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NBA MVP tracker: Dame starting to make moves in MVP conversation

We’re tracking the latest odds to win 2021 NBA MVP as we approach the All-Star Break this season.

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Moda Center on February 20, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

As we enter Week 10 of the 2020-21 NBA season, the MVP race keeps taking more of a shape. After that shape is sort of revealed, somebody else comes in and says “Hey, what about me?!” That person last week was Portland Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard, who also got snubbed out of a starting spot on the West All-Star team. Dame and the Blazers have been on an impressive run despite injuries, jumping into the top 4 in the West. Lillard has been playing out of his skull and as a result, saw his MVP odds jump up a significant margin.

The favorite to win MVP is still Los Angeles Lakers F LeBron James, who actually saw his odds increase even more despite some team struggles. The Lakers are trending down because of a calf injury to Anthony Davis while Dennis Schroder is in health and safety protocols. The Lakers have lost three of four games but LeBron remains the top pick to win the award at +150. His odds even moved up from last week by a decent margin, but this likely has more to do with the public throwing more and more money at him to win.

The issue there is the number isn’t as appealing and there are plenty of names popping up in the MVP race conversation, throughout social media and the voting ranks. It appeared to be LeBron’s award to lose but that thesis looks like it’s losing some steam. Dame isn’t in the top 5 in terms of odds but there’s a lot of season left. Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid got a nice boost and is up to +300 behind LeBron. Even Golden State Warriors G Stephen Curry could make a case for MVP.

While Steph has some work to do, there’s always a bias lean toward former MVPs. Curry has two MVP awards and it’s a bit odd he isn’t getting more hype. The Warriors are a completely different team and won’t be among the elite in the West. That feels like the only thing holding Curry back. No Klay Thompson to elevate the Dubs to the top of the conference means Curry — despite carrying the team all season — can’t really make a play for MVP. Curry is in the top 5 in the NBA in scoring and has his usually splits. He’s close to 30 points with over 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game, plus 48/42/93 shooting splits. If Steph can get the Warriors winning more games consistently, it wouldn’t take much for him to get into the top 3 in terms of MVP.

Lillard feels like the one that should move the most from +2500 a few weeks ago and now at +2000. He should be able to jump Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo at the very least. It’s a shame Dame didn’t get more MVP hype early on in the season. His type of case feels a lot like what happened the year LeBron lost out to Derrick Rose, though that Chicago Bulls team had the best record in the NBA. Dame may not get the Blazers to the top of the League, but he can certainly get them to the top of the West if CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic can get back on the court soon.

Updated NBA MVP Odds, Feb. 22

Player 2/8 Odds 2/15 Odds Current Odds Stock
Player 2/8 Odds 2/15 Odds Current Odds Stock
Luka Doncic, DAL +550 +1000 +1400 Down
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL +1200 +1200 +1800 Down
Stephen Curry, GSW +1400 +1200 +1400 Down
Anthony Davis, LAL +4000 +15000 +15000 --
LeBron James, LAL +350 +200 +150 Up
Kevin Durant, BKN +600 +1200 +1800 Down
Damian Lillard, POR +2500 +2500 +2000 Up
Jayson Tatum, BOS +8000 +10000 +15000 Down
James Harden, HOU +5000 +5000 +5000 --
Nikola Jokic, DEN +550 +450 +600 Down
Kawhi Leonard, LAC +4000 +4000 +4000 --
Domantas Sabonis, IND +10000 +15000 +15000 --
Devin Booker, PHX +10000 +15000 +15000 --
Joel Embiid, PHI +550 +400 +300 Up
Jimmy Butler, MIA +25000 +25000 +25000 --
Paul George, LAC +8000 +8000 +10000 Down
Kyrie Irving, BKN +15000 +15000 +15000 --
Donovan Mitchell, UTA +10000 +6600 +6600 --

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