December 30th, UPDATE: Giannis has been dealing with a back injury that has held him out of the Bucks’ past two games. He’s set to return to the lineup Monday night vs. the Bulls, however, and get back to his MVP defense. Milwaukee is still on top of the NBA standings and are in good position to continue marching towards the best record in the League. Antetokounmpo may not be 100% but he’s got plenty of time to get healthy and keep a hold on the top odds to win MVP.
December 17th, UPDATE: All good things must come to an end and the Milwaukee Bucks felt that full force Monday night. They finally lost a game after 18 wins in a row, falling to the Luka Doncic-less Mavericks 120-116. Giannis made it interesting though. After falling behind big in the second half, Antetokounmpo put the team on his back, finishing with 48 points and 14 rebounds to make the game close. But still, Milwaukee didn’t have enough to overcome the deficit and saw its streak end. This shouldn’t impact Giannis’ odds to win MVP though, I mean come on, he almost dropped 50 points and singlehandedly brought the Bucks back to life.
December 16th, UPDATE: So Giannis and the Bucks have their winning streak up to 18 games entering Monday night vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Normally this would be a great way to test whether Luka Doncic has a legit shot at the award, but he’s now out with an ankle sprain. Giannis continues to dominate, however, he’s dealing with a quad injury and is questionable for tonight. If what he did in his return is any indicator, though, we should see the Greek Freak in full force. The winning streak and I imagine an influx of cash coming in on the big man, have boosted his odds of taking home MVP for a season straight season.
December 11th, UPDATE: Antetokounmpo is set to miss his first game of the season Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. The big man is dealing with quad tendon soreness and will not play. As a result, Milwaukee will be tasked with extending its winning streak to 16 games without The Greek Freak. We’ll see if this is an extended absence or if Giannis will return next game. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bucks fare without him. It could move the MVP odds needle a bit if they do well or struggle.
December 7th, UPDATE: Well, Giannis’ odds didn’t improve but I imagine they might be soon. The Bucks demolished the Los Angeles Clippers and Kawhi Leonard on Friday night to win their 14th straight game. Milwaukee is now 20-3 and on pace for close to 70 wins, mostly thanks to Antetokounmpo, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Keep an eye on his odds heading into the weekend. Right now they still sit at +175, but I’ve got a hunch they may move up a bit.
The Milwaukee Bucks are on top of the NBA world and Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reason why. Entering Friday, the Bucks are winners of 13 straight games, their longest winning streak since the 1970s. Giannis has essentially put the team on his back, though, this isn’t to discount the rest of his supporting cast. Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and a slew of role players have helped put Giannis in position to take home his second straight NBA MVP award.
Let’s get into some stats. Last season when Giannis led the Bucks to first place in the East at 60-22, he averaged 27 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, shooting 57.8% from the field. So far this season, he’s smashing some of those numbers and has the Bucks on pace for well over 60 wins. Giannis is averaging 31 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists. While his FG% is down slightly, he’s shooting 3’s at a higher clip, 31.8% on the year. It’s hard to imagine Giannis putting up better numbers and the Bucks winning more games and The Greek Freak not winning MVP.
But not so fast, he’s got plenty of high-profile competition, including youngster Luka Doncic (+425), who is second on DK Sportsbook odds to win the award. Doncic has the Mavericks in position to make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and is close to averaging a triple-double. Among those two are of course James Harden (+500), LeBron James (+700) and Anthony Davis (+1200).