2021 NBA MVP Odds: Luka Takes the Lead

Nov 21, 2020 |
By: AJ Salah
2021 NBA MVP Odds: Luka Takes the Lead
Luka Doncic had one of the most impressive sophomore seasons in NBA history, and oddsmakers like him to continue his ascent, marking him as the early 2020-21 MVP favorite (+450).
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Luka Doncic had one of the most impressive sophomore seasons in NBA history, and oddsmakers like him to continue his ascent, marking him as the early 2020-21 MVP favorite (+450).
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

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)
Luka Doncic +450
Giannis Antetokounmpo +500
Stephen Curry +800
Anthony Davis +800
LeBron James +1,000
Kevin Durant +1,600
James Harden +1,600
Jimmy Butler +2,000
Kawhi Leonard +2,000
Nikola Jokic +2,000
Jayson Tatum +2,000
Damian Lillard +2,500
Devin Booker +3,000
Joel Embiid +4,000
Donovan Mitchell +5,000
Paul George +6,000
Kyrie Irving +6,000
Russell Westbrook +6,000

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.

Season Player Position Team
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.

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