NBA MVP Odds 2022-23: MVP Race Favorites, Dark Horses, Players To Avoid

Current NBA MVP Odds point towards Luka Doncic as one of the favorites for the 2022-23 season at .  We have some two-time winners atop of the updated NBA MVP odds list with Giannis Antetokpunmpo and Nikola Jokic at . Stay tuned through the season, as the NBA MVP odds will fluctuate based on performance and injuries!

NBA MVP Odds 2022-23

Shop around NBA MVP odds 2022-23 for the upcoming season. Find the most updated list among various sportsbooks to compare the best NBA MVP odds in the table below.

NBA MVP Odds: MVP Race

Every week, the race for MVP will be updated. These rankings will be determined by a combination of current odds, recent play, and subjectivity. Check out the NBA MVP odds and MVP Race below!

1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

  • Last Week: 1
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 24.8 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 10.1 apg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

“The Joker” didn’t have the hottest start to the 2022-23 regular season as far as scoring is concerned. Through the Denver Nuggets’ first 13 games, Jokic posted roughly 20 points per game, which is by no means poor; however, his focus on getting previously injured teammates Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray reacclimated to the game was prioritized over individual stats.

Since then, Jokic has continued his MVP-caliber play; he could be the first player to win the NBA MVP award three straight times since Larry Bird from 1984-1986. Few players in the history of the NBA possess the IQ, talent, skill, and overall dominance of Jokic, and he has been rewarded for it these past two seasons. Check out the highlights below, courtesy of NBA on ESPN, and his NBA MVP odds above!

2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

  • Last Week: 2
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 33.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 4.1 apg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

After the first few weeks of the NBA season, Joel Embiid had dropped off many lists as an MVP favorite; it seems that those times are long gone. Embiid has posted career-high averages in points per game and field goal percentage, two things he already was crushing.

Now, he is threatening to be the league’s leader in points per game, as he has helped this Philadelphia 76ers team go from a middle-of-the-road team to potentially the best in the Eastern Conference if they take over the top spot from the Boston Celtics. Philadelphia has been victors in 21 of its past 25 games, winning at an absurdly impressive rate. During that stretch, no team has been better.

What shot Embiid up to his highest standing on the NBA MVP Odds Ladder, though, was his dominant performance against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, arguably the best team in the Western Conference.

In that game, Embiid posted 47 points on 18-for-31 shooting from the field; he also brought down 18 rebounds, dished out five assists, and recorded three steals and two blocks. There have not been many better performances this season, and certainly not in a game of that magnitude. Embiid’s MVP narrative could have just leaped enough to make this MVP run interesting with Jokic.

Embiid’s NBA MVP odds may be worth taking a look at right now. There is a strong likelihood that the individual matchup with Nikola Jokic, which he dominated, could sway the opinions of some MVP voters, especially if Philly continues to win at, or near, this rate.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

  • Last Week: 5
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 32.2 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 5.3 apg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

Giannis has again been phenomenal recently, posting two 50+ point games in his past nine outings. It is unfortunate because his MVP narrative has seemingly dropped off quite a bit, especially after Nikola Jokic’s recent run and the success of Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Luckily for Giannis, Khris Middleton has returned to the lineup, and the Bucks have won four-straight games since then. While Middleton has not been scoring at the level he usually does, his presence is enough to give the Bucks an edge over most teams.

With Middleton back, look for Giannis to continue to play inspired basketball. The Bucks are only 2.5 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference, and a huge winning streak could propel him to the top of the NBA MVP odds ladder once again.

4.  Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

  • Last Week: 4
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 30.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 4.5 apg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

Tatum’s MVP narrative at the beginning of the season was so clear; he had improved in every way and also improved the entire Boston Celtics team, particularly their offense, which they had struggled with at times during the playoffs last season. Since then, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic, in particular, have been putting on offensive clinics, making Tatum’s case a little murkier.

Still, Tatum is the best player on the best team that has the best offense (fluctuating between the C’s and Denver), so that has to count for something. He has had more than enough brilliant plays and games this season to justify winning the award, yet he still ranks behind Jokic and Doncic at the halfway point through the 2022-23 regular season.

5. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

  • Last Week: 3
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 33.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 8.2 apg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

What in the world is going on with Luka Doncic? Luka has put on his Superman cape and has “willed” Dallas to victory quite a few times this season, despite a serious lack of help from the supporting cast. The Mavericks are currently in solo fifth place in the Eastern Conference; if Doncic can somehow elevate them back into the top three or four, look for his NBA MVP odds to improve.

Doncic’s MVP narrative spiked following a 60-point, 21-rebound, and 10-assist performance in an overtime win against the New York Knicks in late December. Not to mention, Doncic hit a heroic game-tying two-point shot off of a missed free throw to get the Mavericks to extra time.

Doncic’s averaging a near-triple-double with roughly 33 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists per game; his output has been historic. The main question surrounding Doncic is whether or not he can sustain this insane usage. He has a usage rate over 38%, which is only rivaled in recent history by James Harden in his MVP season and the season after that.

The bottom line: MVP voters are going to want to see Dallas play with a little more consistency and finish in the top few spots of the Western Conference if Doncic wants to bring home his first MVP award. This season has been one of the most competitive MVP races in recent memory. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant, Ja Morant, and Doncic all have legitimate cases for MVP through the first half of the 2022-23 regular season.

For Doncic, there has been a springboard in the narrative: the Mavs are 0-6 without Doncic this season. If the Mavs fail to win one game without Doncic all season, it would be borderline impossible not to give him the MVP, especially if they finish in the top half of the playoff race (top-four seed or better.)

On The Cusp: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Last Week: Not ranked
  • 2022-23 Statistics: 27.3 ppg, 8.3 apg, 5.8 rpg
  • NBA MVP Odds:

Ja Morant may not have the ludicrous stats of the players mentioned above, but he does have the impact and importance of all of them. Morant continues to be one of the most exciting players in the NBA due to his high-flying, acrobatic finishes, and his no-look, flashy passes. Few players in the history of the league have been as sensational and compelling as Morant.

This season, Morant has posted roughly 27 points, eight assists, and six rebounds on 47% shooting from the field. Morant has taken the Memphis Grizzlies from a bottom of the barrel team in the Western Conference to the No. 2 seed last year and so far this year.

Morant is going to have a hard time climbing up this ladder against players like Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Jayson Tatum; the narrative for those players is just better. Tatum has evolved as a playmaker and has positioned the Celtics as the top team in the East, while Giannis and the Bucks have surged with Khris Middleton back in the lineup. Embiid has been playing at an outrageous level and has willed the Sixers back to the top of the Eastern Conference, too.

Not only would the Grizzlies need to overtake the Denver Nuggets for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Morant would have to consistently post 35-40-point games with an abundance of rebounds and assists to go along with them. It may not be Morant’s year for the MVP, but the Grizzlies still have a great shot of winning an NBA Championship.

NBA MVP Odds: Just Outside Top Five – LeBron James, Kevin Durant

NBA MVP Odds 2022-23: Preseason/Early Season Favorites

Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic is one of the current favorites to win the MVP award in the 2022-23 season. For the third straight season, Doncic had the best NBA MVP odds in the preseason. Luka has had a few strong seasons, finishing fourth, sixth, and fifth in MVP in the past three seasons, respectively; however, his physical shape coming into the regular seasons has been questionable in the past. 

As long as Doncic stays healthy and the Mavs have success in the Western Conference, it would be hard to imagine a player posting more ridiculous stats than Doncic. Check out the graphic below, courtesy of bball-index, which demonstrates the gap between Doncic and the rest of the league as a playmaker and a one-on-one player.

2022-23-playmaking-talent-one-on-one-talent-nba-chart

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo 

Giannis has improved every year, and we still don’t know where his real ceiling rests. Last season, Giannis finished yet another successful season averaging the most points he ever has in a single year with 29.9 points per game. By NBA standards, Giannis is just now entering his “prime years”: he’s only 27 years old! 

