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NBA MVP tracker: How does MVP race look post-James Harden trade?

We’ll be tracking the latest odds to win NBA MVP in 2020-21 throughout the season.

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets looks on while warming up before the first half against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center on January 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The 2020-21 NBA season is underway and while we only get 72 games, it should be an exciting road to the Finals. In 2019-20, the season was put on pause before the restart in the NBA bubble in Orlando. So if you think about it, NBA MVP last season was decided in March rather than in July/August. Because we had plenty of time to let the MVP debate marinate, it was an easy choice with Giannis Antetokounmpo taking home his second straight award. The Greek Freak will be among the favorites in 2020-21, looking to become the first three-peat MVP since Larry Bird back in the ‘80s.

Since there isn’t a clear-cut MVP favorite heading into the season, we should see plenty of line movement on DraftKings Sportsbook. Right now entering opening night, Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic and Antetokounmpo have the best odds to win MVP at +400 and +450, respectively. Behind them is a handful of names from the +800 to +2000 range. Some names in that range include Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and James Harden.

With so many high-profile superstars vying for MVP, we’re going to be keeping an eye on the line movement from Opening Night and throughout the 2020-21 season. Below you can find the latest odds as well as how the lines have moved week-to-week.

Week 4 Update — The James Harden trade didn’t have as big of an impact on the MVP odds initially. It should have more of a long-term effect once we see how the Nets perform once Kyrie Irving is back in the lineup.

Harden’s odds are slightly down since last week, which is odd considering his debut was pretty good — a triple-double in a win over the Magic. Irving’s return will prob eat into some of that production, but there will be plenty to go around if the team performs at a high level. Harden had a triple-double and Kevin Durant still managed to drop 42 points.

Domantas Sabonis’ odds have jumped up quite a bit now that the Pacers are looking like a top team in the East. It also helps that Giannis and Doncic are still kind of coasting through the season. LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic continue to see their stock rise in the MVP race. James isn’t a bad bet to consider with his history of winning the award and the Lakers being on top of the West.

Week 3 Update — There haven’t been many risers in the last week as far as the MVP race is concerned. The two names that stick out the most are Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid.

Steph is becoming a very interesting option at +1400. He started the season +800 and the Dubs struggled out the gate. Well, it took a career-high 62 points and that sparked a nice little 4 out of 5 run for the Warriors. Golden State is back above .500 at 6-4 and looking like more of a factor in the Western Conference. If Steph can drag this Warriors team to a top 4 finish in the West while finishing top 5 in scoring, doing plenty of Steph things along the way, his MVP case becomes very strong. I like to view former MVPs as having a bit of an advantage over players who haven’t won the award.

Embiid was getting a lot of love similar to Derrick Rose back when he won MVP with the Chicago Bulls. At the time, the Bulls were the best team in the NBA. Rose was the best player on the team. Prior to the past two losses, the Sixers had the best record in the NBA. Embiid is the best player on the Sixers. It’s not like the All-Star big man isn’t deserving of consideration and being 10/1 to win the award. He’s averaging nearly 25 points and 12 rebounds while sporting career highs in PER (27.27) and true shooting percentage (64.9).

Week 2 Update — We head into Week 3 o the 2020-21 NBA season with the MVP race still in flux. The two players who are the favorites haven’t really gained any traction. Luka Doncic missed Sunday’s game due to a quad injury and Giannis and the Bucks have been pretty pedestrian so far. This has created a very interesting MVP market.

The two names that pop on the odds this week are Nikola Jokic and Trae Young. The Denver Nuggets center is averaging a triple-double early on in the season. After six games, he’s at 22.3 points, 12.8 assists and 11.2 rebounds per game. Normally when a player averages a triple-double, it’s hard not to give them MVP. The issue is Denver is at the bottom of the Western Conference. If the Nuggets can get back on track and finish in the top 4-5 in the West, Jokic has a strong case for MVP if he can keep it up.

