Russell Westbrook now NBA MVP Favorite

NBA Odds Now List Russell Westbrook As Clear MVP Favorite
When the NBA season began a little over a month ago, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, Golden State's Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, Cleveland's LeBron James and Houston's James Harden were all among the favorites on NBA odds at SBR Forum's top sportsbooks to win this year's MVP Award. Now? Westbrook is your clear leader.
The only player in NBA history to average a triple-double (at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game) was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 with the Cincinnati Royals when the "Big O" put up 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. It was considered one of those unbreakable records like Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game or Cy Young's 511 career wins in Major League Baseball.
Many players since Robertson have averaged double-digit points and either rebounds or assists in a season but it's nearly impossible to average double figures in all three. Normally guys with high assist totals are point guards who don't rebound much. And normally guys with high rebound totals don't pass a lot.
But Westbrook is simply a freak of  nature. Entering the games of Nov. 30, he is averaging 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds. No player since Robertson has averaged a triple-double this late in the season -- and it's not even that late. On Monday against the Knicks, Westbrook had his third straight triple-double and eighth of the year with 27 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists. He almost had it by  halftime with 14 points, 10 boards and nine assists but did so in 20 game minutes, the third fastest triple-double in NBA history. The record is 17 minutes of game action by Jim Tucker in 1955.
Westbrook now has 45 career triple-doubles, which ties him with LeBron James for sixth on the career list behind Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), Jason Kidd (107), Chamberlain (78) and Larry Bird (59).  You knew Westbrook was going to put up huge numbers this year when Durant surprisingly left for Golden State in free agency. Westbrook is averaging  a career-high 23.7 field-goal attempts but it's not as if he's a ballhog with the assist and rebound numbers also career bests.
Keep in mind that Westbrook is doing this in an era where it's tougher to score simply because of pace of play. Robertson's Royals averaged 126.2 possessions in his triple-doubles season. The Thunder average just 98.7 possessions a game. The more possessions, the better chance to pad all your triple-double statistics. Adjusted for Robertson's possessions, Westbrook would be averaging 46.6 points, 17.0 assists and 15.6 rebounds. That's just silly.
To win the MVP Award, Westbrook, who is +200 on NBA odds at SBR Forum's top sportsbooks, might have to average a triple-double or near to it because his Thunder are a good but not  great team and history has shown that MVP winners come from championship contenders. Coach Billy Donovan says he will monitor his star's minutes this season to keep Westbrook healthy but won't stand in the way of potential history.
“He’s going to be who he is, and I want him to be who he is,” Donovan said. “I’m not going to sit here and say: ‘Slow down right now. Take it easy. Rest.’"