We have seen a ton of line movement this season in the NBA MVP odds, and now as we enter the halfway point of the season, let’s take a look at a few of the valuable NBA Picks for MVP and check on who may be holding some valuable tickets at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) as we enter the second half.
Joel Embiid (+160)
About five games into the season, the best man from my wedding texts me and says I should tail him on Joel Embiid at +2600 to win MVP. It’s probably one of my biggest betting regrets of the year.
After opening the season north of 40:1 at the best betting sites to win the award, Embiid steamed down after the Sixers’ hot start, and here we are at the All-Star Break with the Sixers big man as the betting favorite to take down the award.
A threat to join the 50:40:90 club this season, Embiid is in great shape, and he is carrying a heavy load on the best team in the East. Things could change, and the King might have something to say about Embiid winning MVP, but if the Sixers are the number one seed out East, Embiid should win this thing.
LeBron James (+230)
At this point, I would consider the players below LeBron James and Embiid in the odds for MVP to be distant thirds. This is Embiid versus James for the MVP as far as I’m concerned.
As good as the Sixers and Embiid have been playing, James has been doing it all this year. In a season where most fans and probably most opposing coaches were expecting James to play a shortened and load-managed season, James has appeared in all but one game (he sat out the Lakers’ last game before the All-Star Break).
James is also leading the Lakers in points, rebounds, and assists and has been covering lately for Anthony Davis, who went down with an injury. However, the one thing James has going against him, like most of the other players below him in the NBA Odds, is that the Lakers play mostly in the West.
The West is much more competitive and harder to stand out via your record, which MVP voters still take very much into account. The old adage is the best player on the best team. If the Lakers stay in the third seed at the end of the regular season, this award is going to Embiid, regardless of how many games LeBron plays, especially if the Sixers have the best record in the NBA.
Nikola Jokic (+475)
I think it’s safe to say that the Nuggets aren’t getting home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs absent a huge second half, so while his streak of triple-doubles is extremely impressive and, in some cases, record-breaking, for Nikola Jokic to win MVP this season, two or three things will have to fall into his favor.
James or Embiid would have to get hurt, or their teams would have to go on some serious downswings. On top of that, the Nuggets would probably need to surpass a few teams in the Western Conference. They would at least need to beat out one of the favorites like the Suns or Clippers.
Jokic backers likely got some great value before the season started, but he is pretty fairly, if not slightly overvalued here compared to James or Embiid.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.