Trying to predict who will win Most Outstanding Player is just as hard as predicting the NCAAB tournament winner. Every winner of the MOP since 1983 has come from the team that ended up cutting down the nets; Hakeem Olajuwon was the last player to win the award despite being on the losing team.
So, if you’re looking to bet MOP, you’re best to double down with whichever team you have winning the whole damn thing. Of course, with the field as competitive as ever this season, neither of those bets is easy.
Josh Hart of Villanova, Frank Mason III of Kansas, Justin Jackson of UNC, Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga and Luke Kennard of Duke have all opened at +1200 to win the MOP. It’s easy to see why, as each of those players is arguably the most important member of his team. But competition is still pretty tight on those rosters.
Hart is clearly the leader of ’Nova as he leads the team in more categories than I care to count. However, he would still need to outperform Jalen Brunson (+3300) and Kris Jenkins (+3300), who are both plenty capable of carrying the load for the Wildcats.
Mason is an offensive monster who led the Big 12 in points per game, finished fourth in assists and shot nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc. His biggest competition for the MOP is Josh Jackson (+2000). We learned just how vital the freshman is to Kansas after the Jayhawks lost their conference quarterfinals with Jackson out of the lineup. Jackson is second on the team in scoring, first in rebounds and paces Kansas in field goal percentage.
Justin Jackson has been UNC’s most important member of the squad, as the ACC Player of the Year averaged 18.1 ppg and took over 150 more shots than any other Tar Heel. Jackson is more than likely to win the MOP if UNC wins it all, with the only conceivable competition right now being Joel Berry II. We all know how important point guard play is in the Madness and we have seen Berry go unconscious from deep at times this year.
Gonzaga only has two players listed and that is Williams-Goss and Przemek Karnowski (+4500). Karnowski, whom I’m awarding the most Gonzaga player award to, is a traditional back-to-the-basket center who can dominate down low. He’s incredibly important to the Bulldogs, but his numbers don’t always show up on the scoresheet, so it’s hard to see him potentially winning over Williams-Goss.
Then there is Duke. Kennard has the best odds to win the MOP on the Blue Devils but with Jayson Tatum (+1600) playing his best ball of the season recently and Grayson Allen (+2800) having a tendency to go off in big games, it’s hard to predict who would win MOP.
Long and short? This award is really hard to predict.
2017 NCAA Tournament – Most Outstanding Player Award Odds
Odds as of March 14 at BetOnline
- Josh Hart (Villanova) +1200
- Frank Mason III (Kansas) +1200
- Justin Jackson (UNC) +1200
- Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga) +1200
- Luke Kennard (Duke) +1200
- Allonzo Trier (Arizona) +1600
- Jayson Tatum (Duke) +1600
- Joel Berry II (UNC) +1800
- Malik Monk (Kentucky) +1800
- De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky) +1800
- Josh Jackson (Kansas) +2000
- Donovan Mitchell (Louisville) +2200
- Lauri Markkanen (Arizona) +2200
- Dillon Brooks (Oregon) +2200
- Lonzo Ball (UCLA) +2200
- TJ Leaf (UCLA) +2500
- Grayson Allen (Duke) +2800
- Bryce Alford (UCLA) +3300
- Jevon Carter (West Virginia) +3300
- Jalen Brunson (Villanova) +3300
- Kris Jenkins (Villanova) +3300
- Dwayne Bacon (Florida State) +3600
- Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) +3600
- Derrick Walton Jr. (Michigan) +3600
- Devonte’ Graham (Kansas) +3600
- Monte Morris (Iowa State) +4500
- Semi Ojeleye (SMU) +4500
- Przemek Karnowski (Gonzaga) +4500
- Quentin Snider (Louisville) +4500
- Johnathan Motley (Baylor) +5000
- Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame) +5000
- Jonathan Isaac (Florida State) +5500
- London Perrantes (Virginia) +5500
- Tyler Dorsey (Oregon) +6000
- KeVaughn Allen (Florida) +6600
- Shake Milton (SMU) +6600
- Jock Landale (St. Mary’s) +7000
- VJ Beachem (Notre Dame) +7000
- Nazareth Mitrou-Long (Iowa State) +8000
- Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) +9000