Odds Are That a Dark Horse Will Win AP Player of the Year

USA TODAY Sports

While it might not be exactly true, the latest odds on AP Player of the Year give a pretty good chance that someone we haven't been talking about for the award will walk away with the hardware.

We don't normally discuss odds when it comes to winning awards, or winning titles, or winning anything, because the teams that we cover don't really factor into those odds too often.

Or they are measured in the "Bet a dollar and set yourself up for life" range of payouts, so in other words, the chance of it happening is so small to be almost not worth printing the ticket.

But that isn't the case for the AP Player of the Year battle this season. According to Bovada, Doug McDermott is still listed as the fourth most likely individual to win the award:

1. Trey Burke: 2-1
2. Victor Oladipo: 7-2
3. Otto Porter: 9-2
4. (tie) Doug McDermott: 17-2
4. (tie) Mason Plumlee: 17-2
5. (tie) Kelly Olynyk: 12-1
5. (tie) Cody Zeller: 12-1

As a side note with those seven players, take any five of them, put them on the floor and you have a pretty nice shot of winning the National Title right there.

McDermott's 17-2 odds aren't terrible. In fact, that is a huge testament to the work he did early in the season before he was facing as many double-teams and gimmick defenses to slow him down (apparently Wichita didn't get the memo for that 41-point night Doug registered against them).

But here is the thing: the field is listed at 8-1, meaning that the fourth best choice on the board is really anyone other than the 10 guys that Bovada published the odds for (the others are Marcus Smart, Ben McLemore and Shane Larkin). Now there are a lot of great players in "The Field" but for one of them to truly win the award would take a minor miracle at this point.

Name another player not listed above who has received consideration in even the slightest for the top spot in the country this season. During the preseason there were other names bandied about, but none of them (Mike Moser, Deshaun Thomas, Shabazz Muhammad, etc.) has put together a season like the 10 kids in this list.

Picking The Field was going to be better than one of those 10 people, but to be listed so highly on the board also helps to show how wide open the race for the Player of the Year is this season.

All that means is that McDermott and Olynyk have a pretty good shot at it.

But then again, so does everyone else in the country.

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