- BetUS and BetOnline‘s updated 2021 NBA MVP Odds have Nikola Jokic as the favorite
- Joel Embiid is averaging 30 points per game but he’s missed 19 games this season
- Steph Curry is mounting a late challenge for his third-career MVP trophy
This was supposed to be the year LeBron James won his fifth-career NBA Most Valuable Player Award (and his first since 2013), but an ugly ankle injury opened the door for Nikola Jokic, who’s averaging a near triple-double this season with 26.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, 8.7 assists.
Will the Nuggets big man become the first center to hoist the trophy since Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 campaign or can other contenders still catch him in the season’s final weeks? Before examining the latest odds for the league’s MVP heading down the home stretch, make sure to check out our tips for betting on basketball here.
2021 NBA Regular Season MVP
Embiid will come up empty
Shaq recently threw his support behind Joel Embiid (+400) in the MVP race, but it’s almost an impossible case to make. While Embiid has put together an incredible season (30.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg), he has missed 19 games to injury and his Sixers are on a four-game losing streak.
Jokic, on the other hand, has not missed a game all year and his Nuggets have won five of six contests since teammate Jamaal Murray tore his ACL. The big Serbian also leads the league in several advanced statistics (win shares, player efficiency rating and value over replacement player).
are we doing this right pic.twitter.com/qGu22RpCbf
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 25, 2021
What about Steph Curry
Like a prized racehorse galloping down the stretch, Steph Curry (+1200) has made up some serious distance in the past few weeks. The two-time NBA MVP hung 53 on Denver in a 116-107 win on April 12 and then poured in 32 in a 118-97 victory over Jokic and the Nuggets last week. In between those games, he also scored 49 in a 107-96 triumph over Embiid’s Sixers.
Single-handedly keeping his Warriors in playoff contention, the 33-year-old has averaged 38.7 points over 11 games in April, setting the record for the most three-pointers made in a single calendar month with 85 and counting.
Steph Curry has made 83 threes in April, the most in a month in NBA history.
Arguably the best shooting month in the history of the league. pic.twitter.com/Gnx7sdK9Q9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 26, 2021
When asked if he was this year’s MVP recently, Curry responded, “I mean, I gotta be. I probably won’t get it, but whatever.” We agree he won’t bring home the award, but when you combine his star power with his aesthetically pleasing style of play and the nostalgia he has awakened in sport writers in recent weeks, the seven-time all-star is a strong longshot at +1200.
Still, it’s more likely than not that Jokic wins the trophy. While the Golden State legend is averaging an NBA-best 31.1 points, the Joker is averaging more rebounds (11.0 vs. 5.5), assists (8.7 vs. 5.9), steals (1.4 vs. 1.2) and blocks (0.7 vs. 0.1) per game than Curry.
Jokic’s MVP campaign has no doubt benefited from injuries to many of the game’s top stars, but his eye-popping statistics prove that he’s much more than the last man standing.
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