- Bovada’s latest odds have Giannis Antetokounmpo as a +225 favorite to repeat as the league’s Most Valuable Player
- Slovenian star Luka Doncic has jumped up to +350 after a dominant start to his sophomore season
- Leading the league in scoring yet again, James Harden is at +375 to win his second-career NBA MVP
While a lot of fan bases across the sports world have reason to be angry with their home teams (Bengals, Redskins, Senators, etc., etc.), Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings supporters must be a whole other level of pissed off.
DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, is currently serving a 25-game suspension for doping, while the second guy off the board, Marvin Bagley III, sits out with a thumb injury.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks’ No. 3 selection, Luka Doncic, is a human triple-double machine who is neck-and-neck with Giannis Antetokounmpo for NBA MVP after averaging 30.1 points, 10 rebounds and 9.5 assists over the season’s first 17 games.
Let’s bathe in the tears of Suns and Kings fans as we look at how the league’s MVP odds have shifted at Bovada.
2020 NBA REGULAR SEASON MVP ODDS
|Player||Current Odds||Trending||Before Season|
Over the course of NBA history, only six players have averaged 25 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game: Larry Bird, James Harden, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.
Doncic is easily clearing each of those marks while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. The 6-foot-7 Slovenian ranks first in the league in offensive production, according to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR metrics, and Bill Simmons of The Ringer has called him “the best 20-year-old in NBA history.”
Through 88 career games, Luka Doncic has:
? More points than Kobe Bryant
? More rebounds than Kevin Garnett
? More assist than LeBron James
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2019
Showcasing a complete offensive game, Doncic has the Mavericks in the thick of the playoff race in a loaded Western Conference (Dallas was one of our best bets to make the postseason at +190), rising from a a +4000 MVP longshot on many sites before the season to +350 today.
Given the incredible numbers that the reigning rookie of the year is putting up, perhaps the bigger surprise is that he’s not yet the MVP favorite.
THE FREAK AND THE BEARD
The current leader in the clubhouse at +225 (up from +300 before the year) is another guy who was passed over by more than a few teams back in 2013 when he went No. 15 overall to Milwaukee.
Giannis has his Bucks off to a 15-3 start as he attempts to become just the fifth repeat MVP winner since the turn of the century (Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James and Stephen Curry are the others).
As discussed in our NBA Central Division odds update, the Greek Freak has taken his game to yet another level this season, averaging 31.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks over 18 games.
Giannis’ MVP season:
Giannis through 17 games this season:
13.9 REB pic.twitter.com/RRH95zbxri
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 26, 2019
However, he currently sits second in league scoring to the unguardable James Harden, whose 37.7 points per game has only been topped by Wilt Chamberlain (four times) and Elgin Baylor (once) throughout history, and is the highest PPG average since Michael Jordan’s 37.1 in 1986-87.
Recommended at +800 before the season, the Beard’s odds have shortened to +375 despite being overshadowed by Doncic and Antetokounmpo to this point.
The Rockets guard, who blamed an unfair media narrative for finishing second in MVP voting last year, might end up disappointed again.
While he’s on pace to lead the league in scoring for the third consecutive season, he certainly seems like a distant third in “media hype” at the moment.