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NBA MVP Update: James Harden makes big jump up board

We take a look at the latest NBA MVP odds with only two months left in the regular season.

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter at Moda Center on March 23, 2021 in Portland, Oregon.  Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

With the second half of the 2020-21 NBA regular season already underway, it is a great time to look at where the NBA MVP odds stand heading into April. Before the NBA All-Star break, it seemed as if Joel Embiid and LeBron James were top-two candidates for the league’s prestigious award.

However, both players have suffered significant lower body injuries, which has led to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, and Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden all being considered legitimate MVP candidates. We’ll break down who is currently in the lead for the award, along with the top-three candidates. All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

NBA MVP Odds Update

Heading into the final two months of the season, Jokic is the odds on favorite to win the MVP award at -113. The multi-talented center is averaging career-highs the across the board with 26.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. The 26-year-old from Serbia is also shooting 57.1% from the field and 42.8% from three-point range.

His play is one of the main reasons why the Nuggets are sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference standings and a dark horse to make a run at the NBA Finals. However, Harden is making a strong case to win the award at +550 odds.

At first, it sounded farfetched to have him in the MVP conversation, especially with the Nets having both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. But between the three superstar players, Harden has been the only healthy and consistent option on the floor. Since arriving to Brooklyn in January, the former MVP is averaging 26.4 points, 11.4 assists, and 8.9 rebounds per game.

If Harden continue to play well as the team’s de facto point guard and the Nets jump the Sixers in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standing. Then, he will have a strong case to win the award this season.

The other players in consideration for the award are: Embiid (+600), James (+750), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+800).

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