2021-22 NBA MVP Odds Tracker: Kevin Durant Injury Shakes Up MVP Leaders
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2022 NBA MVP Odds
There has been a massive shakeup to the NBA MVP odds board after Kevin Durant suffered a knee injury.
Durant was the +160 favorite during the odds update last week, he has fallen all the way down to +2000. His knee injury isn’t supposed to keep him out for the rest of the season but he will miss significant playing time.
To no one’s surprise, Steph Curry took over as the favorite to win MVP at +160. But Giannis Antetokounmpo is close behind at +280 and Nikola Jokic (+800), Joel Embiid (+1000) and Ja Morant (+1500) are in striking distance.
The players who have fallen on the odds board, though, are the bigger story. Luka Doncic opened as the favorite but has dropped all the way to 50-1.
LeBron James has seen the most movement this season. He’s been as high as 14-1 and as low as 60-1 this season. Now, he finds himself in the middle and not out of contention at 33-1.
PointsBet has also thinned out the betting pool, dropping some players off the board completely, while lowering many longshots from the 150-1 range to closer to 500-1.
Anyone can technically win an MVP, but here are a few criteria the victors usually have:
- At least 23 years old, younger than 35
- On a great team
- Past MVP consideration
- Scorer and/or stat-sheet stuffer
- Bonus: Poor defense doesn’t disqualify you
The NBA MVP award will generally go to a scorer (and offensive all-around star) on a great team who has been in the mix before. So take those into account when placing any bets.
Let’s dive into each key contender below:
1. Stephen Curry (+160)
The Warriors look terrific, and Curry is the biggest reason for that. He has been in the top two of the MVP race throughout the season and barring anything significant, he should be there at the end.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+240)
“The Greek Freak” didn’t get off to the best of starts but he is quickly gaining some steam in the MVP conversation. Don’t count out someone that’s already won this award twice and is just now starting to play his best basketball.
3. Nikola Jokic (+800)
Well, well. The reigning MVP entered last season at 25-1 to win the award and is playing as well as ever.
The market is taking notice. All the analytics point to him being the best player in the NBA so far this season, and he’s even stepped up his game defensively. But with his team on the fringes of a playoff spot, he has an outside chance of winning MVP.
4. Joel Embiid (+1000)
Embiid was just last week +3300 to win this trophy. But the Durant injury and some stellar play over the last few weeks have moved him into contention.
5. Ja Morant (+1500)
The third-year player has really come into his own as a perennial All-Star and elite guard in the league. He seems to have gained lots of momentum over the last week with some highlight-reel plays. This year might not be the year but he should be in the conversation for many years to come.
6. Kevin Durant (+2000)
Durant was the favorite to win MVP as of Jan. 11 but things have changed after he suffered a knee injury that could keep him out until the postseason. Luckily, it wasn’t season-ending but it probably ruined his chances of winning MVP.
7. LeBron James (+3300)
The Lakers’ early struggles and James missing games had dropped him down the board to 60/1. But with teammate Anthony Davis missing significant time with an injury, James will have to carry the load for the Lakers and it’s worth a flyer for the most popular player in the league.
8. DeMar DeRozan (+3300)
DeRozan is the key cog in the resurgent Bulls lineup and has shot up the MVP odds board as a result.
9. James Harden (+3300)
Harden’s odds rose significantly after the Durant injury. He will be taking on a much bigger role to finish off the season which could allow him to get into the MVP conversation. But it might be too late.
10. Luka Doncic (+4000)
Doncic was the betting favorite at every sportsbook before the season, and with good reason. He’s finished fourth and sixth the last two years, and entered his age-23 season as the focal point of a Mavericks team that was expected to take the next step with him leading the way.
11. Devin Booker (+5000)
Booker is the alpha in Phoenix now with Chris Paul clearly on the backside of his career. The Suns are one of the best teams in the Western Conference but it would take a miraculous second half of the season to catch the MVP favorites.
12. Trae Young (+6600)
Young and the Hawks broke through with a playoff appearance and two series wins in his third season. Would an MVP-caliber next step be too much to ask? Probably, but offense is most of what matters here since his lack of defense won’t hurt him as much as it should.
13. Jimmy Butler (+8000)
The Heat retooled a bit over the offseason and have shown promise when healthy in the Eastern Conference. Butler doesn’t have the offensive output to compete with the names at the top, though. At 32 years old, we know who he is.
16. Rudy Gobert (+8000)
Gobert is one of, if not, the best defensive players in the league. But his offensive output isn’t good enough to be lifting any NBA trophies.
13. Donovan Mitchell (+10000)
Mitchell tends to find himself in the conversation as one of the top guards in the league. Now it’s time for him to prove it.
14. Paul George (+10000)
George looked like an MVP-caliber player in the postseason, carrying the Clippers to the franchise’s first Western Conference Finals without Leonard. They’ll be missing Kawhi for the rest of the season, too, so maybe George makes some noise in this race.
15. Chris Paul (+10000)
Paul was in the conversation last season. But as he ages, his role diminishes and he’s no longer the best player on his team.
When Will the 2022 NBA MVP Be Announced?
The NBA MVP award is generally announced at the end of June.
Past NBA MVP Winners
|2001||Allen Iverson||Philadelphia 76ers|
|2002||Tim Duncan||San Antonio Spurs|
|2003||Tim Duncan||San Antonio Spurs|
|2004||Kevin Garnett||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2005||Steve Nash||Phoenix Suns|
|2006||Steve Nash||Phoenix Suns|
|2007||Dirk Nowitzki||Dallas Mavericks|
|2008||Kobe Bryant||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2009||LeBron James||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2010||LeBron James||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2011||Derrick Rose||Chicago Bulls|
|2012||LeBron James||Miami Heat|
|2013||LeBron James||Miami Heat|
|2014||Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2015||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|2016||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|2017||Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2018||James Harden||Houston Rockets|
|2019||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2020||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2021||Nikola Jokić||Denver Nuggets|