We have seen Giannis take the next step in his career by anchoring this Bucks’ defense on a more consistent basis and continuing to improve his offensive output. His NBA MVP odds could continue to tighten if the Bucks finish as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference by the end of the season. That is, as long as the voter bias is kept at bay.

Jayson Tatum 

The Boston Celtics might have struggled offensively at times last season, often leaning on their defense to get them out of these dry spells; however, that is not the case this season. The C’s have had a historically good offense with a rating that surpasses 120, a mark scarcely touched by a team over a large chunk of the season. A large portion of this success and improvement can be attributed to superstar Jayson Tatum.

What Tatum has continued to improve at, resulting in his ascension as a superstar, is playmaking for others. The beauty of Tatum as an MVP favorite is that this improvement is visible throughout the entire offense; his shot selection is better, and his decision-making is better. When improvement is so easily recognizable, it certainly helps the narrative you need to win a voter-based award.

NBA MVP Odds 2022-23: Preseason/Early Season Dark Horses

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 

If SGA played on a team that actually had some level of success (think last season’s Denver Nuggets team that finished sixth in the Western Conference behind Nikola Jokic’s stupendous play), he would have more than a real shot at winning MVP this season. The combination of skill, craft, effort, and clutch fourth-quarter shot-making give Gilgeous-Alexander the pizazz that MVP candidates need!

This season, SGA averages 30.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game on 50% shooting from the floor! Without SGA, the Thunder are a hopeless basketball club; however, with him, they have won some impressive games. If OKC were able to finish in the top half of the Western Conference somehow, this bet could have some real life.

Ja Morant 

Last season’s Most Improved Player hasn’t even sniffed his ceiling yet. Morant has made considerable strides in his first three seasons in the NBA, and slowing down doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary. So far in the 2022-23 regular season, Morant has looked even better than last year! A strong second half of the season could improve his NBA MVP odds.

Another thing to keep an eye on is his progression on the glass and in playmaking situations. Towards the end of last season, Morant flexed his rebounding prowess, which has not always been apparent. For example, he averaged eight rebounds in the playoffs but less than six in the year. The same can be said for his assists numbers, which went up three per game during the playoffs! A few things will need to happen to give this bet life: the Grizzlies need to finish first in the Western Conference, and Morant will need to average a near triple-double for the second half of the season.

NBA MVP Odds 2022-23: Preseason/Early Season Stay Away

Karl Anthony Towns

This should be self-explanatory, but I would not suggest throwing an MVP future down on Karl Anthony-Towns. The truth is that the Minnesota Timberwolves are Anthony Edwards’ team now, and while KAT is a proven, versatile offensive weapon, he has seen his usage rate drop significantly from  29% to 27.7%.

Additionally, KAT is a mediocre defender, so his plus-minus will never be eye-popping enough to differentiate him from other talented, high-scoring bigs like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid. At the end of the day, Edwards is the clear-cut No. 1 option on this team, and it’s hard to imagine KAT overtaking that role. A recent injury also impacts his NBA MVP odds.

Domantas Sabonis 

This is difficult to type, as Sabonis has put together the most well-rounded season in his career in the 2022-23 campaign. Sabonis averages just shy of a triple-double on exceptional efficiency (low-60% effective field goal percentage.) As of late January, the Kings skyrocketed to third place in the Western Conference, far above the expectations of most analysts. Sabonis has been a major reason why Sacrameto has been so successful.

Unfortunately for Sabonis, there are two centers that are higher on the MVP ladder than him and have shown no signs of slowing down. He is playing during an era where he is considered a premier big man, but is still at least one tier below Embiid and Jokic, who should have no issues finishing their careers as Hall-of-Fame players. Too much has to happen in too short of a period of time for Sabonis to surpass either of them.

NBA MVP Odds 2022-23: Recent Trends

A good practice when betting on NBA futures, especially individual awards, is to try and identify recent trends in the last few winners. For instance, players that will be heavily relied upon within their respective offenses have a much better chance of securing an MVP than players on teams with many playmakers. Check out recent trends for the NBA MVP award and NBA MVP odds below!

