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Odds to Win NBA MVP: Giannis Still On Top But Harden's Creeping

NBA MVP BETTING ODDS November 16, 2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA Most Valuable Player Award is one of the most coveted accolades in all of sports as it serves as a point of reference for which NBA player was the best of the best in a given season.

Last season, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo earned the distinction as the league’s best overall player and through the first month of the season, oddsmakers are going back to the well have the Greek Freak as the favorite to win MVP for the 2019-20 NBA season.

Online sportsbook BetWay has Giannis as the +225 favorite to win back-to-back MVP trophies and he can become the fourth player since 2006 (Steve Nash, LeBron James, Stephen Curry) to win the award in consecutive years.

After Antetokounmpo, James Harden (+350) is next on the list, followed by Anthony Davis (+500), LeBron James (+800), Kawhi Leonard (+900), Joel Embiid (+1400), Luka Doncic (+1600), Nikola Jokic (+1600), Kyrie Irving (+2800) and Damian Lillard (+3000) to round out the top 10 candidates.

Déjà Vu With Giannis and Harden Jostling for Top Spot

Last year’s NBA Most Valuable Player award race came down to both the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Houston Rockets’ James Harden and based on early results from the 2019-20 season, it looks to again be a two-man race.

Giannis is continuing to thrive this year by being the focal point of Milwaukee’s offense and is putting up 30 points, 14.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists while leading the NBA in PER. His performance might be even better than last season considering the Bucks’ roster doesn’t have as much talent with Malcolm Brogdon leaving in free agency and Khris Middleton injured due to a thigh injury.

The knock on the Greek Freak has been his shooting percentages from three-point range (29.5 percent) and the free-throw line (63.1 percent) but the Bucks continue to win despite those weaknesses so it makes sense to have him as the fave to win MVP.

As for Harden, his one-man show in Houston was supposed to take a backseat with PG Russell Westbrook now in the fold but the Beard is leading the NBA with an insane 38 points per game while averaging 7.9 assists (ranked fifth in NBA).

Last season, Harden had to go the extra mile due to injuries on the Rockets’ roster and it’s shaping to be another infirmary in Houston with Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, Danuel House and Gerald Green all suffering injuries. Gordon and Capela are expected back sooner than later but we’ve seen the lengths that Harden will have to go to when his team is shorthanded and the stats are already backing that up.

If choosing between the two, bet on Harden at +350 because we’ve seen the scoring barrage he can put up with a shorthanded roster and the Rockets play in a much tougher conference, which helps his case when splitting hairs come voting time.

The Luka Show Has Arrived

At just 20-years-old, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic may already be a top-10 player in the NBA injury his second season. He was at +5000 to win Most Valuable Player prior to the season starting and has already leaped to +1600 through five weeks of the season.

Doncic is averaging 28.7 points per game (fifth in NBA) and 9.3 assists (second in NBA) and is must-see TV every time the Mavericks take the court. Through 11 games, the Mavs are averaging 114.2 points per game which is just outside the top 10 in the league but his candidacy may come down to his teammate, Kristaps Porzingis.

In order for Doncic to win this award, the Mavericks need to have a winning record with at least 50 wins and also make the playoffs. Doncic is doing his part statistically but Porzingis still looks to be trying to find his way in Dallas and hasn’t been putting up numbers that would suggest the Mavs will be in the thick of it come playoff time in a very competitive Western Conference.

Outside of Russell Westbrook winning MVP for averaging a triple-double for a full season, award voters tend to give this accolade to players on winning teams and so far, the Mavs are not as sharp as they need to be which hinders Doncic’s chances to take home the hardware.

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+225
James Harden+350
Anthony Davis+500
LeBron James+800
Kawhi Leonard+900
Joel Embiid+1400
Luka Doncic+1600
Nikola Jokic+1600
Kyrie Irving+2800
Damian Lillard+3000
Karl-Anthony Towns+3300
Russell Westbrook+4000
Ben Simmons+5000
Pascal Siakam+5000
Paul George+5000
Trae Young+5000
Donovan Mitchell+6600
Jimmy Butler+6600
Stephen Curry+6600
Zion Williamson+8000
DeMar DeRozan+10000
Kemba Walker+10000
Kristaps Porzingis+10000
Rudy Gobert+10000
Victor Oladipo+10000
Blake Griffin+12500
Bradley Beal+12500
D'Angelo Russell+15000
Derrick Rose+15000
Devin Booker+15000
Draymond Green+15000
Gordon Hayward+15000
Jamal Murray+15000
Jayson Tatum+15000
Jrue Holiday+15000
Kevin Love+15000
Kyle Lowry+15000
Nikola Vucevic+15000
Chris Paul+20000
Danilo Gallinari+20000
Lonzo Ball+20000
Mike Conley+20000
Zach LaVine+20000
Aaron Gordon+25000
Andre Drummond+25000
Brandon Ingram+25000
DeAndre Ayton+25000
Fred VanVleet+25000
Ja Morant+25000
Jaylen Brown+25000
Klay Thompson+25000
LaMarcus Aldridge+25000
Lauri Markkanen+25000
RJ Barrett+25000

Odds as of November 16 at BetWay           

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 changed to +200, your payout (if you win your bet) will reflect the original odds. Another thing to keep in mind that with futures bets, your money is tied up until the end of June when the NBA’s MVP award is given out.