NBA MVP odds are front and center with 2022-23 hitting its second half, and plenty of the usual suspects are dominating the midseason Most Valuable Player narrative.
With the board shuffling, many bettors will be looking to sink their teeth into the NBA odds markets. And, as it has each of the past two seasons, the 2023 trophy is looking like a battle between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
See how the contenders stack up in the latest odds for 2023 NBA MVP.
Odds to win 2022-23 NBA MVP race
|Nikola Jokic||Denver Nuggets||C||-120|
|Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers||C||+240|
|Luka Doncic||Dallas Mavericks||PG||+475|
|Jayson Tatum||Boston Celtics||SF||+1,000|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||PF||+1,100|
|Ja Morant||Memphis Grizzlies||PG||+3,500|
|LeBron James||Los Angeles Lakers||F||+4,500|
|Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors||PG||+4,500|
|Kevin Durant||Brooklyn Nets||F||+5,000|
|Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers||PG||+15,000|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, February 1, 2023.
Favorites to win the NBA MVP race
Nikola Jokic (-120)
Voter fatigue? Never heard of it.
Two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic has been going absolutely bananas over the past two-plus months, comfortably averaging a triple-double over a prolonged stretch that's seen the Nuggets ascend to the West's No. 1 seed.
the year is 2050. flying cars exist. we can teleport now. in-person social interactions are a thing of the past. nikola jokic has just won MVP for the 30th consecutive year.— Molly Morrison (@mollyhannahm) December 26, 2022
Three-peating as MVP is no small task. It's something only three players have ever done, none since Larry Bird in the mid-80s.
But with Jokic putting up another God-tier offensive season, and Denver now atop the uber-competitive West to boot, the narrative over the past few weeks has largely questioned if voters can plausibly deny him at this point.
His odds movement suggests as much — priced around +2,800 to +3,000 in December, he's now the odds-on leader, and appears poised to make history.
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Joel Embiid knew that all eyes would be on him this past weekend when the 76ers took on the Nuggets, and he did more than just rise to the occasion, throttling the MVP leader for an emphatic 47/18/5 in a W that, at the time, put Philly within inches of the East's No. 1 seed.
The Process leaped from No. 4 to No. 2 on the odds board shortly after Saturday's afternoon dismantling of the favorite's squad, proving the impact of a high-profile matchup on the award's narrative.
Embiid was generally ridiculous in January, scoring a hair under 35 points per game, with the Sixers going 8-2 in his appearances to very much re-assert themselves among the East's top tier after an injury-riddled start.
Luka Doncic (+475)
The preseason betting favorite each of the past two years, Luka Doncic is still in search of what feels like an inevitable MVP award.
Doncic has been putting up undeniably monster numbers this season, with his recent string of 50-point outings (four since December 23) reverberating through the MVP narrative streets.
Okay Luka ????— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) January 25, 2023
But, the question remains: Can Dallas succeed enough as a team to bolster his credentials? The Mavs are currently stuck in a huge glut of middling West teams, with just four games separating seeds No. 4 through 13.
Dallas could wind up pretty much anywhere in the West, putting Doncic's potential MVP claim in a blender.
Understanding NBA MVP odds
Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. Nikola 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 somewhat 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 MVP winners have 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 a serious drought for the position, which hadn't won the award since Shaquille O'Neal in the 1999-00 season.
NBA MVP awards by position
|Position||NBA MVP wins|
Centers owned the NBA MVP award in the early days of the Association, winning the trophy in 21 of the first 25 years it was presented.
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|
NBA MVP odds FAQ
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has won the last two NBA MVP awards.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the all-time record with six NBA MVPs.
Nikola Jokic's odds for 2022-23 MVP are -140.