Joel Embiid’s NBA MVP Odds: Expect Another Leap From Philly Big Man?

Oct 21, 2019 11:50 AM EDT
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Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joel Embiid

  • See Joel Embiid's MVP odds at a variety of sportsbooks below, along with Matt Moore’s analysis on whether they’re offering betting value.

Joel Embiid NBA MVP Odds

Note: This snippet is from Matt Moore’s larger MVP piece. See his analysis for all major candidate here. Odds as of Thursday, October 17.

I’m notoriously high on the Sixers. I’m projecting them for 56 wins and the best record in the NBA. So it should come as no surprise that Embiid’s value here is incredible in my eyes.

The Sixers re-oriented their team around Embiid this summer. On the surface, it looks like they patched things together after Jimmy Butler took his talents to South Beach. But adding Josh Richardson and Al Horford, while keeping Tobias Harris, was done to augment Embiid’s game.

Embiid is probably the most impactful player in the league right now, in that he forces teams to account for him. You’ll struggle with everything LeBron brings to the table, Leonard will burn you no matter what you do while also locking you down, Jokic makes everyone better.

But when Embiid steps on the floor with his size and skill, you have to deal with him. It’s why so many will maintain that he’s a better player than Jokic despite Jokic having a better stat line (factoring assists and shooting percentages).

When Jokic dominates a team, you’re surprised, like “Oh, hey, look at the chubby dude dominate.” But you never expect it to happen again, because it feels so unlikely.

Embiid feels like a monster on the court. He’s a better defensive player (though Jokic is underrated in that aspect). He will back down and obliterate smaller players with dunks (whereas Jokic will simply turn and shoot over them from a comfortable distance).

If the Sixers are as good as they could be this season, Embiid will be the biggest reason why, which is why he’s great value.

His injury history, likelihood to rest multiple games, tenuous chemistry with Ben Simmons and offensive decision-making are all reasons to be cautious. His injury status will always make him a darkhorse entering the season until he wins the award.

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