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Steph Curry’s 2021 NBA MVP Odds Shorten to +1800 – Could He Win MVP If He Wins the Scoring Title?

Chris Sheridan

by Chris Sheridan in NBA Basketball

Apr 20, 2021 · 8:22 AM PDT

Stephen Curry
Steph Curry's MVP odds shortened to +1800 following Monday night against the Sixers. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Steph Curry was as long +10000 for MVP and then shortened to +1800 odds after his performance against the 76ers on Monday
  • After scoring 49 points against Philly, Curry now leads Bradley Beal by 0.3 points for the NBA scoring title
  • Could Curry make a late season charge for the award? See updated MVP odds below

Steph Curry now has Magic Johnson in his corner in the NBA MVP race, and the two-time winner has pulled ahead of Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards for the NBA scoring lead.

Is this the time to take a chance on Curry becoming a three-time MVP with his odds having shifted from +10000 on Monday afternoon to +1800 Tuesday?

He dropped 49 points on his brother Seth last night in Philadelphia, and is now averaging 40.8 points per game this month. He has four games of 40 or more points in April along with a 53-point game.

Many books pulled NBA MVP odds overnight, and pulled odds usually indicate a market is reacting to a wagering trend. FanDuel reposted with Curry at his +1800 number.

2021 NBA MVP Odds

Player Odds at FanDuel
Nikola Jokic -350
Joel Embiid +350
Giannis Antetokounmpo +1600
Stephen Curry +1800
James Harden +2500
Damian Lillard +3000
LeBron James +4200
Luka Doncic +4200
Julius Randle +12000
Chris Paul +14000

Odds as of April 20th

Would Winning the Scoring Title Give Curry a Boost?

Well, it can’t hurt. Beal is now second in the league in scoring, and that is a huge contributing factor to Curry’s odds shortening this morning.

The last player to win both the scoring title and the MVP award was Russell Westbrook in 2016-17, and prior to that it was Kevin Durant in 2013-14. Different voters use different criteria when casting ballots for this award, and there are 125 of them – writers and broadcasters who cover the league regularly. An additional ballot for MVP comes from fan voting.

So unless you have the ability to contact all of the people who are going to vote, a list that changes year to year at the discretion of the league office, you cannot figure that out.


What to Watch For in the Days Ahead

The best you can do is keep an eye on some of the NBA records that are within Curry’s reach over the remainder of the season, including most 3s in a game (14 by Klay Thompson, Oct. 29, 2018), most 3s in a game without a miss (9, by three players, most recently Ben Gordon in 2012), most 3s made in a quarter (9 by Klay Thompson in 2015), and most points in a game (100, Wilt Chamberlain on March 2, 1962).

If Curry starts toppling records – especially Chamberlain’s – all bets are off.

Ballots are not due until the day after the regular season ends, and folks will be following Magic Johnson’s lead.

Is Curry Worth Betting at His Current Price?

Curry’s Golden State Warriors are only a .500 team at 29-29, but they have done that without Klay Thompson (out for the season with a torn ACL) and with James Wiseman now joining him on the shelf after right knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

The Warriors (29-29) currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies (29-27). Some voters weigh a team’s record more heavily than others.

Curry’s team has 14 games remaining and Ja Morant’s team has 16. That is roughly 20 percent of the shortened 72-game season. One former player now working for ESPN is already apologizing.

How Should the MVP Market Be Approached With a Month Left?

Anybody who thinks the MVP race is decided should look at a calendar and a calculator.

We have a whole lot of basketball remaining, and more than half of the league’s superstars are on the shelf. Of all the legitimate MVP candidates, only Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has played in nearly all of his team’s games, appearing in 56 of 57 contests.

Jokic scored 47 points last night and is a worthy favorite, but Jokic is not a voter. Writers and broadcasters are, and nearly all of them explain their ballots on the air, in writing or on social media after they are cast. We are still more than a month away from reading and hearing that stuff, which means time is on the side of those who are patient. Voters often cite “the narrative” in explaining their ballots.

Curry has a realistic chance of winning.

Think like a voter when assessing this market. And remember, yesterday’s MVP odds have little to do with today’s MVP odds.

If Curry Starts Breaking Records, Then What?

Odds would shorten, but that depends on how Curry performs. His next game is Wednesday night at Washington as the Warriors wrap up a five-game road trip, and he goes head-to-head against Jokic and the Nuggets on Friday night when the team is back home in San Francisco.

After that, the Dubs have a stretch of eight games that includes only one opponent (Dallas) with a winning record. Again, the MVP race is not over until the season ends and the ballots are cast. The league’s leading scorer is on the best scoring tear of his 12-year career.

In a month, perhaps we’re asking ourselves why he shouldn’t be the MVP.

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