2023-24 NBA MVP Odds: Jokic Cruising to Another Trophy?

The 2023-24 NBA season has seen some wild awards futures movement, and the Most Valuable Player odds continue to shake up, with Nikola Jokic cementing his place as the betting favorite.

Feb 27, 2024 • 14:10 ET • 3 min read
Nikola Jokic Shai Gilgeous-Alexander NBA MVP odds
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Most Valuable Player odds had held steady through the season's first two months, with preseason favorite Nikola Jokic slowly increasing his lead. And while Joel Embiid's season had been impossible to ignore, knee surgery has knocked him out of action for the foreseeable future, ending his chances at winning MVP.

NBA odds for this award will be under the microscope again this year as narratives evolve and debates continue to rage in the media while we creep toward April. 

Will anyone else push Jokic to keep the NBA MVP odds tight down the stretch? Let's check out the favorites in this popular NBA futures market, as the top tier separates itself from the pretenders.

2023-24 MVP winner odds

Player Team Position DraftKings FanDuel bet365
Nikola Jokic Nuggets Denver Nuggets C -160 -155 -160
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Celtics Oklahoma City Thunder PG +250 +220 +225
Luka Doncic Celtics Dallas Mavericks PG +650 +700 +650
Giannis Antetokounmpo Browns Milwaukee Bucks PF +1,400 +1,500 +1,400
Jayson Tatum Celtics Boston Celtics SF +3,000 +4,000 +3,300
Kawhi Leonard Clippers Los Angeles Clippers SF +12,000 +11,000 +10,000
Jalen Brunson Knicks New York Knicks PG +20,000 +19,00 +20,000
Donovan Mitchell Cavs Cleveland Cavaliers SG +30,000 +25,000 +25,000
Anthony Edwards Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves SG +30,000 +25,000 +25,000
Stephen Curry Warriors Golden State Warriors PG +30,000 +25,000 +25,000

Odds as of February 27, 2024.

Favorites to win the NBA MVP race

Nikola Jokic (-155 to -160)

Nikola Jokic spent the summer as an MVP odds favorite across major books, despite spending far more time at his stables than anywhere near a basketball court. His play this season has done little to change the perception that he's the best basketball player alive.

While the Nuggets have had a couple of bumps in the road — some injury-related, some complacency-related — to another title, Jokic has generally been his usual stellar self, putting up exactly the kind of comic-book stats (26/12/9 on .651 true shooting) we've come to expect. 

The Nuggets remain within spitting distance of the No. 1 seed, with Joker seemingly in mid-season cruise control and still dominating. Embiid's injury leaves the field looking increasingly thin on players who've been able to challenge Jokic for his crown.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+220 to +250)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put the league on notice last season, posting a near-MIP campaign that saw him claim All-NBA First Team honors. 

With the Thunder seen as an imminent team on the rise, his prospects were high for 2023-24, but few pundits would have claimed he, or his team, would be this damn good.  Shai's clocking 31.2 ppg, on even better shooting numbers than last season, while upping his assist and rebound rates, and turning the ball over significantly less. He's leading the league in steals, and will be a popular name on All-Defense ballots come season's end. 

What's more, he's come up with numerous huge plays and game-winners down the stretch of tight games, helping propel him near the top of the Clutch Player of the Year odds

When you compound that with the Thunder's success — they're flat-out one of the NBA's best teams, and still haven't hit their ceiling — it has all the makings of a compelling SGA argument. 

 

2023-24 NBA MVP odds over time

How to bet NBA MVP odds

Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. Nikola Jokic had all but locked up the award by the end of the 2022 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 recent betting trends

Here are some trends you may want to consider before placing a bet on the NBA MVP:

    • Repeat winners are somewhat common. Jokic's 2022 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 five MVP winners have 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 experience. A rookie hasn't won MVP since Wes Unseld in 1969, and only four MVPs have been younger than 23 years old.

    • Centers have historically dominated the MVP award. While they went on a two-decade drought between Shaquille O'Neal (2000) and Nikola Jokic (2021), centers have now won the last three MVPs.

NBA MVP voting criteria

The NBA's Most Valuable Player award is voted on by a panel of 100 media members, comprised of both national and local analysts.

Only regular-season games are taken into account (ballots are due shortly after the schedule concludes), and the league has intentionally not included specific criteria to guide voters, leading to a more open interpretation of "value", and the type of debate that now dominates media cycles and podcasts every March-April.

Despite the absence of a rubric, voters have generally trended towards awarding an MVP who leads a dominant team campaign (the "best player on the best team" is a popular contender argument).

Statistics are also a crucial factor to consider. However, with the rise of analytic models, traditional stats like points, rebounds, and assists have begun to carry less raw weight, despite still being part of the equation. Advanced stats like win shares, plus-minus, and VORP (value over replacement player) are leaned upon heavily in most discussions.

A player who has MVP moments throughout the season will resonate with voters too: monster stat lines in big games, outperforming rivals in head-to-head matchups, clutch performances — anything to add extra appeal to their MVP case.

In today's age of load management, how much an MVP plays is of increasing importance. The league's newly-imposed 65-game minimum for award contenders will help curb the debate here, but a player who suits up every night is inherently more valuable.

And, while it's unfortunate to admit, voter fatigue absolutely governs this process when a player wins several awards and the media perform mental gymnastics to vote for another player, whether out of boredom or contrarianism. It happened to Michael Jordan. It happened to LeBron James. It possibly just happened to Nikola Jokic. It will happen again. 

Past NBA MVP awards by position

Position NBA MVP wins
Point guard 11
Shooting guard 8
Small forward 9
Power forward 10
Center 29

Centers owned the NBA MVP award in the early days of the Association, winning the trophy in 21 of the first 25 years it was presented.

NBA MVP history

A quick look at recent NBA MVPs and the position they played.

Season Player Position Team
2022-23 Joel Embiid Center Philadelphia 76ers
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

NBA MVP odds FAQ

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