This season has completely shaken up the landscape of the NBA. For the first time in awhile, it seems like there are five to six teams that have a legitimate shot to win the title. This has also led the MVP race to be wide open. Here are five good picks to take home the league’s Most Valuable Player. Odds from Oddsshark.
Nikola Jokic – 10/1 odds
Last season, Jokic put up career numbers averaging 20-11-7 along with 12 triple doubles, second only behind Russell Westbrook. The Nuggets had a breakout season behind their All-Star center and they show no signs of slowing down as a team. Even with all the noise going on in Los Angeles, the Nuggets might be the biggest threat to take the top spot in the West. And as we’ve seen 4 out of the last 5 years, the MVP usually ends up going to the best player on the best team. Jokic and the Nuggets are poised to have another big year, and I believe he is the best high-value play for MVP.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 3/1 odds
Giannis will probably be a solid MVP pick for the next decade. Last year Giannis led his Bucks to an NBA best 60-22 record as he completely dominated the whole Eastern Conference. The scariest thing about Giannis is how much he has to grow. His biggest weakness this year is his outside shooting (25.6% from three). This will most definitely be his main focus this offseason, and if he can become even a 30+% three point shooter, then watch out. Even if he doesn’t come back as a much improved shooter, you can still count on the Bucks to be at the top of the Eastern Conference and Giannis to be an MVP finalist at the least.
Steph Curry – 5/1 odds
The last time we saw Steph Curry without Kevin Durant, we saw the first-ever unanimous MVP in NBA history. We saw glimpses of this Steph in the postseason when KD was out, particularly in the Houston series. This year Steph has even more to carry with Klay Thompson’s return being unknown. If Steph can somehow keep the Warriors in the middle of the pack of the playoff race before Klay’s return, he will have a very good shot at winning his third MVP.
Joel Embiid – 12/1 odds
Embiid is always a dangerous play due to his injury history, but there is nothing else stopping him from stamping himself as the best big man in the league. The two-time All-Star dominates the game on both sides of the floor, and might actually be the most “valuable” out of the other four on this list. The Sixers went just 8-10 in the games Embiid missed, compared to there 43-21 record with him on the floor. If the big man can stay relatively healthy, Embiid’s numbers and the Sixers’ record should put him in an ideal spot to take home the 2019-20 MVP.
James Harden – 7/1
Coming off a season where many believe he got robbed of a second consecutive MVP, James Harden is poised to make another run at the award. In D’Antoni’s system, Harden is going to put up monster numbers once again, even with the new addition of Russell Westbrook. As long as the Rockets stay near the top of the Western Conference, he’ll be in the MVP conversation, and his numbers will be hard to deny him of the award for a second straight year.