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NBA MVP odds: Nikola Jokic moves up board with ridiculous January

Denver center continues to thrive based on production and efficiency in the MVP race. We take a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets hug at Ball Arena on February 4, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.  Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Jokic continues to be a win for the analytics crowd. Has there ever been an MVP case carried strictly by statistics and efficiency? You could say last season Jokic’s MVP win was based widely on how ridiculous his advanced stats were. The thing is, the Denver Nuggets finished third in the Western Conference. This season, Denver is going to struggle to finish in the top 6 in the conference. Is it going to even matter if Jokic keeps this up?

Well, the latest win for the Nuggets came against the shorthanded Nets. Jokic dropped 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for another triple-double. Let’s take a look at his odds on DKSB.

Nikola Jokic MVP Odds: +300

There may not be a more impressive month of basketball than Jokic in January. It’s pretty remarkable. Forget just the raw stats, Jokic’s shooting splits for a 7-foot center are abnormal — 60 percent from the floor, 43 percent from three and 88 percent from the line. Jokic is flirting with 60/40/80 splits overall on the season. In January, he averaged around 27 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists while helping the Nuggets go 11-5. Denver is now on a three-game winning streak.

What’s really helping Jokic’s MVP case is that the Nuggets have remained competitive despite being a much weaker overall team. Last season, Jokic at least had Jamal Murray for half a season and Michael Porter Jr. for 61 games. This year, Murray has yet to play and Porter is expected to be out the rest of the year after being underwhelming for 9 games. Jokic is also having a better statistical season than 2020-21, when he won MVP. At 3/1, it feels like Jokic has a good shot at repeating if he can get the Nuggets back to the postseason as a top 6 team in the West while maintaining this level of play. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s possible.

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