One NJ online sportsbook seems to have gotten a little ahead of itself when it comes to the NBA Most Valuable Player futures market.

Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden is the reigning NBA MVP.

Through 63 of 82 Rockets games this season, he’s averaging career highs in points (36.7 ppg), rebounds (6.6 rpg), and assists (7.6 apg). Harden clearly puts together a strong argument that he should win the NBA MVP award again.

And PointsBet Sportsbook announced this week it issued early payouts on all bets for Harden as NBA MVP for this year.

Of course, the NBA won’t announce who wins the 2019 NBA MVP award for another four months.

However, all PointsBet customers who bet on Harden to win it have now been paid, and they won’t be asked to give the money back even if he doesn’t.

PointsBet NJ thinking of bettors first

PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken called the early payout the kind of bettor-first initiative PointsBet has done before.

Earlier this season, PointsBet ran an NBA early payout promotion that paid out all NBA moneyline bets on teams leading at halftime, even if they went on to lose.

In the meantime, PointsBet is still taking bets on who will win the 2019 NBA MVP award. This week, Harden was at -125 and Giannis Antetokounmpo at -110.

To be fair, the Rockets ended the regular season last year with the best record in the league. This year, the team is 38-25 and sitting fifth in the Western Conference ahead of a March 12 date with the 46-18 Toronto Raptors.

And there’s little doubt Harden is Houston’s MVP.

However, the NBA MVP award usually goes to a player on a team doing a little more winning than the Rockets have this season.

The NBA MVP is most often the best player on the best team.

Houston was undoubtedly the best regular season team last year. This year they are most definitely not.

But isn’t Antetokounmpo the MVP favorite?

In the meantime, over in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks have jumped out to an NBA best 48-15 record behind the stellar play of power forward Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo averages career highs in points (27.1 ppg), rebounds (12.6 rpg), and assists (6.0 apg).

Plus, considering the Bucks place atop the standings, he’s probably a better bet to win MVP this year than Harden.

PointsBet NBA award markets

Aitken claims there may be other unconventional promotions or early payouts in the pipeline.

This is no surprise for a company that thinks differently about NJ sports betting compared to leaders DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.

In a recent interview, Aitken said those two NJ gambling sites had a head start in the market so doing things differently is the best approach.

“With the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill among the operators who were afforded a significant head start, outside-the-box thinking is critical to our success,” Aitken said.

Therefore, with most NBA teams having around 20 games left in the regular season, now may be a good time to think outside the box… and take a close look at the other NBA regular-season awards markets at PointsBet NJ:

Sixth Man

  • Derrick Rose -143
  • Lou Williams +125
  • Domantas Sabonis +500
  • Spencer Dinwiddie +1000
  • Montrezl Harrell +1100

Most Improved Player

  • Pascal Siakam -334
  • D’Angelo Russell +250
  • De’Aaron Fox +750
  • Zach Lavine +3000
  • John Collins +3000

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Paul George -200
  • Rudy Gobert +275
  • Myles Turner +700
  • Joel Embiid +1000
  • Antetokounmpo +1200

MVP

  • Harden -125
  • Antetokounmpo -110
  • Paul George +900
  • LeBron James +5000
Martin Derbyshire

About

In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.