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  • Get the latest 2021 NBA MVP odds
  • Nikola Jokic is a very heavy favorite with the regular season winding down
  • Track the movement over the course of the season for all contenders

We’ve been tracking the odds to win the 2021 NBA MVP award from our most trusted sportsbooks all year long. Check out our regularly updated graphs and tables below to see how the odds of the league’s top players have changed throughout the 2020-21 season.

2021 NBA MVP Odds

  • [May 4] With the regular season winding down, Jokic has shortened to very heavy odds of -925 on average to walk away with the 2021 MVP
  • [Apr 27] Curry’s odds continue to shorten, now down to an average of +1300 and firmly in the MVP top five conversation
  • [Apr 20] Steph Curry looks set to lead the league in scoring as he carries the Warriors towards the playoffs, and he saw his average odds shorten to +2400 from +10000 after scoring 49 points against the Sixers on Monday night
  • [Apr 15] Now being asked to shoulder a heavier load with Jamal Murray unfortunately suffering a season ending, Jokic’s odds have shortened further, to an average of -200
  • [April 8] With James Harden joining the long line of injured stars this season out with a hamstring strain for the near future, Joel Embiid has retaken his spot as the second favorite for MVP, now at odds of +380
  • [March 29] As the Nets assemble what they hope is a championship roster through the buyout market, James Harden’s MVP odds have continued shortening since heading to Brooklyn. As long as +5600 in mid-February, his carrying of the Nets while KD and Kyrie have been out now has his average odds at +700 to win his second MVP award
  • [March 22] After LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain over the weekend, Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic became the consensus MVP favorite across the books, at average odds of +100. James’ odds have fallen to +500, still second in the market as he’s likely to return in three weeks to a month. Giannis Antetokounmpo may have been the biggest winner, as his odds have shortened all the way to an average of +775
  • [March 16] With Joel Embiid out for a few weeks due to a  left knee bruise, LeBron is back to the favorite at the sportsbooks, now at average odds of +155
  • [March 9] Embiid is officially the favorite across the sportsbooks, climbing to average odds of +195 ahead of LeBron, who is now +255
  • [March 3] It’s getting closer between LeBron and Embiid, as the Cameroonian superstar has shortened to average odds of +288, and James has lengthened to an average of +208
  • [February 24] Coming off his mammoth 50-point outing this past week, Embiid’s odds have shortened to an average of +325, now the second favorite behind LeBron, who is at odds of +150
  • [February 16] With AD out until at least the All-Star break, James’ odds have shortened even further to +175 as he will need to carry a heavier load for the Lakers
  • [February 10] LeBron has strengthened his hold on what could be his fifth league MVP award, now at average odds of +278
  • [February 1] Nikola Jokic went off against the Jazz on Sunday, scoring 47 points as Denver ended Utah’s 11 game winning streak. With the performance, Jokic’s odds have shortened into the top two, now at average odds of +470, just behind LeBron who is still at odds of +350
  • [January 27] After his explosion for 46 points in Cleveland on Tuesday, bettors have flooded the books with money on LeBron to win MVP, as he’s now at average odds of +500
  • [January 20] At some sportsbooks Durant has moved ahead of Antetokounmpo, but the Nets’ star’s average odds are now +700, still behind Giannis’ average odds of +575
  • [January 11] Vaulting the Sixers to the 3rd best record in the East and averaging 24 and 12 to start the season, Joel Embiid’s average odds have shortened to +1100
  • [January 6] Kevin Durant’s impressive start to the season keeps improving his odds, as he now is 3rd in he race at average odds of +750
  • [December 29] There hasn’t been a shakeup among favorites as of yet after the opening week of play. Despite his explosion in Portland, uncertainty around his situation has faded James Harden’s odds to +2250
  • [December 22] As James Harden’s antics continue in Houston, his odds keep fading – now at a price of +1650
  • [December 15] With a week to go before the season tips off, Doncic has surged ahead of Antetokounmpo, at average odds of +405 to win MVP in his third NBA season
  • [November 17] Antetokounmpo has inched ahead of Doncic with training camp approaching, now at average odds of +445 to win his third consecutive MVP. Luka’s average odds are currently +470 as he enters his third season in the league
  • [October 19] With odds opening up for the next NBA season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favorite to “threepeat” at odds of +600. Luka Doncic also has +600 odds headed into this third season, while LeBron James & Anthony Davis are +700

