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Odds to Win NBA MVP: LeBron Coming for Giannis

NBA MVP Odds March 10 2020

The NBA Most Valuable Player race is heating up with just under 20 games to go in the regular season and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting serious competition from Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

Just over a month ago, Giannis was sitting at -450 to win MVP according to online sportsbook Bovada, with LeBron coming back at +850. Well, all it took was three dominating games by James in March to completely shift the odds, with the Greek Freak now sitting at -325 while LeBron is at +200.

Why Giannis Will Win MVP

Giannis Antetokounmpo still deserves to be the favorite to win NBA MVP at this juncture but it isn’t as clear-cut a case as it was just after the all-star break. Still, the Bucks have the best record in the NBA and Giannis has upped his scoring and rebounding averages from last year despite only playing just over 30 minutes per game.

He’s taking an average of 20 shots per game, shooting 54.7 percent from the floor, and he’s actually shown he can make a three-point shot here or there, converting 30.6 percent of his attempts from behind the arc this season. As a result, the Bucks lead the NBA in points per game.

Where Giannis could lose his grip on the trophy is due to injury as he’s missed eight games because of injuries or rest and recently hurt his knee in a game vs the Lakers. While the Greek Freak has seemed bulletproof with his ability to avoid long-term injuries, the fact remains that if he continues to miss time, it could prove costly for him (and for his MVP bettors) in his bid to win the Most Valuable Player award.

Why LeBron Will Win MVP

LeBron James has made a strong push lately to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award and it all starts with the standings. The Lakers are first in the Western Conference at 49-13 SU in 62 games and could potentially catch the Bucks for the best record in the NBA.

Then there’s the fact that LeBron came up huge in big moments lately like when he sealed games vs the Bucks and Clippers and reminded voters that he’s still the best basketball player in the world. In eight games since the all-star break, James is averaging 30.1 points to go with 7.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists with the Lakers going 7-1 SU in those games.

The case for or against LeBron to win MVP will likely be determined near the end of March when the Lakers embark on a six-game road trip to close the month, with only one of the six teams (Toronto) having a winning record. If he balls out, pads his stats and continues the winning pace, he could easily take home his fifth career MVP trophy as only eight of his remaining 20 games are against teams with winning records.

Award races can sometimes come down to narratives more than stats so now would be the time to jump on LeBron at +200 if you think he’ll overtake Giannis for the trophy.

Check out our NBA championship odds page for the most up-to-date odds and analysis.

2019-20 NBA Most Valuable Player Award Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo-325
LeBron James+200
Luka Doncic+1600
James Harden+2000
Anthony Davis+5000
Damian Lillard+8000
Kawhi Leonard+8000
Nikola Jokic+12500
Pascal Siakam+15000
Paul George+15000
Joel Embiid+15000
Russell Westbrook+20000

Odds as of March 10 at  Bovada

How to Read NBA MVP Odds

When you visit your betting site of choice, you’ll notice the odds for NBA MVP laid out like this:

Giannis Antetokounmpo +300

Steph Curry +550

LeBron James +650

Anthony Davis +700

Unlike a moneyline bet where favorites are shown by the minus sign (-) and underdogs have a plus sign (+), the player with the lowest odds is the fave. In this scenario it’s Giannis.

If you were to bet on which player will be named MVP, you would make a futures bet.

What is a Futures Bet?

This is a bet made on events that will happen in time. In this case, it’s MVP. To make a futures bet you would first use the handicapping info on this page to make your decision. Let’s say you feel strongly about Giannis’ chances and you have $75 to wager. A winning bet would give you a payout of $300 – you get your $75 back along with your prize of $225.

If you think Anthony Davis is going to have an incredible showing this season with career highs of 70 points per game, that same $75 bet on him would give you a payout of $600 – your $75 is returned along with your winnings of $525. Our Odds Calculator can give you an idea of how much you’d win based on the MVP odds and the amount of money you bet.

The odds will change throughout the season as players succumb to injuries or improve their skills on the court. But, if you take a player at +400, and at the end of the season their odds have changed to +200, your payout (if you win your bet) will reflect the original odds. Another thing to keep in mind with futures bets is that in this case your money is tied up until the end of June when the NBA’s MVP award is given out.