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The 2023-24 NBA season is almost here, and while you will be betting on exciting player props soon, you can make your bets right now on who will take home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. It is always one of the most popular players’ futures bets, and we are breaking down the top 5 MVP candidates going into the season to help you find the best NBA MVP odds and predictions. Joel Embiid won last year’s MVP award.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ +450 (4.50) at BetMGM
- 1 Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ +450 (4.50) at BetMGM
- 2 Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks @ +600 (6.00) at FanDuel
- 3 Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks @ +600 (6.00) at BetRivers
- 4 Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers @ +850 (8.50) at Caesars Sportsbook
- 5 Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics @ +1000 (10.00) at BetRivers
The reigning Finals MVP, many will say in hindsight that Nikola Jokic should have won his 3rd MVP in a row last season instead of finishing a distant 2nd behind Joel Embiid. Jokic set career highs in FG% (.632), assists per game (9.8), and win shares per 48 minutes (.308) while leading the league in PER for the 3rd season in a row.
After winning his first championship with Denver, Jokic returns to lead everyone in NBA MVP odds as his impact on his team cannot be overstated. While he still has Jamal Murray as his best teammate, Jokic does not have to share his success with another superstar. He will get the majority of credit for his team’s success, and the other good thing with Jokic is his durability. He has played in at least 69 games every season of his career, so that should help his MVP case in this era of load management and many aging veterans missing time with injury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks @ +600 (6.00) at FanDuel
A 2-time MVP winner in 2019-20, Giannis Antetokounmpo has not finished lower than No. 4 in MVP voting the last 5 seasons. He is always a top candidate for this award, and last year he finished just behind Jokic for 3rd place after averaging a career-high 31.1 points per game, his first season over 30 points per game.
Giannis’ Bucks are tied with Boston for the best NBA odds to win this year’s championship, but could his MVP case take a turn for the worse after the team made a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard, one of the best shooters of all time? Lillard is a big-time scorer, who averaged 32.2 points per game last year in Portland, and he is replacing Jrue Holliday (18.5 points per game in his Milwaukee career). This move could be great for the team but maybe a detriment to Giannis being viewed as an MVP.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks @ +600 (6.00) at BetRivers
Luka Doncic always gets his share of MVP votes, but he has not finished higher than No. 4, and even that was back in 2019-20. Dallas shockingly missed the playoffs last year as the acquisition of Kyrie Irving did not work out. Doncic shot a career-best .496 FG% and averaged a career-high 32.4 points per game.
But team success does matter for MVP, and Dallas (+2500) only has the 6th-best odds to win the championship in the Western Conference right now. Maybe a full offseason for integrating Irving into what Dallas does will help, but the Mavericks have a lot of work to do with this duo.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers @ +850 (8.50) at Caesars Sportsbook
Joel Embiid finally won his first MVP after receiving 73 of the 100 1st-place votes. He led the NBA in scoring for the 2nd year in a row with a career-high 33.1 points per game. He had epic performances like his game against Utah when he had 59 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 7 blocks. Embiid’s FG% (.548) was the best of his career.
But voters have likely soured on Embiid again after a disappointing postseason where he averaged 23.7 points and shot .431 from the field. He was a minus-28 in Game 7 against Boston. Combine Embiid’s poor postseason with Jokic winning Finals MVP, and some are rewriting history that it should have been a 3-peat MVP for Denver’s big man.
Injury is another reason to be skeptical of Embiid as he often misses a good chunk of games each year. The last two seasons are the only times he’s played more than 64 games, but he has still never played 70 games in one season in his career.
With Embiid’s public begging for an MVP award out of the way, the voters will likely look elsewhere in 2024.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics @ +1000 (10.00) at BetRivers
Rounding out the top 5 MVP candidates, Jayson Tatum was another player who averaged a career-high in points last year (30.1). He is a 4-time All-Star selection and 3-time All-NBA selection. He finished 6th and 4th in MVP voting the last two seasons.
The Boston Celtics (+380) are co-betting favorites to win the title with the Bucks. Tatum is still paired with Jaylen Brown, but they will have new teammates in Jrue Holliday and Kristaps Porzingis, which can be upgrades to having Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Malcolm Brogdon no longer there. Tatum feels like a better bet right now than Embiid and Doncic, but he’s still not on the level of Jokic and Giannis.
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