NBA MVP Top Contenders

Player NBA MVP Odds at DraftKings
Nikola Jokic -1000
Joel Embiid +450
Stephen Curry +2000
Giannis Antetokounmpo +2000
Luka Doncic +5000
Damian Lillard +5000
James Harden +5000
LeBron James +5000
Chris Paul +10000
Julius Randle +15000

Odds as of May 4th

NBA MVP Trends to Consider

  • Since 1985, only two MVPs have come from a team that finished worse than second in its conference during the regular season
  • The MVP award has been won by players who were 23 or younger on just four occasions
  • Wilt Chamberlain (1960) and Wes Unseld (1969) are the only players to earn MVP honors as rookies
  • The MVP award has been won by the NBA’s leading scorer four times in the past five years
  • Only three MVPs have ever averaged fewer than 17 points per game. They were Bill Russell (1961, 1963, 1965), Wes Unseld (1969), and Steve Nash (2005)

NBA MVP Award Winners By Position

NBA MVP Trends Based On Position

  • Centers won a whopping 22 of the first 28 NBA MVP awards
  • Guards have won eight of the last 14 NBA MVP awards
  • Michael Jordan personally won five of the eight NBA MVP awards that have been given to shooting guards

 

Looking for the latest NBA odds? – Get current spreads, totals, and moneyline odds for tonight’s games here.

Past 10 NBA MVP Winners

Year Player PPG RPG APG
2020 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 29.5 13.6 5.6
2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 27.7 12.5 5.9
2018 James Harden (Rockets) 30.4 5.4 8.8
2017 Russell Westbrook (Thunder) 31.6 10.7 10.4
2016 Steph Curry (Warriors) 30.1 5.4 6.7
2015 Steph Curry (Warriors) 23.8 4.3 7.7
2014 Kevin Durant (Thunder) 32.0 7.4 5.5
2013 LeBron James (Heat) 26.8 8.0 7.3
2012 LeBron James (Heat) 27.1 7.9 6.2
2011 Derrick Rose (Bulls) 25.0 4.1 7.7

Derrick Rose became the youngest player to win MVP honors in NBA history in 2011. He was just 22-years-old at the time and in his third year in the league.

NBA Teams with the Most MVP Winners

It should come as no surprise that the NBA franchise with the most championships also has the most league MVPs. Four different Celtics have been named the Association’s most valuable player including Bob Cousy (1957), Bill Russell (1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965), Dave Cowens (1973), and Larry Bird (1984, 1985, 1986). Need another fun fact to share at the bar? Cowens is the only MVP who also worked as a cab driver. Beat that Michael Jordan!

Players with Multiple NBA MVP Awards

Player MVP Awards Years
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980
Bill Russell 5 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965
Michael Jordan 5 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998
Wilt Chamberlain 4 1960, 1966, 1967, 1968
LeBron James 4 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Larry Bird 3 1984, 1985, 1986
Magic Johnson 3 1987, 1989, 1990
Moses Malone 3 1979, 1982, 1983
Bob Pettit 2 1956, 1959
Karl Malone 2 1997, 1999
Tim Duncan 2 2002, 2003
Steve Nash 2 2005, 2006
Steph Curry 2 2015, 2016
Giannis Antetokounmpo 2 2019, 2020

NBA MVP Historical Trends

  • Celtics legend Bill Russell was the first player to win back-to-back MVP awards in 1961 and 1962
  • Russell was also the first player to win three consecutive MVP awards (1961-63). The only other players who accomplished the same feat are Wilt Chamberlain (1966-68) and Larry Bird (1984-86)

NBA MVP Trends Based Upon Country of Origin

  • Americans have won 92% of the NBA MVP awards despite the fact that nearly 28% of the league’s current players were born outside of the U.S.
  • The NBA MVP award was given to non-U.S.-born players three straight times from 2005-07

Archived NBA MVP Award Odds: 2020, 2019

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Mitch graduated from Ryerson University's Sport Media program in June of 2018, and has been with SBD since 2019. He's worked in broadcast and digital for the Score, Sportsnet, TSN & CBC and has done play-by-play work for basketball at all levels including NCAA, Pan Am Games & U Sports.