The 2021-22 NBA MVP odds race was a tightly-contested battle down the stretch, with Nikola Jokic ultimately being crowned the MVP for a second straight season.
No sooner did the voting wrap, MVP odds for 2022-23 hit the board, with plenty of the usual suspects dominating the early action. And the preseason odds picture is even more complete with Kevin Durant's announcement that he's running it back with Brooklyn, ending his summer-long trade demand standoff.
Durant is now back among the favorites after uncertainty about his 2022-23 fate dropped him to the +1,200 range for most of the summer. Here are the latest odds for 2023 NBA MVP.
Odds to win 2022-23 NBA MVP award
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, September 14, 2022.
Favorites to win the NBA MVP award
Luka Doncic (+425)
The preseason betting favorite each of the past two seasons, Luka Doncic is still in search of what feels like an inevitable MVP award.
Luka started slow in 2021-22, ushering in fairly public concerns about his offseason conditioning. But he responded with an utterly dominant second half, eventually being named to the All-NBA First Team.
Dallas may be capped in the West, especially after losing Jalen Brunson in free agency. The Suns, Warriors and Grizzlies are going nowhere fast, and the Nuggets and Clippers will be healthier next season, presumably returning to the West's penthouse.
But Luka alone gives Dallas a high floor, and a full season of his post-January production may be too much for MVP voters to ignore.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (6700)
Giannis Antetokounmpo enters next season's race again among the early favorites, coming off a dominant stretch run to the 2022 regular season.
A former two-time MVP and finalist again last year, Antetokounmpo is a franchise guy on one of the most entrenched elite teams in the NBA, averaging 29.9/11.6/5.8 last year — ridiculous numbers that now seem commonplace with how regularly he defies superlatives.
Milwaukee weathered multiple injuries in 2021-22 and still battled to 50 wins and the East's No. 3 seed, benchmarks that make Giannis a virtual lock as an MVP candidate.
Joel Embiid (+650)
Joel Embiid enters with yet another strong MVP price, once again the second choice after back-to-back runner-up finishes.
Embiid was simply clinical last season, posting new career-bests in scoring and assists while also averaging more rebounds than in his 2021 MVP push.
Even better for Embiid's candidacy are Philly's offseason moves, bolstering its questionable depth with quality veteran signings like P.J. Tucker, De'Anthony Melton, and Montrezl Harrell, now complementing one of the NBA's best cores.
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Kevin Durant (+800)
Now that books know where Kevin Durant is playing next season, it's a bit easier for them to confidently peg him as an MVP candidate for 2023.
Durant's return to Brooklyn will hopefully pair him with more functional versions of Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons to slot the Nets among the top teams in the East if all goes according to plan. Durant's still one of the best players alive when healthy, and should lead a more competitive Brooklyn roster than last year's version with Irving banished, Joe Harris injured, and James Harden battling everything from conditioning issues to new foul rules before forcing his own trade out.
A frigid locker room dynamic is likely to emerge at first, but there's nothing like winning to boost team morale.
Nikola Jokic (+900)
Sitting fifth entering 2022-23 is Nikola Jokic, the two-time reigning MVP who's coming off one of the most impressive statistical campaigns in NBA history, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's 50-year-old record for single-season PER.
Jokic will have Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back in tow this season, significantly bolstering Denver's top-end talent and ensuring the Nuggets will compete with the best in the West.
However, only Chamberlain, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell have ever three-peated as MVP, so Jokic completing the feat this year would put him in extremely rare company.
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. Jokic's latest win marked the 13th different player to have won the award two (or more) years in a row.
- The MVP usually comes from an elite team. Since 1985, only four 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 in 2020-21 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: 28
NBA MVP history
A quick look at recent NBA MVPs and the position they played.
|2021-22||Nikola Jokic||Center||Denver Nuggets|
|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|
NBA MVP odds FAQ
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has won the last two year NBA MVP awards.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the all-time record with six NBA MVPs.
Nikola Jokic's odds for 2022-23 MVP are +1,200.