Young and the Hawks are in the thick of a now ridiculously competitive Eastern Conference. Atlanta sits at 4-2 and is looking miles improved after the offseason. Young is tied for 4th in the NBA in scoring at 28.2 points per game. The most eye-popping thing when looking at Young’s first six games is he’s taking fewer shots and is still right around what he was doing last season.

Young’s PER is up nearly 5.0 points from last season. His true shooting percentage is at 62.7 percent. He currently leads the League in offensive win shares (1.1). If Trae can be the best player on a Hawks team that finishes in playoff seeding, unless Luka, Giannis or KD pulls away, Young will have a very strong case for MVP this season.

Week 1 Update — So we’re into Week 2 of the NBA season and the first week told us a decent amount. We didn’t see too much movement on certain players at the top, but we did see a lot of middle of the pack candidates stock fall down. Doncic and Giannis are still 1-2 in terms of favorites, though that could change pretty quickly for The Greek Freak. The Bucks are 1-2 and just lost to the Knicks by 30 points at MSG. Giannis and the Bucks do not look like a team that will be title contenders, though it’s early.

The most notable riser in the top ranks is Kevin Durant. The Nets are 2-1 to start the season and Durant looks like his normal self coming off the Achilles tear. If KD can get Brooklyn to the top seed in the Eastern Conference, he’d have a pretty strong case for MVP. Same can be said for his teammate Kyrie Irving, who dropped 37 points on his former team on Christmas. Kyrie’s odds to win the award went up the most of any player from +8000 to +6000 since opening night.

NBA MVP Odds 2020-21

Player 1/4 Odds 1/11 Odds 1/18 Odds Stock
Player 1/4 Odds 1/11 Odds 1/18 Odds Stock
Luka Doncic, DAL +400 +400 +400 --
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL +450 +450 +450 --
Stephen Curry, GSW +1600 +1400 +1000 Up
Anthony Davis, LAL +1200 +1500 +1600 Down
LeBron James, LAL +1200 +1200 +1000 Up
Kevin Durant, BKN +800 +800 +800 --
Damian Lillard, POR +1600 +1600 +2000 Down
Jayson Tatum, BOS +2000 +2000 +2000 --
James Harden, HOU +2500 +2500 +3000 Down
Nikola Jokic, DEN +1200 +1200 +800 Up
Kawhi Leonard, LAC +3300 +3500 +4000 Down
Domantas Sabonis, IND +25000 +25000 +4000 Up
Devin Booker, PHX +5000 +6000 +6000 --
Joel Embiid, PHI +2500 +1000 +1000 --
Jimmy Butler, MIA +10000 +10000 +10000 --
Russell Westbrook, WAS +7500 +10000 +15000 Down
Zion Williamson, NOP +5000 +6000 +8000 Down
Trae Young, ATL +4000 +4000 +6000 Down
Paul George, LAC +8000 +8000 +8000 --
Kyrie Irving, BKN +6000 +6000 +10000 Down
Donovan Mitchell, UTA +10000 +10000 +10000 --
Bradley Beal, WAS -- -- +10000 --
Julius Randle, NYK +50000 +50000 +10000 Up
Jaylen Brown, BOS +25000 +20000 +15000 Up
Ben Simmons, PHI +15000 +15000 +15000 --
Bam Adebayo, MIA +20000 +20000 +20000 --
Ja Morant, MEM +15000 +15000 +15000 --
Jamal Murray, DEN +20000 +20000 +20000 --
Pascal Siakam, TOR +20000 +20000 +20000 --
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN +15000 +15000 +15000 --
De'Aaron Fox, SAC +25000 +25000 +25000 --
Brandon Ingram, NOP +20000 +20000 +20000 --
Zach LaVine, CHI +25000 +25000 +25000 --
Kyle Lowry, TOR +25000 +25000 +25000 --
Chris Paul, PHX +25000 +25000 +25000 --

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