Early odds: Paul George 22/1 to win NBA MVP award

One of Paul George's many goals: Win the MVP Award. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

One of Paul George’s many goals: Win the MVP Award. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

The NBA season is more than two months ago, but that doesn’t mean sports books aren’t already taking bets for this upcoming season.

Pacers star Paul George was given the eighth-best odds to be named NBA MVP for the 2016-17 season — at 22/1, according to BovadaLV. Russell Westbrook of the Thunder is the favorite — at 2-1 — after longtime teammate Kevin Durant moved on to Golden State.

In his first full season back from injury last season, George had the best season of his six-year career. The 26-year-old from California averaged 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, and nearly had enough to push the Pacers past Toronto and into the second round of the playoffs in May.

Stephen Curry was the MVP last season, the first unanimous selection in NBA history. Many still believe he’s the favorite, although Durant joining the team will certainly have an impact.

While many are on the Westbrook bandwagon because they think he’ll want have a ‘I’ll show you’ season, league history shows that the winner almost always comes from one of the top two teams in each conference. It seems unlikely that the Thunder will finish in first or second against very strong competition in the Western Conference.

George, meanwhile, is hoping for an Olympic boost and is fired up to get back going with budding big man Myles Turner. He’ll also be playing alongside a few new additions to the core: Jeff Teague, Thad Young, and Al Jefferson.

He was the Most Improved Player in 2013, named to the All-Defensive First Team in 2014, and has been voted to three All-NBA teams. PG-13 isn’t hiding it, being NBA MVP remains one of his many goals.

“This is a real shot for me to get on that stage as an MVP being the lone superstar on my team,” George told VigilantSports.com last month in Chicago for Team USA training. “This is a real chance to show what I’m worth, show what I can do, and really just prove my doubters wrong.”

Top 10 Odds:

  1. Russell Westbrook: 2/1
  2. Stephen Curry: 4/1
  3. LeBron James: 5/1
  4. Kevin Durant: 12/1
  5. Anthony Davis: 16/1
  6. James Harden: 16/1
  7. Kawhi Leonard: 16/1
  8. Paul George: 22/1
  9. Blake Griffin: 22/1
  10. Damian Lillard: 28/1

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