December 14 update — Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant (+450 to win MVP), the two frontrunners for the MVP award, have the opportunity to create some more distance between themselves and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Greek Freak entered health and safety protocols Tuesday, meaning he could be out for a stretch here. Durant’s teammate James Harden also entered protocols, meaning the Nets will rely heavily on the forward. KD had a triple-double against the Raptors Tuesday. Meanwhile, Curry (+130) just broke the all-time three-point record in a 22-point performance to help the Warriors beat the Knicks.
Expect to see Curry and Durant pull away slightly from Antetokounmpo if the Bucks star cannot return from health and safety protocols soon.
After Saturday’s win over the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid said two things which caught my attention. The first was the proclamation of Philly being “his city” and how he had to defend his court from Stephen Curry’s all-time three-point mark. The second was how he credited the bench in the win, and said he himself “needed to be better” despite putting up 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Embiid has been largely forgotten in this year’s MVP race, with Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo pulling away at the top of the odds table courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. He had a bout with COVID during the 76ers’ outbreak and became an afterthought as the team fell in the standings.
Since returning to action, Embiid is averaging 27.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest while also shooting 37.5 percent from deep. The Sixers are 5-3 in those eight games, including wins over the Warriors and Hawks. Embiid was a finalist for this award last year, and he’s potentially undervalued at +3000 in the latest odds update.
Elsewhere in the MVP race, LeBron James has entered the fold at +6000. James can’t miss any more time after two absences early in this season but he’s going to be the reason the Lakers turn things around. Damian Lillard has fallen out of the top 15, and Paul George has jumped ahead of other second-tier candidates Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan and Devin Booker.
NBA MVP odds 2021-22 (as of Dec. 13)
1. Stephen Curry, +130
2. Kevin Durant, +450
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, +650
4. Nikola Jokic, +1600
5. Luka Doncic, +3000
6. Joel Embiid, +3000
7. Paul George, +4000
8. Jimmy Butler, +5000
9. DeMar DeRozan, +5000
10. Devin Booker, +5000
11. James Harden, +5000
12. Trae Young, +5000
13. Chris Paul, +6000
14. LeBron James, +6000
15. Jayson Tatum, +6000
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