2021 NBA MVP Odds: Jokic A Near-Lock

May 5, 2021 |
By: Covers Staff
2021 NBA MVP Odds: Jokic A Near-Lock
With the Denver Nuggets climbing the West standings, combined with injuries to LeBron James and Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic (-1,000) is the massive odds-on favorite to win NBA MVP.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
With the Denver Nuggets climbing the West standings, combined with injuries to LeBron James and Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic (-1,000) is the massive odds-on favorite to win NBA MVP.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA MVP odds race is coming down to the stretch with less than two weeks left in the regular season.

Injuries to key players have impacted NBA MVP betting odds, as stars who were once on top, such as Joel Embiid, LeBron James, and James Harden, are now looking up to the clear frontrunner. 

While the race isn't officially over yet, it appears we'll have a first-time winner taking home the award this year. Let's take a look at the latest odds to win NBA MVP and see the list of favorites.

Odds to win 2020-21 NBA MVP award

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Favorite to win the NBA MVP award

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic remains the heavy favorite to win the NBA MVP award at -1,000 odds. Jokic has held down the top spot in recent weeks and his odds have only improved since he lost teammate Jamal Murray to a season-ending injury.

The 26-year-old center has arguably been the NBA's single best statistical player this season, but Denver's slow start hurt his early case. With the Nuggets climbing the West standings, Jokic has separated himself from the rest of the pack. Through 65 games, Jokic is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, and shooting a personal-best mark from beyond the arc. 

Embiid, who missed two weeks in March with a knee injury, remains second on the odds board at +600. He's recently lost ground in the race but has been an utter force for the 76ers this season and his career year has powered the team to a top seed in the East. 

At a distant third on the odds board is former unanimous MVP Stephen Curry at +1,800. Curry went nuclear in April, averaging a ridiculous 37.3 points per game to help keep the Golden State Warriors alive in the West playoff fight. The Warriors entered May 5 sitting eighth in the West, thus their place in the standings will severely cap his chances of actually winning, despite his brilliance. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has won the last two MVP awards, and LeBron James (a four-time winner) round out the Top 5.

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 best sportsbooks available for the most trusted books in your area.

Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo