The NBA MVP odds race ended last season with Denver's Nikola Jokic taking home the title.
But the award is only as good as the regular season it reflected, and with the playoffs (and thus the 2020-21 season) officially concluded, we're back to square one with fresh new odds to win the NBA MVP in 2021-22.
Free agency, trades, and the NBA Draft — all yet to occur in this offseason — will surely cause NBA MVP betting odds to fluctuate, but it's never too soon to look at the favorites for the upcoming campaign.
With the season not set to tip-off until late October, here are the early odds to win NBA MVP.
Odds to win 2021-22 NBA MVP award
|Player||Odds to win|
Odds courtesy of William Hill as of July 24, 2021.
Favorite to win the NBA MVP award
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was the preseason favorite to win MVP last season and again is the early betting favorite this year at +425. Doncic is coming off his third NBA season, where he averaged 27.7 points, 8.6 assists, and 8.0 rebounds and was named an All-Star for the second straight year. The 22-year-old Doncic also shot a career-best 35 percent on 3-pointers and was also named a cover athlete for NBA2K21 — it's not a question of "if" Doncic will win an MVP... it's "when?"
Joel Embiid is second on the odds board at +650. The Philadelphia 76ers center was one of the favorites to win the award last season but injuries derailed his candidacy, although he still finished second in voting to Jokic. The 27-year-old Embiid was named an All-Star for the fourth straight year, setting career-highs in points per game (28.5), field-goal percentage (51.3), 3-point shooting (37.7 percent), and free-throw percentage (85.9), while also adding 10.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists. If he can stay healthy, Embiid is a serious MVP contender.
In his first season back from a ruptured Achilles, Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant (+700) looked like he hadn't lost a step, averaging 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while shooting 45 percent from three. But some other nagging injuries, plus plenty of load management, kept him from truly being in the MVP conversation. The 11-time All-Star (and 2013-14 MVP) turned it up in the playoffs, averaging 34.3 ppg and 9.4 rpg while playing more than 40 minutes per night. He'll be expected to play close to a full workload this season, and if his playoff performance was any indication, Durant is ready to remind everyone that he is firmly back in the conversation of "Best Player in the World."
Giannis Antetokounmpo saw his streak of consecutive MVPs snapped by Jokic this year, but the fourth favorite on the odds board (+800) is likely happy with how his season turned out: Milwaukee winning its first NBA title in 50 years and Giannis claiming NBA Finals MVP after dominating the Phoenix Suns on offense AND defense. The five-time All-Star averaged 28.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, and 5.9 assists last year, and with the pressure of finally getting over the hump removed — but he will be undoubtedly hungry to prove the title wasn't a fluke — Giannis is a great candidate to win his third MVP in four years.
A couple of GOATs occupy spots 5-6, with two-time MVP (and arguably the greatest shooter ever) Steph Curry sitting at +900, and four-time MVP (and arguably the greatest player ever) LeBron James currently at +1,000.
Damian Lillard, who may or may not still be on the Portland Trail Blazers by the start of the season, is seventh at +1,200, while the reigning MVP Jokic is +1,400 to repeat — and rounds out the players with better than 20/1 odds to win.
Understanding NBA MVP odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. Jokic had all but locked up the award by the end of last season, so his odds were listed with a minus (-) sign ahead of the number.
- Nikola Jokic -7,000
The (-) meant that Jokic was an odds-on favorite, and a bettor needed to wager $7,000 to win $100. Other contenders in the MVP race had plus (+) odds to win.
- Joel Embiid +650
Here, a bettor stood to profit $650 for a $100 wager on Embiid if he had won the award.
If American odds aren't your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.
NBA MVP betting trends
Here are some trends you may want to consider before placing a bet on the NBA MVP:
- Repeat winners are quite common. Twelve different players have won the award two (or more) years in a row.
- The MVP usually comes from an elite team. Since 1985, only three times has the MVP come from a team that didn't finish first or second in its conference.
- The award is usually given to a player with a few years of service time. A rookie hasn't won MVP since Wes Unseld in 1969 and only four MVPs have been younger than 23 years old.
- The MVP award has historically been dominated by centers. However, Jokic's victory last season ended the drought for centers, which hadn't won the award since Shaquille O'Neal in the 1999-00 season.
- MVP awards by position:
- Point guard: 11
- Shooting guard: 8
- Small forward: 9
- Power forward: 10
- Center: 27
NBA MVP history
A quick look at recent NBA MVPs and the position they played.
|2020-21||Nikola Jokic||Center||Denver Nuggets|
|2019-20||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Power Forward||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2018-19||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Power Forward||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2017-18||James Harden||Shooting Guard||Houston Rockets|
|2016-17||Russell Westbrook||Point Guard||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2015-16||Stephen Curry||Point Guard||Golden State Warriors|
|2014-15||Stephen Curry||Point Guard||Golden State Warriors|
|2013-14||Kevin Durant||Small Forward||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2012-13||LeBron James||Small Forward||Miami Heat|
|2011-12||LeBron James||Small Forward||Miami Heat|
|2010-11||Derrick Rose||Point Guard||Chicago Bulls|
|2009-10||LeBron James||Small Forward||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2008-09||LeBron James||Small Forward||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2007-08||Kobe Bryant||Shooting Guard||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2006-07||Dirk Nowitzki||Power Forward||Dallas Mavericks|
|2005-06||Steve Nash||Point Guard||Phoenix Suns|
|2004-05||Steve Nash||Point Guard||Phoenix Suns|
|2003-04||Kevin Garnett||Power Forward||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2002-03||Tim Duncan||Power Forward||San Antonio Spurs|
|2001-02||Tim Duncan||Power Forward||San Antonio Spurs|
|2000-01||Allen Iverson||Point Guard||Philadelphia 76ers|
|1999-00||Shaquille O'Neal||Center||Los Angeles Lakers|
Where can I bet on NBA MVP odds?
Most online sportsbooks will offer NBA futures odds on who will win the MVP for the next season. Check out our best sportsbooks available for the most trusted books in your area.