Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nikola Jokic
- See Nikola Jokic's MVP odds at a variety of sportsbooks below, along with Matt Moore’s analysis on whether they’re offering betting value.
Nikola Jokic 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.
If you want to play “value vs. the number,” you want to package Harden and Jokic. The Nuggets finished No. 2 in the West last season behind the Warriors, who are no longer the Warriors.
They feature a cast of weapons as deep as any team in the league, and Jokic is the player who facilitates all of them. He is a weapons system unto himself.
Jokic became the first center since 1975 (the earliest possession data can be tracked) to average 30 points and more than 10 assists per 100 possessions. He averaged the most assists per game for a center since Wilt Chamberlain.
If Denver, which returns the most continuity of any team in the West, secures the No. 1 seed in a brutal conference, Jokic would have to be in the conversation prominently.
Essentially, if you can imagine Utah falling short, the Lakers and Clippers stumbling out of the gate and/or resting, the Harden-Westbrook relationship not clicking enough and Milwaukee regressing, Jokic would be a de facto choice alongside Joel Embiid (which would make for an absolutely wonderful MVP race alongside an absolutely toxic online discussion of it).