NBA MVP Race: Updated Odds Favor Luka and Giannis

December 15, 2020

The NBA MVP race is one of the most exciting awards to track throughout the season. As players put up numbers throughout the year, the NBA vote evolves and changes to reflect individual performances across the entire year. In this look at the updated MVP race NBA stars have had their odds shift due to changes to their teams and other teams in the offseason. Here are the current favorites to win the NBA MVP award a week before the season starts.

Luka Doncic +400

Luka Doncic was the engine behind a Dallas Mavericks team that was a pleasant surprise in the Western Conference last season. He is expected to be even better this year, as he continues to evolve his game to meet the needs of the NBA. Expect Doncic to compete for the league’s assist title this year while he continues to contribute from scoring and rebounding perspectives.

Giannis Antetokounmpo +450

The winner of the NBA MVP race 2020 and 2019 had to offer, Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be one of the main contenders in 2021 as well. The two-time defending MVP was top-five in the NBA in scoring and rebounding last season, and is a contender to win defensive player of the year as well.

Stephen Curry +800

Now that he is back from injury, Steph Curry is on the short list of NBA MVP contenders. The former unanimous MVP is going to have to be great this year to bring the Warriors back to the playoffs with Klay Thompson being out for the season. If he can do that, he will certainly receive some votes in the NBA MVP race.

Anthony Davis +900

Anthony Davis is ranked ahead of LeBron James in the NBA MVP race. His youth compared to James and the fact that he is more impactful to the game defensively definitely work in his favor. But the fact that he isn’t as gifted a passer as James and the fact that their scoring numbers are similar put him at a disadvantage.

Kevin Durant +1200

Returning from a major injury could mean that Kevin Durant doesn’t play every game this season. That could put a serious dent in his MVP candidacy. But if he does play for the bulk of the year, his ability to score in big numbers could put him back in the race for the NBA MVP award. Health will likely be the determining factor for Durant.

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Damian Lillard +1600

Dame Lillard was one of three players in the NBA to break 30 points per game last season. But the performance of the Portland Trail Blazers as a whole could hold him back in the NBA MVP race. They had to fight just to get to the playoffs last season, and a similar performance this year likely wouldn’t make voters see Lillard as all that valuable.

Jayson Tatum +1600

The Celtics are going to go as far as Jayson Tatum takes them this season. With Gordon Hayward gone, the Celtics will need him to be better than he has ever been to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals. If he can do that, this is a great price for him. But it is possible that Tatum is still a year or two away from reaching his peak.

James Harden +2000

James Harden might be the best value to win the NBA MVP award. He is at 20/1 odds, despite the fact that his scoring is going to be needed more than ever after the Rockets traded Russell Westbrook away. Harden led the league in scoring with over 34 points per game last year and could very well do that again.

Nikola Jokic +2000

Also at 20/1 odds is Nikola Jokic, who seems to be a worse value to win the NBA MVP award this season. Jokic is supremely talented, but he doesn’t put up numbers that are big enough to grab the eyes of voters. He is the perfect player to have on your team in the playoffs, thanks to his unselfish nature. But he is not as good an MVP candidate.

NBA Betting FAQ

Who has won the most NBA MVP awards?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the most frequent NBA MVP in the history of the league. He is also the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA. But Kareem did not stop playing well when the regular season wrapped up. As a part of the Showtime Lakers, Kareem benefited greatly from the passing ability of Magic Johnson to set him up to succeed in the postseason as well.

Who has won the most NBA Finals MVP awards?

The player with the most NBA Finals MVPs out of all Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award winners is Michael Jordan. He earned six Finals MVP awards, getting one in each of the six Finals that he won with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was the best player of his era, and arguably the greatest of all-time thanks to those six Finals MVP awards.

Who is the best player in the NBA today?

The best player in the NBA today is still LeBron James. While players like Harden and Giannis put up more impressive numbers during the regular season, James is the most consistent force that the game has ever seen. He saves more energy for the playoffs than his MVP candidate counterparts, but James is always the best player on the court when he is involved in an NBA game.

Jay Sanin
Jay Sanin is a sports writer and broadcaster from Albany, NY. He has covered sports betting and the gambling industry since 2013.