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 offseason coming to a close, we're back to square one with fresh new odds to win the NBA MVP in 2021-22.
The upcoming season's uncertainty and each conference's pecking order will shift the betting odds, so it's best to get a jump on NBA bettors and know the odds up-front.
With the season set to tip off on October 19, here are the early odds to win NBA MVP.
Odds to win 2021-22 NBA MVP award
The odds below are up-to-date within a five-minute delay and reflect the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks. Be sure to compare NBA futures odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
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 +500. Doncic is coming off his third NBA season, where he averaged 27.7 points, 8.6 assists, and 8.0 rebounds and was named to the All-NBA First Team for the second straight year. The 22-year-old Doncic also shot a career-best 35 percent on 3-pointers and posted an elite advanced stats portfolio — it's not a question of "if" Doncic will win an MVP... it's "when?"
In his first season back from a ruptured Achilles, Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant (+650) 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 leaned on more this regular season, with Kyrie Irving and the team at an awkward vaccine-related impasse, that will play out indefinitely.
Giannis Antetokounmpo saw his streak of consecutive MVPs snapped by Jokic last season, but the third-favorite on the odds board (+700) 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 — though he will undoubtedly be hungry to prove the title wasn't a fluke — Giannis is a great candidate to win his third MVP in four years.
Joel Embiid is in a tie for fourth on the odds board at +800. The Philadelphia 76ers center was one of the favorites to win the award last season, and while injuries derailed his candidacy, 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.
Joining Embiid at +800 is former two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Curry was one of last season's MVP finalists, racking up the second-most first-place votes despite the Warriors ultimately missing the playoffs. With Klay Thompson returning, solid free agency additions, and new young assets on board as either upside fodder or trade bait, it's a solid bet that Golden State will be more competitive this season, bolstering Curry's chances.
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 -700
The (-) meant that Jokic was an odds-on favorite, and a bettor needed to wager $700 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 basketball sportsbooks available for the most trusted books in your area.