NBA hype is heating up, and we’re all excited for what’s sure to be a fun 2022-23 season.
Media day wrapped up earlier this week, where we heard from players and coaches about their offseason growth and their goals for the upcoming NBA season.
As the preseason begins, we thought now was a great time to check out some picks for the NBA MVP. But we don’t want to just analyze the chalk. There’s far too much value on this board at this point in the year, which is why we’re hunting for MVP long shots to help bettors win some serious cash.
All odds for our long shots to win NBA MVP come from Bodog.
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2022-23 NBA MVP Odds
Odds as of September 29 at Bodog.
MVP Long Shots
Let’s dive deep down the board and examine the MVP case for some of the NBA’s undervalued stars.
Zion Williamson (+3000)
Believe in Zion again. After missing the entire 2021-22 season with a foot injury, the news around Williamson this training camp has been almost exclusively positive.
Zion himself explained how a two-month training session this past summer helped him shift his mentality and rekindle his love of the game. At the Pelicans’ latest practice, Williamson was described as “dominant” and “a wrecking ball” in his first on-court scrimmage since 2020.
“Z looked amazing. His strength, his speed,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said via ESPN. “He dominated the scrimmage pretty much.”
As bettors, that’s the news we love to hear, especially when Zion sits at a juicy +3000 on the early oddsboard. The NBA MVP has gone to a big man two years in a row, with Nikola Jokic winning the award. If you consider Giannis Antetokounmpo a true big man, then technically the last four MVPs have been centers or power forwards.
The core around Zion in New Orleans isn’t out of this world – CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas round out the group – but it’s a supporting cast strong enough to make an MVP season possible. There are plenty of valuable MVP long shots, but none better than Zion, in our opinion.
Kawhi Leonard (+3000)
Yes, Kawhi has never won a regular-season MVP in his career. So why now, after he missed the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury, do we like him as a long shot to win MVP? Well, if history is set to repeat itself, then there’s a strong chance Leonard comes out of the gates very strong in 2022-23.
Kawhi Leonard aka the 'Fun Guy' holding a regular sized mic at Media Day 🤣pic.twitter.com/UU7P0SC4W5— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 26, 2022
In 2017-18, Leonard missed essentially the entire season with the Spurs. The next year, he was dealt to Toronto and carried the Raptors to an NBA championship. During that season, we learned how much Kawhi benefited from load management. Injuries have always been a part of his career, and since “The Klaw” is a freak of nature – in terms of his all-around talent – he needs more rest than most players.
OK, so back to his MVP aspirations. This Clippers squad has a ton of high-end talent in Leonard, Paul George and John Wall. They aren’t super deep on big men, but, most importantly, the squad is healthy and ready to go. Look for Los Angeles to be up there in win totals and watch out for a healthy, refreshed Kawhi doing damage on the court in 2022-23.
Anthony Edwards (+6000)
This pick is a little wacky, but, much like our Zion pick, there’s logic in betting on one of the most uniquely athletic players in basketball, especially at +6000.
The former first overall pick out of Georgia blossomed into a high-flying co-star in the Timberwolves offense last season, averaging 21.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Now keyed into a starting five that includes Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Rudy Gobert, Edwards and Minnesota are poised to do some damage this upcoming season.
So why is Edwards an MVP long shot right now? Well, he improved nearly every aspect of his game in his sophomore season. The 21-year-old played nearly the exact same minutes as in his rookie year but came away with statistical improvements in three-point shooting, field-goal percentage, assists and steals. Edwards looks like a very complete player.
We’d be remiss not to mention some of Edwards’ character issues, as he was fined by the NBA after a video emerged of him using homophobic slurs. During media day, the guard apologized for his comments and vowed to show everyone he’ll enter his third NBA season with respect.
A lot is on the line for Edwards and the Timberwolves as the squad shoots for a Hail Mary NBA championship run. We’re comfortable putting a few dollars down on Edwards as an MVP long shot.
How is the NBA MVP awarded?
The NBA Most Valuable Player award is given to the player who is considered the best player in the league for that season while also meaning the most to his team. It is a regular-season award and does not take into account playoff performance or past season performances. The award is voted on by a panel of basketball writers after the season concludes.
Who is the favorite to win NBA MVP?
The early favorite to win NBA MVP for the 2022-23 regular season is Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic. He is followed on the oddsboard by Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Who won NBA MVP last season?
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won the NBA MVP award for the 2021-22 regular season. He currently has +1000 odds to win the award for a third consecutive season.