Now that we’ve moved past the halfway point of the current NBA season, a couple of questions are on a lot of people’s minds.

Who will take the top seeds from each coast, and who will the regular season MVP be? Let’s use the top 5 from the betting odds boards to see who has the best chance.

Odds are similar at the different leading sportsbooks, Bovada, and others. So it’s kind of a pick your poison situation.

The Current Top 5 Candidates
  1. James Harden 
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  3. Lebron James
  4. Stephen Curry
  5. Kawhi Leonard
*It should be noted that Anthony Davis opened as the second favorite (+600) and is still tied for third at some of the British betting outlets, but in most American and Canadian ships, he has fallen to 6th (+1600).

James Harden

Harden scored 30 points or more in 21 straight games (at the time of writing this). He put up 61 the other night against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Graden, and has broken the Black Mamba’s record for consecutive 30-plus-point games.

Despite that, they are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. This is a bad sign for Harden and the Houston Rockets. If this were sustainable I would say, "hand him the MVP now!" But it just isn’t. He is going to get burnt out and tired. He can’t do everything all of the time.

In a lot of ways, the MVP award isn’t how great a player plays, but what they do for their team. In some aspects, this should mean that he gets the award. Without Chris Paul and Clint Capela out, and Carmelo Anthony not panning out, Harden is literally carrying this team on his back.

But, if they stop their winning ways, his MVP award could be in jeopardy.

Harden could continue to put up monster numbers for the rest of the season, but if his stats alone are not enough to get the team at least an upper middling seed (like No. 5) in the playoffs, then the award could go elsewhere.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis is the best player in the Eastern Conference right now. He is putting up 26.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Sure, he hasn’t had the freakish scoring tear that James Harden has been on, but he is leading his team to the second-best record in the NBA.

His stats are well-rounded, and let’s be honest he does more on defense than Harden. But that isn’t as big of a consideration in the MVP voting so, at this point, I would say that Harden still has a pretty sizable edge over Giannis.

LeBron James

Going back to the philosophy about what a player does to help their team, Lebron will definitely be in the mix as this season wears on. The Los Angeles Lakers have gone from the absolute bottom of the Western Conference barrel to a playoff contender.

LeBron's presence has made the Lakers a better team all around. If the Lakers make the playoffs, not just squeak in with a No. 8 seed but hit say a 6 seed, there is a good chance that LeBron could walk away with the award.

After all, it’s about value, and without LeBron’s leadership, this team is still sitting at the bottom of a deep Western Conference.

Kawhi Leonard & Stephen Curry

Both are phenomenal players, and if the Raptors prance into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East, then Kawhi should get some consideration. That said, I don’t think either Curry’s or Leonard’s stats will be convincing enough to move them past Harden or Giannis.

Verdict

The MVP race will be tight this season. It all comes down to how long James Harden can play the superhero. If he can sustain the weight of the Rockets for another 40 or so games, then he should be the clear winner.

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