Recent MVPs (Last Six)

  • 2022: Nikola Jokic (usage rate – 31.8%)
  • 2021: Nikola Jokic (usage rate – 29.5%)
  • 2020: Giannis Antetokounmpo (usage rate – 37.3%)
  • 2019: Giannis Antetokounmpo (usage rate – 32.0%)
  • 2018: James Harden (usage rate – 35.9%)
  • 2017: Russell Westbrook (usage rate – 34.1%)

NBA MVP Odds Trends and Predictions

Based on the usage rate percentages above, there were only 13 consistent starters that had a usage rate above 30% (Jokic’s 2021 season could be considered an outlier in this data set.) Those players with a 30+% usage rate were Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trae Young, Ja Morant, Paul George, Donovan Mitchell, LeBron James, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, and DeMar DeRozan. Realistically, I don’t see any other players making a substantial leap this season to go from sub-30 usage percentage to frontrunner for MVP candidate; it can happen, but it’s not likely.

Another trend that we have seen in recent years is the age of the MVP. Jokic was 26 and 27 years old in his two MVP years, while Giannis was 24 and 25 years old during his back-to-back run. Meanwhile, Harden and Westbrook were both 28 years old when they won their MVP awards. Essentially, players 28 years and under have dominated the award for quite a long time; there have only been a handful of players 30 years or older to win the NBA MVP award.

I would deem it unlikely that Durant, James, George, and DeRozan have enough firepower to hold off the young guns for this award during the 2022-23 season, so for the sake of my theory, I will eliminate them. That leaves us with Embiid, Doncic, Giannis, Young, Morant, Mitchell, Booker, Tatum, and Jokic.

The last measurement we can use to weed out the remaining players is to highlight the valued trend of being an all-around facilitator and creator on the offensive end of the floor. In Westbrook’s MVP season, he averaged a triple-double while every player named MVP after him posted absurd numbers, particularly in the rebound and assist categories. The past six MVPs have averaged roughly 28.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game. These numbers are outrageous and make it difficult for me to buy into guards that lack elite playmaking and/or rebounding.

With this in mind, I will eliminate Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, and Devin Booker from contention. I just don’t see them putting up substantial enough assist and rebounding numbers to compete with the likes of Embiid, Giannis, Doncic, and Tatum. Additionally, Young and Mitchell are not known as great defenders, and that can further complicate their chances of winning an MVP award during the 2022-23 season.

Above, you can see my favorites and long shots to win the award, and that list includes Doncic, Giannis, Jokic, Tatum, SGA, and Morant. These NBA MVP odds will change throughout the season, so check the above table to see if any of the odds get wide enough for your liking!

NBA MVP Odds FAQ

Which player has the most MVP awards of all time?

The player with the most MVP awards of all time is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won the award six separate times. Two players have five MVP awards: Michael Jordan and Bill Russell. LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain have won four times in their careers.

Have any players won back-to-back MVP awards?

Yes, there have been several back-to-back MVP winners, including Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, LeBron James (twice), Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain. Jokic, Giannis, and Curry are still in the running this season to win their third MVP.

Who is the reigning NBA MVP?

The Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic is the reigning NBA MVP and has won back-to-back awards after historically impressive seasons in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Jokic has a chance of winning his third-straight MVP award, but the competition is quite stiff. His NBA MVP odds are slowly tightening.

How are NBA MVP odds calculated?

NBA MVP odds are calculated by the sportsbooks, and there are a ton of variables that go into those calculations. The odds fluctuate constantly based on injuries, streaks, and media narratives, which can move the needle in a player’s favor or in the other direction.

What is “voter fatigue,” and how does it affect NBA MVP odds?

“Voter fatigue” is a phrase used to describe indifference towards a previous MVP winner. When a player is dominant for several seasons, voters can become desensitized to that level of play and output. Voter-based awards are subjective, and subjectivity can make it more difficult for sportsbooks and bettors alike.

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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