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Opening 2020 NBA MVP Odds: Giannis Favored, Steph Curry Given 5-1 Odds, LeBron Listed at 7-1

Giannis dunks the ball.
BetOnline favors Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to repeat as MVP of the NBA. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • BetOnline lists Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks as the +300 betting choice to repeat as NBA MVP in 2020
  • Eleven different NBA players have won at least two MVP awards in succession
  • The last to do so was Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors (2015, 2016)

The 2018-19 NBA regular season belonged to the Greek Freak. Giannis Antetokounmpo took that next step forward into super stardom.

He led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the league. Giannis was dominant all over the floor. He was third in the NBA in points per game (27.7), sixth in both rebounds per game (12.5) and total rebounds (898), and seventh in defensive rebound percentage (20.0).

All together, this package garnered Antetokounmpo his first career NBA MVP Award.

Can he double down and make it two in a row? BetOnline is of that mind. The sportsbook has established the Greek Freak as the favorite to win his second consecutive award in their 2019-20 NBA MVP odds.

2020 NBA MVP Odds

Player 2020 NBA MVP Odds at BetOnline
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) +300
Steph Curry (Warriors) +500
James Harden (Rockets) +550
LeBron James (Lakers) +700
Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) +700
Anthony Davis (Lakers) +1000
Paul George (Clippers) +1400
Russell Westbrook (Thunder) +1400
Joel Embiid (76ers) +1400
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) +1600

*Odds taken 07/08/19. Follow link for a complete list of all teams.

Giannis was the first Bucks player to win the NBA MVP Award since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974.

Will This Buck Stop Here?

Both Antetokounmpo’s points per game and assists per game numbers were career highs, as was his 57.8% shooting percentage.

The Greek Freak joined Derrick Rose and LeBron James as the only players in the past 40 years to win an NBA MVP award before their 25th birthday.

Back home in Greece, he’s already hard at work with his older brother Thanasis, a 2014 New York Knicks draft choice who just signed with Milwaukee, striving to take his game up another notch.

Two for Two

On 13 previous occasions in league history a player has won at least two MVP Awards in succession. The most recent was Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who did so in 2015 and 2016. James (2008/2009 and 2012/2013) is the other active player who’s accomplished this feat.

James and Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to be back-to-back MVPs on two different occasions. Bill Russell (1961 to 1963), Wilt Chamberlain (1965 to 1968) and Larry Bird (1984 to 1986) earned the NBA MVP Award three years in a row.

LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to be back-to-back MVPs on two different occasions.

If he repeats, Giannis would join Abdul-Jabbar (1971, 1972) as the only Bucks to earn back-to-back MVPs. In fact, they’re the only Bucks to ever win the MVP.

The Greek Freak would join Canada’s Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns (2005, 2006) as the only foreign players to win successive NBA MVP awards.

The Contenders

Giannis will most certainly be part of the MVP debate again, but don’t sleep on James Harden. The Houston Rockets guard led the NBA in scoring for the second straight season. With the Western Conference more evened out, could this be the season that Houston rockets to the top?

The focus of the league no doubt will be on LA. After this weekend’s shakeup that saw the Los Angeles Clippers land 2019 NBA MVP finalist Paul George and 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, they both figure to be in the MVP conversation.

We like the 2020 MVP to come from LA but not from the Clippers. And it won’t be the Laker you might think.

James was in LA last season and the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs. But the arrival of Anthony Davis from New Orleans made the Lakers relevant again.

Davis is capable of turning in averages of 28 points and 12 rebounds. Doing that amidst a Lakers renaissance will make him the NBA MVP.

Pick: Anthony Davis (+1000)

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