- Nikola Jokic (-250) is viewed as a lock to win his third NBA regular season MVP award in a row
- Joel Embiid (+550) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+750) are in striking distance after red-hot stretches
- Jayson Tatum (+1800) has led the Celtics to the best record in the NBA at the All-Star Break
Not even Michael Jordan captured three-consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards. The feat has only been accomplished by three NBA stars throughout history and not since Larry Bird in the mid-80s.
Will Nikola Jokic break the nearly 40-year trend and claim the honor for the third straight time? Before we look at the latest odds, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA MVP Award and our tips for betting on NBA Basketball.
Regular Season MVP
Is Jokic a MVP lock?
Nikola Jokic (-250) will join Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only players to win three NBA MVPs in a row if he continues his torrid pace. The 27-year-old has per game marks of 24.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists at the All-Star Break.
Only Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook have averaged a triple-double over a full season. And, unlike with Westbrook, Jokic’s numbers directly translate into victories. Denver has won all 21 games this season when their center has logged a triple-double.
Media members have Nikola Jokic winning his 3rd MVP in a row 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Keh1WLBh8S
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) February 16, 2023
Embiid the runner-up again?
Joel Embiid (+550) may be headed for his third-straight MVP runner-up finish. The Sixers center is averaging a career-high 33.1 points per contest. That’s 8.4 more than Jokic and just 0.2 points behind Luka Doncic for the NBA’s scoring lead. However, the Serbian superstar has him in rebounds (11.5 to 10.2) and assists (10.1 to 4.1). And his Nuggets (41-18) are pacing the Western Conference by five games.
Embiid still has a path towards the award, though. Over the season’s final seven weeks, he’ll need to overtake Doncic in the NBA scoring race and have his Sixers (38-19) make up a few games on Boston (42-17) and Milwaukee (41-17) in the East.
What about Giannis?
Before Jokic started his reign, it wasn’t so long ago we were talking about Giannis Antetokounmpo (+750) winning his third-straight MVP. The Greek Freak has his Bucks on a 12-game win streak while averaging 32.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
With Khris Middleton missing 41 games this year, it’s easy to argue that Milwaukee has far less talent surrounding Giannis than the league’s other top contenders. But, no one said award voting was fair. To win MVP, the 28-year-old unicorn will need to surpass Doncic in the scoring race (he’s 1.5 ppg behind as of now) and secure a No. 1 seed for his Bucks.
Giannis gives Dwyane Wade his flowers for winning his first championship “the right way” pic.twitter.com/yEHyE3I8GV
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 18, 2023
The best tact here may be to wager on both Giannis (+750) and Embiid (+550) and hope for an injury or slump to knock Jokic off his pedestal. History shows that winning three NBA MVPs in a row is rare and the Serbian isn’t the only star having a special season.
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