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Giannis Antetokounmpo a Heavy -950 Favorite in Updated MVP Odds; LeBron Listed at +410

Quinn Allen

by Quinn Allen in NBA Basketball

Jun 10, 2020 · 10:06 AM PDT

Giannis faces down LeBron
Giannis & LeBron remain the league's two MVP favorites going into July.(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the overwhelming favorite for MVP of the 2019-20 season once play resumes in July
  • LeBron James is the closest contender, but he will only have eight games to make up ground
  • Will the time off favor LeBron or Giannis in the MVP race? Get the odds and best bets below

The NBA will finally be back in our lives at the end of July, as 22 teams will converge in Orlando to play out an adjusted remainder of the regular season, as well as the full 16-team postseason.

Teams will remain in the Eastern/Western Conference structure, with a slight adjustment of a potential play-in tournament for the 8th seed on both sides if teams are within four games of one another.

With all of this in mind, the MVP race is likely to heat up once again, with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo the top contenders to win the prestigious award. The 2020 NBA MVP Odds favor the Greek Freak to beat out James for his second-straight MVP, after leading the Bucks to the best record in the NBA at 53-12.

2020 NBA MVP Odds

Player Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) -950
LeBron James (Lakers) +410
Luka Doncic (Mavericks) +5000
James Harden (Rockets) +5000
Anthony Davis (Lakers) +9500
Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) +9500
Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) +10000
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) +10000
Russell Westbrook (Rockets) +10000

Odds taken June 10th

Can Giannis Continue His Dominance?

When the NBA does finally return, it’ll be almost four months since the season was postponed due to the pandemic.

Antetokounmpo was dominating for Milwaukee and it’s likely that he’ll pick up right where he left off. The Greek Freak has put up outstanding numbers this year, averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 boards, and 5.8 assists per night.

He’s been one of the sole reasons the Bucks are currently the best team in the association and a heavy favorite to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy by the season’s end.

After winning MVP last season, Antetokounmpo has collected career-highs in points and rebounds. In the process, he’s also improved his ability to shoot the three, connecting on 30 percent of his 4.8 attempts per game.

Does LeBron Offer Value at +450?

Standing in Antetokounmpo’s way on his quest for an NBA championship will be LeBron and the Lakers, who hold the best record in the Western Conference. They’re also a legitimate contender to meet the Bucks in the Finals, despite the four-month hiatus.

With Anthony Davis and James forming one of the best duos in the league, LA is currently 49-14. The King is enjoying yet another historic campaign, dropping 25.7 points, collecting 7.9 rebounds, and dishing out a career and league-best, 10.6 assists per night.

Although James has already won numerous titles, he’ll be hungry to bring his first to the Lakers this season, even with the current circumstances. Post All-Star break, LeBron was arguably the best player in the league, scoring 30 points per game in eight contests. He also made his presence known by defeating both the Bucks and Clippers in early March, just before games came to a halt.

Giannis is Still Best Bet

If the league continued from when James was lighting it up on a nightly basis, I do believe that he would be making a serious case for the award. But with the time off, the MVP race still favors Antetokounmpo based on his numbers and importance to the Bucks.

I don’t think either player will struggle to get back into the groove once they do get underway again, but the voting for the award will be mostly based on James and Antetokounmpo’s performances prior to the pandemic.

With just eight games scheduled to play before the postseason, it will be hard to make any judgments for MVP out of such a small sample size. As of right now, Antetokounmpo is the best bet to capture his second-straight Most Valuable Player award.

Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo -950

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