The NBA's 2020-21 season will be starting much sooner than any of us thought, which fast-tracks several NBA futures, including the NBA MVP betting, one of the most popular markets on the books.
With the season slated to begin December 22, NBA MVP odds 2020-21 have shifted a bit from opening lines, with a few rising stars and returning contenders adding their names to the mix.
Who is the Favorite to Win the NBA MVP award?
Ascendant superstar Luka Doncic has knocked Giannis Antetokounmpo off his perch atop the odds board. Doncic (+450) took a major leap in his second season (fourth in MVP voting), following that up with one of the best playoff debuts ever. Oddsmakers are counting on Doncic to continue asserting himself as a generational talent.
Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo is right behind at +500, after winning both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, putting together one of the most dominant regular seasons in NBA history.
Tied at +800 in third are defending champion L.A. Lakers superstar Anthony Davis and Golden State Warriors former two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Davis has been lurking near the top of MVP voting for years, always a threat to break through. Curry, meanwhile, is a perennial contender but could see his chances muddied with Klay Thompson's recent Achilles tear threatening the Warriors' status among the West's elite teams.
Rounding out the Top 5 is four-time MVP winner LeBron James, who boldly defied Father Time by finishing second to Antetokounmpo in last year's MVP race. As James enters his 18th season, he may increasingly monitor his regular-season mileage (hence Davis' better odds), but remains arguably the game's very best player.
Here is a full update of the top 2020-21 NBA MVP odds contenders:
Odds to Win 2020-21 NBA MVP Award
|Player||Odds to win NBA MVP (as of Nov 21)|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Understanding NBA MVP Odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. Antetokounmpo was a huge favorite last season, so his odds were listed with a minus (-) sign ahead of the number.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo -400
The (-) meant that Giannis was an odds-on favorite, and a bettor needed to wager $400 to win $100. Other contenders in the MVP race had plus (+) odds to win.
- Luke Doncic +650
Here, a bettor stood to profit $650 for every $100 wagered.
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 twice 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, a center hasn'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: 26
NBA MVP History
A quick look at recent NBA MVPs and the position they played.
|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 top online sportsbooks listings for the most trusted books in your area.