2022 NBA MVP Odds Tracker: Four-Horse Race for MVP as Steph Curry’s Lead Continues to Grow
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2022 NBA MVP Odds
The 2022 NBA MVP race has a few key horses who started near the top of the board, but have stormed out ahead of the field through the first two months of the season.
Stephen Curry is the favorite at +140 at DraftKings (a $10 bet pays $13), with Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo the only other players in single digits. Nikola Jokic’s strong play over the last few weeks has vaulted him to the fourth betting choice.
The fallers have probably been the bigger story. Luka Doncic opened as the favorite but has dropped all the way to 30-1. LeBron James was at the top of the NBA odds board in October, and now sits at 60-1. So does teammate Anthony Davis.
DraftKings has also thinned out the betting pool, dropping players like Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson off 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.
Who Is the NBA MVP Favorite?
Let’s dive into each key contender below:
1. Stephen Curry (+130)
The Warriors look terrific, and Steph Curry is the biggest reason for that. He’s extended his MVP lead considerably over the last few weeks, all the way down to +130.
2. Kevin Durant (+450)
Kyrie Irving is out for now, and perhaps much longer. According to the betting market, Durant’s chances originally increased by about 1% when Kyrie stepped away from the team. Durant is seeing more offensive volume with Irving out, and the MVP narrative will be strong if he can lead the Nets to a regular-season conference title, or close to it.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+650)
Giannis is fresh off his first NBA title and Finals MVP, and while the Bucks lost a few key pieces in the offseason, they should be near the Eastern Conference again. He’ll be in the mix for the MVP award again after winning two consecutive in 2019 and 2020.
4. Nikola Jokic (+1300)
Well, well. The defending champ entered last season at 25-1 to win MVP, and he’s 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, he’s even stepped up his game defensively.
5. Luka Doncic (+3000)
Luka Doncic was the betting favorite at every sportsbook, and for good reason. He’s finished fourth and sixth the last two years, and enters his age 23 season as the focal point of a team expected to take the next step with him leading the way. Doncic’s usage and volume (and talent, of course) will keep him toward the top of this race all year, barring injury.
Unfortunately for Dallas, things haven’t been perfect so far, and he’s not putting up the statistical marks Curry is.
6. Joel Embiid (+3000)
Embiid will also be in the MVP award conversation if he can stay healthy. He won’t have Ben Simmons alongside him, but that probably won’t be an MVP factor.
Health is always the biggest concern. Embiid has played just 260 games in seven NBA seasons, including 51 last season, which is on the higher end of his range to date. He did finish second in MVP voting last season.
7. Paul George (+4000)
George looked like an MVP-caliber player in the posteason, 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.
8. Trae Young (+5000)
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, so his lack of defense won’t hurt him as much as it should.
9. Devin Booker (+5000)
Booker’s teammate, Chris Paul, finished top 5 in MVP voting last NBA regular season. Is it Booker’s turn now?
The Suns should be one of the league’s best teams after finishing runner-up in the NBA championship if you believe in the efficiency of the NBA win totals market, and Booker is the guy now.
10. James Harden (+5000)
Harden is an interesting flier because if Durant or Kyrie Irving miss time, Harden’s usage will skyrocket, and he’ll return to putting up video game numbers. His usage is already insanely high. However, he’s struggled a bit to adjust to the NBA’s new foul rules, and Durant is the alpha in Brooklyn right now.
11. Jimmy Butler (+5000)
The Heat retooled a bit last year and should be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. But Butler won’t have the offensive output to compete with the names at the top. At age 32, we know who he is.
12. DeMar DeRozan (+5000)
DeRozan is becoming a key cog in the resurgent Bulls lineup and has shot up the MVP odds board as a result.
13. LeBron James (+6000)
You don’t see LeBron this far down the board now, but he’s a different player in a different situation. When he’s at his best, he’s LeBron. But he’s going to take more games off, and his usage will be down with the supporting cast around him. His odds have plummeted through the first two months of the season.
14. Anthony Davis (+6000)
Davis finished sixth in MVP voting two years ago during the COVID-shortened season, but didn’t factor in last year as he dealt with injuries.
15. Jayson Tatum (+6000)
Tatum is still just 23 years old and probably hasn’t played his best basketball yet. The Celtics should be in the playoff hunt in the East despite a new coach. You’re betting on a huge step forward for Tatum, but not one that’s outside the realm of possibility.
16. Chris Paul (+6000)
Paul is still guiding a strong Suns team but Devin Booker is the de facto star and should get more consideration here (even though Paul finished top 5 in voting last year).
17. Zach LaVine (+6500)
LaVine may not be a favorite but he’s working his way into the conversation. LaVine set career highs in points per game and PER in the shortened 2020-2021 season, and the Bulls look like contenders early on.
18. Damian Lillard (+7500)
Lillard is off to a rocky start and the Blazers have some serious holes.
19. Donovan Mitchell (+7500)
Mitchell needs to take his game to another level if he wants to get into the MVP conversation. He’s good enough to be a star in the league but is he MVP-caliber?
20. LaMelo Ball (+7500)
The Hornets have been fun to watch and LaMelo Ball is the biggest reason why. He moved from 150-1 to 60-1 over the first three weeks of the season, then dropped to 75-1 a few weeks later.
21. Ja Morant (+8000)
Morant shot up the odds board after a red-hot start to the season, but injuries ultimately knocked him out of the conversation.
22. Karl-Anthony Towns (+12000)
The Timberwolves are improved under new coaching but Towns is far away from the MVP conversation. He’s never finished top 10 in voting.
23. Julius Randle (+15000)
The regression monster is coming for Randle, who already started to show some cracks in the playoffs. He finished eighth in MVP voting last year — a very well-deserved finish — but repeating last year’s output is going to be difficult for Randle.
24. Bradley Beal (+15000)
Maybe Beal would have a better shot on another team, because his gaudy offensive numbers have never earned him much MVP chatter in the past.
25. Bam Adebayo (+15000)
Adebayo’s odds have gotten worse but he’s now a higher betting choice because so many other players have fallen.
26. Rudy Gobert (+15000)
Gobert will never have an MVP profile because of his lack of scoring, but the Jazz look great again, and he’s been dominant on the boards and on defense.
27. Russell Westbrook (+25000)
Westbrook, now a Laker, shouldn’t have the Herculean stat lines he’s used to, but he will raise their floor when LeBron and AD are out.
28. Jaylen Brown (+25000)
Brown got as high as 80-1 after the first few weeks but has since dropped back to 250-1.
29. Anthony Edwards (+25000)
Edwards looks like the better player than Towns early in the season but neither will factor into the MVP race.
30. Domantas Sabonis (+30000)
Sabonis took a big step forward last season but the Pacers fell off at the end of the season and missed the playoffs. He averaged 20.3 points, 12 boards and 6.7 assists per game last year.
NBA MVP FAQ
Who Has the Best Odds to Win NBA MVP?
Stephen Curry has the best odds right now, with Kevin Durant right behind him.
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|