The 2021-22 NBA MVP odds race was a tightly contested battle down the stretch, with Nikola Jokic ultimately being crowned the MVP for a second straight season.
While the NBA MVP finalists await their fate for this year's award as the playoffs continue — they comprise the bulk of next year's early favorites as books are now turning their sights to 2022-23 regular season award.
Here are the early odds for 2023 NBA MVP.
Odds to win 2022-23 NBA MVP award
Odds courtesy of PointsBet, May 3, 2022.
Favorites to win the NBA MVP award
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+400)
Giannis enters next season's race as the early favorite, coming off a dominant stretch run to the 2022 regular season.
A former two-time MVP and finalist again this year, Antetokounmpo is a franchise guy on one of the most entrenched elite teams in the NBA, averaging 29.9/11.6/5.8 this season — ridiculous numbers that now seem commonplace with how regularly he defies superlatives.
Milwaukee weathered multiple injuries this season and still battled to 50 wins and the East's No. 3 seed, benchmarks that make Giannis a virtual lock as an MVP candidate.
Luka Doncic (+550)
The preseason betting favorite each of the past two seasons, Doncic is still in search of what feels like an inevitable MVP award.
Luka started slow in 2021-22, ushering in fairly public concerns about his offseason conditioning. But he responded with an utterly dominant second half, tossing his name back into consideration for the All-NBA First Team.
Dallas may be capped in the West barring serious offseason moves. The Suns, Warriors and Grizzlies are going nowhere fast, and the Nuggets and Clippers will be healthier next season, presumably returning to the West's penthouse.
But Luka alone gives Dallas a high floor, and a full season of his post-January production may be too much for MVP voters to ignore.
Joel Embiid (+650)
Embiid enters with yet another strong MVP price, as he will likely wind up as a back-to-back runner-up when the 2022 award is announced.
Embiid was simply clinical this season, posting new career-bests in scoring and assists while also averaging more rebounds than in his 2021 MVP push.
Philadelphia swung for the fences at the trade deadline to acquire James Harden from Brooklyn and end the Ben Simmons Saga, but Harden's declining productivity has given some pause about his long-term viability for contending through Embiid's prime.
Jayson Tatum (+700)
Fourth on the odds board is Jayson Tatum, who took another staggered leap in the second half of 2022 and now looks like one of the very best players in basketball.
Not only did Tatum propel the Celts offense with 30.4 points and 5.1 assists per game post-All-Star, he was also an underrated cog in their league-best defense, providing rangy wing coverage against a wide variety of opposing swingmen.
With Boston's midseason turnaround landing it in the East's elite, and Tatum firmly established as its alpha, he should be contending here for years to come.
Nikola Jokic (+700)
Some might be surprised to see Jokic this far down the odds board, considering he has won back-to-back MVP awards.
Supporting Jokic's 2023 case are the likely returns of Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray next year, as Denver essentially played this season without its second and third-best players, and paid the price in the West standings.
A higher seed almost always means a more legit MVP case, but the reality is that voter fatigue is a very real thing, and it will take even more superlatives from Jokic to join some truly legendary company and three-peat as MVP — it's something only Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird have ever done.
Understanding NBA MVP odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. Jokic had all but locked up the award by the end of last season, so his odds were listed with a minus (-) sign ahead of the number.
- Nikola Jokic -700
The (-) meant that Jokic was an odds-on favorite, and a bettor needed to wager $700 to win $100. Other contenders in the MVP race had plus (+) odds to win.
- Joel Embiid +650
Here, a bettor stood to profit $650 for a $100 wager on Embiid if he had won the award.
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. Jokic's latest win marked the 13th different player to have won the award two (or more) years in a row.
- The MVP usually comes from an elite team. Since 1985, only four times 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, Jokic's victory in 2020-21 ended the drought for centers, which hadn'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: 28
NBA MVP history
A quick look at recent NBA MVPs and the position they played.
|2021-22||Nikola Jokic||Center||Denver Nuggets|
|2020-21||Nikola Jokic||Center||Denver Nuggets|
|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|
NBA MVP odds FAQ
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has won the last two year NBA MVP awards.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the all-time record with six NBA MVPs.
Nikola Jokic's odds for 2022-23 MVP are +700.