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Injury to Luka Doncic helps James Harden’s odds jump in 2019-2020 NBA MVP race

Rockets guard on historic scoring pace, moves up to second-best odds to take home award on DraftKings Sportsbook heading into Week 10.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden celebrates in the closing minutes of the game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There’s finally a bit to unpack this week in the 2020 NBA MVP race. We’ve seen Giannis Antetokounmpo’s odds take a big swing, going from +120 last week to -112 this week. The Milwaukee Bucks winning streak ended at 18 games by the hands of the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks, but Giannis already has Milwaukee on a new streak (three games). The Greek Freak is putting up some ridiculous stat lines lately, heading into Week 10 with four straight double-doubles, including a massive 48-point performance in that loss to the Mavericks last week. Giannis came back after that game to lead the Bucks past the Los Angeles Lakers, making his case for which team is No. 1 in the League.

But I think the more interesting storyline is the traction James Harden has finally been able to get after the Luka Doncic injury. With the Mavericks star sidelined due to an ankle sprain, we have a new player in the No. 1 slot in terms of odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. Harden is having arguably his best NBA season, leading the league in scoring by averaging 38.8 points per game. If he keeps this up, he’d have one of the best seasons in the history of the league and one of the best seasons since a little guy named Wilt Chamberlain was playing. Still, Doncic should be back soon and can get himself back on track in the MVP race.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 players with the best odds to win NBA MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook:

Updated NBA MVP Odds, Week 10

Player Team Week 9 Odds Current Odds
Player Team Week 9 Odds Current Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks (+120) (-112)
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks (+450) (+550)
James Harden Houston Rockets (+450) (+500)
LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers (+700) (+650)
Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers (+1000) (+1000)
Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers (+3300) (+3300)
Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets (+5000) (+5000)
Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers (+3300) (+3300)
Paul George Los Angeles Clippers (+5000) (+5000)
Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors (+6600) (+6600)