As fun as it is to bet on the NBA regular season, the games are only the tip of the iceberg. The awards at the end of the season can earn just as much coverage and speculation throughout the season. So it’s no surprise that US sports betting apps set futures odds for awards like NBA MVP before the season even begins.
But now that the season is over, the NBA MVP seems all but a lock, with Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets the far away favorite. In fact, if you were to bet on anyone else and they won, the profit margin would be massive.
The 2021 NBA MVP is expected to be announced in late June, well into the NBA Playoffs. But this is a regular season award, so anything that happens from here on out isn’t supposed to be taken into account for the MVP award.
Throughout most of the regular season, the odds were in Nikola Jokić’s favor, but others were strong contenders. Presumptive winners are exciting, but they also set the stage for theatrical upsets. Not this year. While Joel Embiid and Stephen Curry remained likely possibilities (as well as Harden, Giannis, and LeBron), Nikola Jokić proved to be the safe bet all season long.
Here are BetMGM‘s top ten NBA MVP contenders:
The NBA MVP odds break down into three groups. The first is the pair of front runners jostling for the MVP award: Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. The second is the five players between +1,100 and +1,800. If bettors are looking for likely upsets, this is the group worth browsing. Finally, the three long shots at the bottom of the list are big names, but not likely MVP candidates this season.
Best Sportsbooks For MVP NBA Odds
NBA MVP lines are available at virtually every sportsbook. The NBA is one of the United States’ most popular professional leagues, and the clear rules make rule-setting for those wagers easy for states. We’ve selected five sportsbooks with great NBA MVP betting lines that bettors can register for and begin betting on easily.
BetRivers’ game line odds tend to outdo the competition on odds on the favorite to win. But its futures are a little different. Its odds on Nikola Jokic are lower than William Hill’s, but its Joel Embiid odds are a little better. BetRivers also offer a 100% deposit match up to $250.
We’ve seen William Hill’s futures odds already. It has some of the best odds on Jokic winning the NBA’s regular-season MVP award in May. However, it’s more conservative on its high-risk odds. William Hill offers a $300, $500, or $2,021 risk-free bet depending on which state bettors live in.
BetMGM reverses BetRivers’ and DraftKings’ futures trends. BetRivers and DraftKings had better odds on the high end of the futures odds. But BetMGM has better odds on the relative favorites. BetMGM’s -160 odds on Jokic beat out William Hill’s -190. BetMGM offers a $600 risk-free bet.
FanDuel has competitive futures odds. The favorites don’t stand out. But as we get into the odds over +1,000, FanDuel offers more competitive odds. FanDuel’s odds on LeBron James winning the MVP award are +2,100, beating William Hill by 600 points. FanDuel offers a $1,000 risk-free bet.
DraftKings offers good odds on favorites in its game lines. However, like BetRivers, its futures odds are better on the higher-risk end of the odds. Its Jokic odds are lacking. But from Embiid up, it edges William Hill by a few hundred to a few thousand points. DraftKings offers a 20% deposit match up to $1,000.
Where To Find NBA MVP Odds
Putting money on a basketball MVP isn’t hard to do. NBA lines are available at every sportsbook, because of their clear and well-understood rules. About half the country has legalized sports betting. So, most Americans either live in a state where sports betting is legal or near one where it’s legal.
There’s room for bettors to travel if they want to take a vacation around the time the MVP award is awarded. Of course, as time goes by, sports betting will be open to more bettors.
NBA MVP Odds – The Favorites
There are only a few players who have a great shot to win. Well, one with a great chance and four runner-ups. But, here’s why the top five MVP contenders are in the top five.
Nikola Jokic is the only NBA player with more than a 50% chance at sportsbooks to win the regular-season MVP award. During this season, he’s scored an average of 26.2 per game, higher than his career average of 18.1. He’s also had more minutes on the field than his career average. It’s a great season for him.
Joel Embiid is another star who’s had a great season. He’s scored almost 30 points per game and is spending a few more minutes on the field this season than his career average. His knee injury hasn’t taken him out of the MVP race.
James Harden is a consistently strong player. His point average this season matches his career average of 25.2. His player efficiency rating consistently hovers around 24.8, hinting at why he’s an MVP favorite.
LeBron James is shooting below his career averages this season. However, below average for him is still better than most of the field. His assists for this season are half a point above his career average, signaling his strength as a team player and a star player. But let’s face it. When is LeBron James not in the running for the season’s MVP.
NBA MVP Futures Betting
Bettors who routinely bet on futures will navigate MVP betting easily. Some of the same events that change sportsbook odds on team futures change awards futures too. However, the changes are larger since the wagers are on individual team members. For example, Joel Embiid and LeBron James both had injuries this season, which decreased their MVP odds. Events like those are important to watch when deciding where to put money.
However, there are other futures bets on players, too. Other awards include rookie of the year and the most improved player. The team futures include championship, division, and conference winners. There are many ways to profit from odds that are set months in advance. Bettors just have to keep an eye out to see which team has set itself up to succeed. But bettors have to follow trades and events in many teams’ and players’ lives to make informed choices.
How To Bet On The NBA MVP
Finding a sportsbook that offers NBA MVP lines usually just means picking a legal, licensed sportsbook in a bettor’s state. Then, bettors can register an account with that sportsbook. Registration usually only takes three steps of giving information. However, some sportsbooks require additional identity verification steps before letting bettors make their first deposits. But once that’s all squared away, bettors can begin betting.
Finding the NBA MVP lines takes a little digging. First, bettors have to go to a sportsbook’s NBA section. Then, bettors have to find either the futures section, the awards section, or the player props section. Sportsbooks sort their bets differently, so keep an eye out for all these categories.
Bettors who want to claim bonuses can do so in two ways. They can enter a promo code in the designated box while they’re creating their accounts. Or, they can go to the promotions section and follow the instructions to claim a bonus. Sportsbooks offer ongoing promotions, so bettors will have to watch for those anyways.
NBA MVP Odds FAQs
There’s a team of sports journalists and sports broadcasters who cast the NBA MVP votes. They cover the sport in enough depth to have informed opinions about who the award should go to. Basically, if bettors watch or read them, they may have a say in who gets the MVP award.
It depends. In 2019, it was at the end of June. In 2020, it was at the beginning of September. This year, the MVP awards appear scheduled for mid-May. At least, that’s the date that sportsbooks have listed a result to be announced on.
The app store or your computer. Since sports betting has expanded across the United States, bettors can download sportsbook apps and check the odds themselves. They’re not confined to Vegas retail sportsbooks or sports lounges out of state anymore. As a last resort, bettors can google vegas odds to find many sites that list odds and opinions about them.
In some states, yes. Many states that have legalized sports betting also legalized online sports betting. However, other states limited sports betting to retail outlets only. Not every state is ready to embrace online gambling and make it available statewide. That can be a big ask for gambling critics.
Sportsbooks’ oddsmakers set NBA MVP odds. They know how to balance the likelihood of a player winning the MVP award with the potential winnings sportsbooks will have to pay out if someone unexpectedly wins. Walking on that tightrope is tough, but it’s done by people that bettors will probably never see.
Months in advance. While game lines are set shortly before games, futures bets are set far in advance. Sportsbooks, and sports commentators for that matter, can begin guessing how the next season will go once the current season ends. Player injuries, trades, and other staffing changes can give sportsbooks an early idea about where to set odds.