2022 NBA MVP Odds: Doncic the Early Favorite

The 2020-21 season is officially done, so all eyes now shift to the NBA MVP odds for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Luka Doncic, as he was last year, is the early betting favorite — check out who else is with him at the top of the MVP betting board.

Posted: Jul 24, 2021 3:13 PM ET Updated: Jul 24, 2021 3:13 PM ET Est Time: 5 min
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

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
Luka Doncic +425
Joel Embiid +650
Kevin Durant +700
Giannis Antetokounmpo +800
Stephen Curry +900
LeBron James +1,000
Damian Lillard +1,200
Nikola Jokic +1,400
Trae Young +2,000
Devin Booker +2,000
James Harden +2,500
Anthony Davis +2,500
Donovan Mitchell +3,000
Jayson Tatum +3,000
Kyrie Irving +4,000
Paul George +4,000
Zion Williamson +4,000
Ja Morant +5,000
Russell Westbrook +5,000
Jimmy Butler +6,000
Julius Randle +7,500
Bradley Beal +7,500
Domantas Sabonis +7,500
Zach LaVine +10,000
Karl-Anthony Towns +10,000
Chris Paul +10,000
Bam Adebayo +10,000

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.

Season Player Position Team
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.

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