- BetOnline favors Mavericks star Luka Doncic (+450) to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2022
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+700) is a strong bet to win his third-career MVP after winning his first NBA championship
- Devin Booker (+2000) averaged 27.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the playoffs
With the 2021 NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency in the rear-view mirror, we now have a better idea of how the top teams will look next season. Most contenders have stood pat to this point, but the Lakers have built the oldest basketball club in the league, bringing in Russell Westbrook (32 years old), Carmelo Anthony (37), Dwight Howard (35) and other geriatric bench players to team with 36-year-old LeBron James.
While LeBron should look young and spry next to those guys, his chances of winning a fifth-career NBA MVP are slim, according to oddsmakers. Let’s check the opening MVP odds and make a few picks. Here’s also where you can find tips and advice for betting on basketball.
2021-22 NBA Regular Season MVP
Luka Doncic opens as the favorite again
After being tabbed as the NBA MVP favorite last offseason, Luka Doncic (+450) ended up finishing sixth on the ballot with near triple-double averages of 27.7 points, eight rebounds and 8.6 assists. The Mavericks did very little in free agency to improve their roster around their 22-year-old superstar, but do have a new coach in Jason Kidd.
Steph Curry (+650) is coming off a magical renaissance season, earning the league scoring title with 32 points per game on 48.2% shooting from the floor. It’s hard to imagine the 33-year-old topping his 2020-21 performance and claiming his third MVP trophy, even if the return of Klay Thompson makes the Warriors a playoff team again.
Luka Doncic becomes the 3rd player in Olympic history to record a triple-double with 16 PTS, 10 REB and 18 AST.
The last player to record a triple-double was LeBron James in 2012. #Tokyo2020 #Basketball pic.twitter.com/QqXi02MCKS
— NBA (@NBA) August 5, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+700) traded in his 2019 and 2020 regular season MVP trophies for a NBA Finals MVP in 2021. The Greek Freak wasn’t even considered for the award last year because voters were bored of writing his name down, but his newfound status as reigning NBA champion adds a fresh wrinkle to his career narrative – and it’s sure to get him more votes.
Kevin Durant (+750) might have won his third NBA championship if his size-18 foot didn’t land on the three-point line at the end of regulation in Game 7 of the Conference Finals versus Milwaukee. Oddsmakers expect the soon-to-be 33-year-old to lead Brooklyn to the NBA Finals next season, but KD’s injury history makes him hard to bet on.
NBA MVP Longshots
Damian Lillard (+1200) could still end up on a new team this offseason, but his landing spot is unlikely to help his chances. For instance, if he somehow lands with a contender like the Sixers or Warriors, he’ll be competing for votes with MVP candidates on his own club. On the other hand, Nikola Jokic (+1400) seems undervalued considering he just won the award in 2020-2021 with career-high averages in points (26.4), rebounds (10.8), and assists (8.3).
Trae Young (+1600) and Devin Booker (+2000) stick out as strong longshot bets after their performances in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The 22-year-old Hawks guard averaged 28.8 points, 9.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds in the postseason, while the Suns sharpshooter carried his team within two wins of their first NBA championship with averages of 27.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.
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