The NBA season is a grind, but a handful of players stand head and shoulders above the rest during the long season. That group of five players or so are the ones that get looked at as Most Valuable Player Candidates. With the NBA season about two-thirds of the way over, that group has started to become more apparent.
Caesars Sportsbook has odds available for the top MVP contenders. Those odds and their Caesars Sportsbook promo code for new users are worth checking out. You can put a little betting action on your favorite MVP candidate while scoring some bonus bets. Let us share who those top five players are and why they are in their current position.
Nikola Jokic -105
The two-time defending MVP currently has his Nuggets team in first place in the competitive Western Conference. What is intriguing about Jokic is that he doesn’t find himself in the top five or even the top ten in scoring like most MVP candidates. Yet he is averaging a triple-double as a center, which has never happened for a center in the NBA.
Not to take away from Jokic, but many thought that having Jamal Murray and Michael Porter this season would lead to a dip in Jokics number from his MVP seasons. That has been partially correct, as his points per game are slightly lower this season, but his assists are up by two more per game. Not only that, he is taking almost three fewer shots per game but is still very close to his previous scoring averages.
His efficiency has been insane, shooting 63.1% from the field, 38.8% from three, and 82.5% from the free throw line. Overall he is averaging 25.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, and 10.0 apg. It is easy to see why he is the favorite to win MVP for the third straight year.
Joel Embid +210
Embid has been dominant every time he has stepped on the floor. His Philadelphia 76ers are third in the Eastern Conference and playing some great basketball. Joel Embid is averaging a ridiculous 33.6 ppg with 10 rpg as well.
The knock on Embid is the same one that has followed him his entire career, and that is his health. Embid has missed handfuls of games and has been given rest throughout the season. He is unstoppable when he plays but has only played in 37 out of 49 games for the 76ers.
Embid has been very consistent when he plays too. The big man only has three games under 20 points all season, with 15 points being his lowest-scoring game. If he wants to win his first MVP, he needs to keep producing and, more importantly, stay on the floor.
Luka Doncic +350
The international star has taken his game to another level in his fifth NBA season. Averaging 33.4 points per game, good for second in the NBA, Luka is incredible to watch. He can simply do it all, pass, rebound, and man, can he score. Doncic has improved his efficiency this season, averaging over 50% from the field.
What may help Doncic’s chances at the MVP has to be that he has had multiple what we would call MVP moments this season.
- A 41-point triple-double against the Nets in an overtime win.
- A 42-point triple-double against the Trail Blazers in a win.
- A 41-point triple-double against the Warriors in a win.
- A 60-point, 21-rebound triple-double against the Knicks in a win.
- Eight games with over 40 points this season.
- Four games over 50 points this season.
Jayson Tatum +1200
Tatum has been nothing short of incredible this season, leading his Celtics to the NBA’s best record right now. Averaging over 30 points per game (31.1 ppg) for the first time in his career, Tatum is filling it up on a nightly basis. What holds Tatum back from truly being an MVP candidate is that, unlike Luka Doncic, Tatum is surrounded by a great group of players around him.
Jaylen Brown is averaging 27 points per game for the Celtics, along with Malcolm Brogdon, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White, all averaging double-digit points as well. Simply put, Tatum is playing on the NBA’s best team and shares the ball because he has great teammates. Trade Tatum for Doncic, and Tatum might average 40 points per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo +1800
Giannis is great every time he steps onto the floor, and fans and media have gotten used to his unworldly ability. He is averaging a career-high 31.8 ppg while still shooting over 50% from the floor (53.6%) while averaging 12.2 rebounds per game.
If Antetokounmpo ever got his yearly three-point percentage (27.5% this season) to 35% and his free throw percentage (64.6% this season) to 75%, he may win MVP every year. The other minor knock on the Greek Freak this season is his 4.1 turnovers per game, which is a career-high.