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NBA MVP Race: Nikola Jokic Still The Favorite To Win MVP Heading Into Week 18

After Joel Embiid went down with a knee injury, Nikola Jokic has taken over as the sole frontrunner in the NBA MVP race at the All-Star break. Jason Radowitz breaks down his chances and who follows him up in the race with the latest MVP odds.
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NBA MVP Race: Nikola Jokic Still The Favorite To Win MVP Heading Into Week 18

The same four players stay atop the NBA MVP odds board heading into Week 18.

There are no games until Thursday due to the All-Star Break. We're ultimately just two months away from the NBA Playoffs. The actual playoffs will begin on April 20, after the Play-In Tournament runs from April 16-19.

Can Nikola Jokic hold off Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for another MVP trophy?


PlayerOddsStock WatchImplied Chance
Nikola Jokic-140Neutral58.33%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+210Up32.26%
Giannis Antetokounmpo+850Down10.53%
Luka Doncic+1100Neutral8.33%
Jayson Tatum+4000Up.99%

NBA MVP Rankings

1. Nikola Jokic (-140) (Bet $140 to collect $240)

Nikola Jokic has added more than 26 points per game with 12 rebounds and nearly nine assists in each game.

He's shot 57.7% from the field, but the Nuggets are still just third in their division behind the Timberwolves and Thunder.

Denver can make a push to the top and is still likely the team to beat in the Western Conference. That's all because of the current favorite to win the MVP, Nikola Jokic.

He had a game earlier this month with 27 points, 22 rebounds, and 12 assists. Show me another player doing that.

2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+210) (Bet $100 to collect $310)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has scored more than 31 points per game this season.

Even in the All-Star Game, Shai added 31 points in 28 minutes. He's been super consistent this year and has the Thunder ahead of the Nuggets in the standings.

If the Thunder stay above the Nuggets throughout the season, Gilgeous-Alexander could upset Jokic for the MVP this season.

We know how the voters are. They typically like to vote for first-time players over guys who have already won the award. If the Thunder finish the year better than the Nuggets, that'll be a good reason to put Gilgeous-Alexander ahead of Jokic.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+850) (Bet $100 to collect $950)

The Bucks finished their last ten games with a 3-7 record. That's not going to help Giannis Antetokounmpo win an MVP Award.

Antetokounmpo has still averaged 30.1 points per game in February and has scored nearly 31 points per game this season. He's also shooting 61.6% from the field and has earned 11.2 rebounds with 6.4 assists per night.

His stats are MVP-level. But the Bucks need to get back into the win column more consistently for Giannis to have a chance. His odds dropped from last week, thanks to a couple more losses before closing out the first half.

4. Luka Doncic (+1100) (Bet $100 to collect $1200)

Luka Doncic has scored 34.2 points per game this season. That's the most in the NBA this season. He's also averaged a near triple-double this month, with 31.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.4 assists per game in February.

He's played many minutes but hasn't been great from three recently. Once that shot starts to go down again, Doncic could at least get ahead of Giannis on the odds board.

The Mavericks are on a six-game winning streak behind Doncic and Kyrie Irving. That's huge for Doncic's chances of winning the MVP this season.

5. Jayson Tatum (+4000) (Bet $100 to collect $4100)

The Celtics have also won six consecutive games and have the best record in the NBA.

Jayson Tatum has been slightly more inconsistent this year, but he's also got a ton of help on the Boston roster.

He's playing with the best starting five in the NBA, which includes Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jrue Holiday. Therefore, Tatum doesn't have to put up ridiculous numbers to help this team win.

I assume Tatum would much rather have an NBA Championship than the MVP Award this season. The Celtics have the best odds to win the NBA title this year. So he's got that going for him!



Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.


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