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Early look at 2021 NBA MVP odds, bets to consider

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic enter the offseason as co-favorites to win most valuable player.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during Round One Game Five of the NBA Playoffs on August 25, 2020 at The AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.  Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020 season came to a close last Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers taking home the ‘ship. As for most valuable player, we saw Milwaukee Bucks PF Giannis Antetokounmpo win his second straight MVP award. He led Milwaukee to the best record in the NBA in 2019-20 and also won Defensive Player of the Year. So now that ‘19-’20 is finished, DraftKings Sportsbook has early odds posted on MVP for 2021. Let’s take a look and break down some bets.

The only players to win three straight MVP awards are Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird. LeBron would have won five straight had it not been for Derrick Rose. The odds are against The Greek Freak taking home another MVP and I think his looming free agency in 2021 will be a distraction, particularly if the Bucks struggle in a more competitive Eastern Conference. So if I had to pick from the co-favorites, Doncic is who I would back for MVP. You could have made a pretty strong case for him winning MVP this past season.

Looking at former MVPs and some of their odds, Steph, KD, Harden and Westbrook all have some value, especially The Beard at 20/1. Westbrook at 60/1 seems a bit nutty as well — even if it’s a long-shot for him to win MVP. A few of my favorite long-shot bets with the same odds as Russ are Simmons and Booker. The 76ers brought in Doc Rivers and we know the type of impact a coach like him can have on All-Star caliber players. Simmons has the type of skill set to win MVP if the Sixers come out and finish, say, top 1-3 in the East.

As for Booker, the Suns (if you can remember) were the talk of the NBA bubble during the seeding round. They went undefeated, yet still missed the postseason. The Suns seem very much like a team that could make a big jump in 2020-21 and make the playoffs. If that’s the case, Booker likely leads the team in scoring. He also has the type of scoring ceiling to lead the entire League in points per game. That would give him a strong case for MVP.

If you want two more long, long-shots I like Trae Young at 80/1 and KAT at 100/1. We know both players are All-Stars. Both are still entering their primes and both will be on young teams looking to get into the playoff picture. Young feels like Steph in that if the Hawks can get into the top 8 in the East and Young has an insane shooting season, an MVP isn’t out of the question. Trae being more efficient and Atlanta making the playoffs gives him a good case if he can lead the NBA in scoring (similar to Booker).

Towns and the Timberwolves are about to get the No. 1 overall pick. That could be LaMelo Ball, it could be James Wiseman or Anthony Edwards. Adding any of those players to a core featuring KAT and D’Angelo Russell will make Minnesota more competitive in 2020-21. If Towns can stay healthy and the T-Wolves evolve into a playoff contender, the big man has upside to finish with 30-10-5 stat splits. Towns would also have a shot at 55/40/80 shooting splits, which for a 6’11” center are almost unheard of.

Giannis Antetokounmpo +600
Luka Doncic +600
Anthony Davis +700
LeBron James +700
Stephen Curry +1000
Kawhi Leonard +1200
Kevin Durant +1600
Jimmy Butler +2000
James Harden +2000
Nikola Jokic +2000
Damian Lillard +2000
Jayson Tatum +2000
Joel Embiid +4000
Kyrie Irving +4000
Paul George +5000
Donovan Mitchell +5000
Devin Booker +6000
Jamal Murray +6000
Ben Simmons +6000
Russell Westbrook +6000
Zion Williamson +6000
Pascal Siakam +8000
Trae Young +8000
Bam Adebayo +10000
Brandon Ingram +10000
Kyle Lowry +10000
Ja Morant +10000
Klay Thompson +10000
Karl-Anthony Towns +10000

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