Buckets, Boards and Dimes: Place Your Bets Now

 

So, we’ve checked out the Eastern Conference odds, the Western Conference odds, and the battle for the MVP, surely there isn’t anything else we can bet on ahead of the NBA season, is there?

Of course there is. Bovada released a new list of Player Props this week, giving serious bettors the opportunity to wager on who will lead the NBA in points, rebounds and assists during the 2012-13 season.

Here’s a look at the frontrunners in each category with less than two weeks until tipoff.

 

2012-13 Regular Season Points per Game Leader

Kevin Durant will look to win his fourth straight scoring title, the first player to achieve such a feat since Michael Jordan won seven in a row (1986-87 to 1992-93).

After three seasons leading the league in scoring, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that the odds of Kevin Durant leading the league in scoring are even. The Thunder forward has averaged 28.7 points per game since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, a season that saw him average more the 30 points per game.

LeBron James (2/1) takes the second place spot in oddsmakers’ lists. The Miami forward finished third in scoring last season, after some early season confusion between who should have the ball at crucial times of the game. Since Dwyane Wade has made it clear that this is LeBron’s team, James could take the scoring title this season, to go alongside the same award he won back in 2007-08.

Surprisingly, Carmelo Anthony (6/1) takes third place on the odds list. Anthony averaged 22.6 PPG last season, enough to lead the Knicks, but not enough to make the Knicks a threat. Perhaps oddsmakers liked his big time performances in the Olympics, or perhaps they believe he will be more relevant this season. One thing’s for sure: if the Knicks want to advance, Anthony will need to shoulder the load.

Former two-time scoring champion Kobe Bryant (13/2) takes fourth position while former one-time scoring champion Dwyane Wade (20/1) follows up. Bryant’s odds have most likely dropped thanks to the retooling the Lakers have undertaken, with Howard and Nash looking set to soak up some of the points. Wade will simply be offensive option number two (behind James).

Kevin Love (20/1) could also prove a threat as he looks to lead the Timberwolves to the promised land of the postseason. More on him later.

Leading Scorer Odds

Kevin Durant (OKC) 1/1 | LeBron James (MIA) 2/1 |Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 6/1 | Kobe Bryant (LAL) 13/2 | Dwyane Wade (MIA) 20/1 | Kevin Love (MIN) 20/1 | Amare Stoudemire (NYK) 25/1 | Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 30/1 | Andrew Bynum (PHI) 30/1 | Blake Griffin (LAC) 30/1 |Russell Westbrook (OKC) 50/1 | LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 50/1 | Any Other Player 35/1

2011-12 Leaders

1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 28.0 PPG | 2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 27.9 | 3. LeBron James (MIA) 27.1 | 4. Kevin Love (MIN) 26.0 | 5. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 23.6

 

2012-13 Regular Season Rebounds per Game Leader

Minnesota's Kevin Love is favorite to lead the league in rebounding this season.

Perhaps the most obvious choice for rebounding champion this season would be Dwight Howard. The big man has won four of the last five rebounding titles, including the 2011-12 season. With a career average of 13 rebounds per game, it would be difficult to argue with Howard as the favorite. But Howard isn’t the favorite.

At 5/4, Kevin Love – who led the league in rebounding in 2010-11 – is favorite with the bookies. The Minnesota forward has a career average of 12.0 RPG and has been a revelation in Minnesota this past season. Barring injury, this could be Love’s biggest season yet.

Dwight Howard (3/2) is second on the list, a result perhaps of Love’s emergence, Howard’s own injuries, and the fact that he’ll be sharing board time with Pau Gasol, who can generally be relied upon for 10 boards per game. If you’re wondering, Gasol is 65/1 to take the rebounding title.

After Howard, Blake Griffin (8/1), Joakim Noah (17/2), and Andrew Bynum (15/1) round out the top five. Only Bynum finished in the top five last season, and he’ll have a good shot this season for one simple reason; the Sixers miss more shots than the Lakers, giving the seven-footer an opportunity to swipe more boards.

Leading Rebounder Odds

Kevin Love (MIN) 5/4 | Dwight Howard (LAL) 3/2 | Blake Griffin (LAC) 8/1 | Joakim Noah (CHI) 17/2 | Andrew Bynum (PHI) 15/1 | DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 20/1 |Tyson Chandler (NYK) 25/1 | Zach Randolph (MEM) 30/1 | Greg Monroe (DET) 30/1 | Marcin Gortat (PHO) 40/1 |Anderson Varejao (CLE) 40/1 | Kris Humphries (BKN) 40/1 | Andrew Bogut (GSW) 50/1 | Pau Gasol (LAL) 65/1 | Any Other Player 35/1

2011-12 Leaders

1. Dwight Howard (ORL) 14.5 RPG | 2. Kevin Love (MIN) 13.3 | 3. Andrew Bynum (LAL) 11.8 | 4. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 11.0 | 5. Kris Humphries (NJN) 11.0


2012-13 Regular Season Assists Leader

Rajon Rondo - the first Celtic to lead the league in assists since Bob Cousy - is favorite to repeat the feat this season.

After leading the league in assists last season, Boston’s Rajon Rondo is favorite (5/2) to do the same this campaign. Rondo became the first Celtic to achieve the feat since Bob Cousy in the 1959-60 season.

Rondo will face tough opposition in this particular chase though, particularly from Steve Nash (4/1) and Chris Paul (5/1), who collectively account for the seven assist titles before Rondo’s award last season. Nash will have all kinds of new toys to play with in the gold and purple side of Los Angeles, while Paul will again look to lead the ‘Lob City’ charge across the hallway.

Oddsmakers like Deron Williams (7/2) even more than Nash and Paul though. A strong performance at London 2012 and the addition of Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn (not New Jersey) offense will perceivably give the Nets guard more options.

Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio (17/2) closes out the top five. After being derailed midway through last season, the Spanish guard will look to dazzle again this season, with Kevin Love looking to be the recipient of Rubio’s quick hands.

Assist Leader Odds

Rajon Rondo (BOS) 5/2 | Deron Williams (BK) 7/2 | Steve Nash (LAL) 4/1 | Chris Paul (LAC) 5/1 | Ricky Rubio (MIN) 17/2 | John Wall (WAS) 9/1 | Jrue Holiday (PHI) 12/1 | Tony Parker (SA) 12/1 | Raymond Felton (NYK) 20/1 | Ty Lawson (DEN) 20/1 |Jose Calderon (TOR) 40/1 | Russell Westbrook (OKC) 40/1 | Any Other Player 35/1

2011-12 Leaders

1. Rajon Rondo (BOS) 11.7 APG | 2. Steve Nash (PHX) 10.7 | 3. Chris Paul (LAC) 9.1 | 4. Jose Calderon (TOR) 8.8 | 5. Deron Williams (NJN) 8.7

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