The most coveted individual award every season is NBA MVP, and the number of contenders seems to be unusually high entering the 2022-23 season. Here’s a look at which players are in the running this season, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
NBA MVP Award 2022-23 odds
The favorite: Luka Doncic (+425)
There’s a lot to like about Doncic’s MVP case. He’s been steadily rising from the ranks and appears to be on the cusp of superstardom if he isn’t there already. The Mavericks are having tremendous team success with him, which is a criteria in the MVP race. The narrative is easy with Doncic, and it’s part of why he’s the favorite.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: +600
The Greek Freak might have to do more heavy lifting early in the season with Khris Middleton out, and that’ll help him gain some traction in this race early. Antetokounmpo is always going to be in the conversation for this award and Defensive Player of the Year due to his skill set. The question is whether he can be significantly better than every other contender this season.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: +650
Embiid is coming off the best season of his career, where he shockingly stayed healthy for the majority of it. Banking on that to happen again seems a bit odd but the results speak for themselves. The 76ers big man might cede some stats to James Harden, so that’s one more reason to potentially fade him this season in this category.
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets: +800
Durant has a lot to earn a lot of goodwill back after his summer antics, and there’s no better way to do that than ball out. The forward is going to be one of the top scorers in the league as long as he’s healthy, but will the addition of Ben Simmons shift Durant’s responsibilities and make him less of a defensive presence? That could hinder him in this race.
Best bet: Nikola Jokic (+900)
There are some intriguing long-shot bets here. James Harden was once at +16000 and is now +7000. LeBron James is sitting at +2500, and he was a few games away from winning the scoring title last year. However, it’s hard to pass up the two-time reigning MVP who should continue delivering big numbers. Backing Jokic for a three-peat, at this number, makes a lot of sense.
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