NBA MVP Race: Nikola Jokic the Overwhelming Favorite, Steph Curry Surging

Nikola Jokic has pulled away in the NBA MVP race, but there is something to say for Steph Curry's recent surge
Brian Good
Tue, May 18, 3:07 PM EDT

NBA MVP Race: Nikola Jokic the Overwhelming Favorite, Steph Curry Surging

The NBA MVP race has been decided for some time now. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the expected winner and it will be the first ever NBA MVP award for the big man from Serbia. But, is there any chance for someone else to come away with the award?

The NBA MVP races essentially became one sided when other dropped out of the running due to injury. LeBron James, Joel Embiid and James Harden were all considered front runners in the NBA MVP race for at least a few weeks. But, James went down with an ankle injury, Embiid missed extended time with a knee injury and Harden has been held out at different points of the season for injury as well.

So, Jokic is the last man standing, and there is something to say about that. That also isn’t to say he doesn’t deserve to be leading the NBA MVP race, he does. We’d just be seeing a much closer battle if other big-name stars hadn’t missed time due to injury.

So, with the regular season over, let’s take a look inside the odds surrounding this year’s NBA MVP race.

NBA MVP Race Odds

As we mentioned, Nikola Jokic is the overwhelming favorite in the 2021 NBA MVP race, but there is something to be said about the way Steph Curry has shot up the odds boards of late.

Jokic is going to win the NBA MVP. The very best odds you can get on him are sitting at -5000 right now, meaning you’d have to bet $5,000 in order to win just $100 on Jokic in the NBA MVP race. Those odds imply an insane 98% he wins the MVP.

As for Curry, a few weeks ago he wasn’t even in the NBA MVP race an now his odds imply he’s finishing in second. Curry has been shortened all the way down to +2400 to win the award. Those +2400 odds imply a 4% chance he finishes atop the NBA MVP Race.

Curry finished as the NBA’s leading scorer, averaging 32 points per game this past season and edging out Washington’s Bradley Beal.

Player NBA MVP Odds Implied Probability
Nikola Jokic -5000 98%
Steph Curry +2400 4%
Joel Embiid +3000 3.2%
Giannis Antetokounmpo +3000 3.2%

NBA MVP Race Betting

It’s fairly obvious who is the most backed player in the NBA MVP race. Since January, Jokic has been backed by 26.33% of the public, a fairly sizeable lead over the second most backed player, LeBron James (16.91%).

But, since Sunday, Curry has been the second most backed following his outstanding performance in the season-ending win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In that time space, 53.85% of all bets are on Jokic and 35.9% of the public is backing Curry in the NBA MVP Race.

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