The NBA Most Valuable Player Award race has been a rollercoaster this season. LeBron James was the favorite at times, but injuries knocked him back down the ladder. The same could be said for Joel Embiid, who was carrying the Philadelphia 76ers on his back to the top of the East before injuries had their way too. However, despite all the injuries and different favored winners, one man has constantly been in the conversation: Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Jokic has been incredibly dominant this season, mainly because of the fact that he’s essentially a point guard in a big man’s body.
As of May 3, Jokic is averaging a 26.3/10.9/8.5 triple-double. He’s also doing so on .564/.409/.860 shooting splits, which are all up from his career averages. It’s almost like something clicked in his brain this season that made him take things to the next level.
With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a shock that BetOnline is favoring Nikola Jokic to be this year’s MVP at -1500 odds. He’s just been that dominant, including since Jamal Murray went down with an ACL injury. Some thought the extra pressure would be too much for Jokic, but it hasn’t been at all. In fact, he’s thrived as the lone wolf in Denver.
Most teams only have a handful of games left to play this season, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see anyone surpass Jokic’s odds.
Odds to Win 2020-21 NBA Most Valuable Player
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, May 4
- Nikola Jokic (-1500)
- Joel Embiid (+750)
- Stephen Curry (+1400)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+2500)
- Damian Lillard (+4000)
- Luka Doncic (+4000)
- LeBron James (+6600)
Full odds list available at BetOnline.ag.
Can Joel Embiid Steal the MVP From Nikola Jokic?
After missing a few weeks of action back in March, Joel Embiid (+750) has continued tearing it up for the 76ers. He’s averaging 29.0/10.8/3.0 on the season and is one of the reasons that his team is still first-place in the Eastern Conference with a 44-21 record. He also has scored 30 or more points in 21 of the 46 games he’s played in. That’s how dominant he’s been.
However, it might be hard for him to catch Nikola Jokic in the MVP race, especially as the latter has him beat in the playmaking department. Still, never say never. Embiid could be saving his best basketball for the rest of the stretch, which is why the NBA world should have their eyes on him.
Curry Gunning for Third MVP Award
The Golden State Warriors were expected to return to some form of dominance this season with Stephen Curry (+1400) and Klay Thompson returning from injuries. Unfortunately, things didn’t happen that way after Thompson suffered a season-ending injury before the 2020-21 NBA campaign even began.
Fortunately for Warriors fans, Curry didn’t let Thompson’s injury stop him from dragging the team into a competition for a playoff spot. At 33-32, Golden State is sitting in eighth place in the West and that’s mostly because of Curry’s play this season.
Even at 33 years old, Curry is averaging 31.4 points per game, which would end up being a career-high if he stays at that pace. He’s also making (5.2) and attempting (12.3) three-pointers than he ever has in his career. But will he catch Nikola Jokic in the MVP race?
Probably not. Curry’s showing that he’s as dominant as ever, but there’s a chance that the Warriors could miss the playoffs, which wouldn’t do him any favors. Meanwhile, Jokic and the Nuggets are in third. At the end of the day, something as “small” as that can make a difference.