Will Giannis Repeat as NBA MVP?

The most anticipated NBA season in recent memory is upon us and the NBA MVP odds market is heating up as a result.

The super-team that was the Golden State Warriors is no more, and the opportunity for a new team with new stars to rise to prominence has never been bigger.

Giannis Antetokounmpo took home the 2019 NBA MVP award last season, and it’s no wonder that the Greek Freak comes into this campaign as the favorite to do so again.  Giannis is listed as a +270 favorite to become the first repeat NBA MVP since Stephen Curry did that in 2015 and 2016.  Other repeat NBA MVP winners include Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and LeBron James.

Giannis is in a wonderful position this season to claim stake to a second-straight MVP, as unlike the other contenders in the West, Giannis has the luxury of not playing alongside another superstar.  As a result, the individual statistics for Antetokounmpo should be eye-popping, especially on a Bucks team that is expected to be a serious contender to win a championship.

If Not Giannis… Then Who Will be the NBA MVP

There figure to be several stars that will have a say in this season’s race for MVP.

Currently the NBA MVP odds market rounds out their NBA MVP list with James Harden (+550), Anthony Davis (+600), Kawhi Leonard (+850) and LeBron James (+1000). Other sleepers for MVP include Nikola Jokic (+1400), Joel Embiid (+1600) and Paul George (+3400).

Among these names, the two players most likely to unseat Giannis as league MVP are Harden and Davis.

March 6, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden figures to be another polarizing candidate for MVP in 2019-20, as the stat-padding point guard in a shooting guard body will most certainly be among the league leaders in scoring, but his style of play tends to turn off a sizable bloc of would be voters, and the notion of how “valuable” Harden really is often questioned.

Anthony Davis is a strong MVP candidate despite playing alongside LeBron James, because we have already witnessed what a Laker team with LeBron and no other stars looks like.  Additionally, just like Harden, Davis will be the focal point for the Lakers attack, and a Lakers team that is winning a lot of games will get a whole lot of attention.  MVP voters may determine that the Brow is the reason the Lakers finally returned to prominence, making him a very strong play to win league MVP.

Kawhi Leonard could provide that same lift to the Clippers, however one has to wonder how much the controversial “load management” may take away from his candidacy in the mind of voters.  Co-star Paul George has tremendous value at +3400, but he will be recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and may not log enough games to really push the heavier favorites for this award.

Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are two centers that figure to play a huge part of their teams success, but as recent NBA MVP winners would indicate, the games and stats may not be enough to get them into the conversation on a serious level.

If you’re looking for a super sleeper for MVP, that may be found in Dallas with dynamo guard Luka Doncic.  The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and 2018 EuroLeague MVP is still only 20 years old, and if he takes the leap the Mavericks anticipate him making with the return of Kristaps Porzingis, Doncic suddenly looks really good at +5000.

How Betting on MVP Futures Works

Now that we’ve broken down the most likely candidates to win MVP, you may be wondering how betting on NBA MVP odds works, and it couldn’t be any simpler.

Futures odds are essentially the same as betting on the money line.  You are betting on an either/or occurrence and not reliant on a team winning/losing by a defined margin of points.  As a result, most futures odds will have lines set with plus-money.  What this means is that, unlike betting against the spread where you have to account for the juice of the line, you are able to bet a set amount of money in return for a profitable payout.

Using the above odds as an example, if you were to bet $100 on Anthony Davis (+600 odds as of this writing) to win the NBA MVP award and Davis did just that, you would win $600.  If you bet that on Kawhi Leonard (+800) and he won, you would win $800 and so forth.

The futures market is constantly changing throughout the course of the season based off team performance and injuries.  As a result, there are often times where you can maximize your value on a futures bet if you simply time it correctly.

It should also be noted that because the NBA season doesn’t conclude until June, that any bets made on MVP will be tied up until the conclusion of the season. Additionally, if you were to bet on a player and their odds increase/decrease, you are locked into whatever number that’s on your ticket and not the adjusted price.

As always, the experts at OddsUSA have you covered on everything related to the NBA MVP odds market. Happy wagering!