record in the league. Denver had a 15-game win streak that was overshadowed by the Miami Heat’s steak, and covered spreads while remaining unnoticed by gamblers and the oddsmakers for most of the season. The Nuggets also had a ridiculous 66 percent cover rate when playing at home.
2nd: Dallas Mavericks
3rd: OKC Thunder
Defensive Player of the Year—There are already reports circulating that Marc Gasol will be named defensive player of the year—as he should be. The younger Gasol brother was the anchor of a very good Grizzlies defense, as he finished the year averaging 1.7 blocks and 1 steal and 5.5 defensive rebounds per game.
2nd place: Joakim Noah
3rd place: LeBron James
Sixth-man of the Year—This award was announced a few days ago, and New York shooting guard J.R. Smith was the winner of a tight race. Smith averaged 18.1 points, 2.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game, and was an offensive spark-plug coming off the bench for the Knicks. Smith is a game-changing player that is not afraid to shoot the ball, and deserved the award.
2nd place: Jamal Crawford
3rd place: Jarrett Jack
Most Valuable Betting Underdog—Wagering on an underdog is one of the best ways beat the sportsbooks and make a solid profit on any sports. The general public loves to bet the favorites, and that is why the Washington Wizards were such a value bet this season. The underachieving Wizards only won 29 games this season but managed to cover 61 percent of their games as an underdog and ended the year with a 36-23-2 ATS underdog record.
2nd place: Dallas
3rd place: Chicago
Coach of the Year—This category will probably be a close race between Nuggets coach George Karl and Knicks coach Mike Woodson. Both coaches did an excellent job with the teams that they had, and turned their groups into playoffs contenders. Woodson will probably edge out Karl, as his Knicks were a second-seed in the East and had a more impressive season that the Nuggets did.
2nd: George Karl
3rd: Eric Spoelstra