NBA MVP Odds: Nikola Jokic the Overwhelming Favorite After LeBron Injury
It seems as if there is a different favorite to win the NBA MVP every week. At the start of the season, it was LeBron James’ award to lose. Teammate Anthony Davis began campaigning for The King early, blaming “politics” for him not winning the award every year.
But, as the season went on, a new favorite began to emerge in Philadelphia. Joel Embiid, in the midst of the best season he’s ever had, started to surge to the top of the list. Embiid was averaging 29.9 points per game, a career high, 11.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Not only was The Process shooting 52% from the floor, but he was hitting at an insane 42% clip from three-point range.
In mid-February, Embiid officially passed James as the favorite with +250 odds to win his first ever MVP. Then, Embiid went down with a knee injury and James again became the favorite.
It appeared as though LeBron would coast to his fifth NBA MVP award. But, on Saturday night James went down with an ankle injury of his own and sportsbooks all took the market off the board until the severity of the injury was announced.
Now that we know James is expect to miss extended time with a high ankle sprain, it is Denver’s Nikola Jokic that has pulled away from the rest of the field in the NBA MVP race, sitting at +120 to to win the award for the first time.
NBA MVP Betting
Immediately following James’ injury on Saturday night, the NBA MVP market was pulled off the board in most places. Prior to the injury, LeBron was the favorite to win the 2021 NBA MVP Award. But, when the market got back on the board, he was surpassed by Jokic.
As of Sunday morning, Nikola Jokic’s best odds to win NBA MVP sit at +120, but the Denver big man is odds-on at some books with odds as short as -110.
Prior to Embiid’s knee injury, Jokic sat behind both James (+275) and Embiid (+250) but, as the old saying goes, the best ability is availability, and both Embiid and James will now have missed multiple weeks.
(Click odds to bet)
Nikola Jokic +120
Lebron James +600
Giannis Antetokounmpo +800
Joel Embiid +800
James Harden +1100
Damian Lillard +1400
Luka Doncic +1800
Steph Curry +1800
Kawhi Leonard +3300
Kevin Durant +10000