2023 NBA MVP Odds

By Andrew D

August 19, 2022

Image Courtesy of Alamy

Since 1955/56, the National Basketball Association has named one player to be the “most valuable” of that particular season. The MVP (Most Valuable Player) award is presented to the best-performing individual in any given season (excluding the NBA Playoffs and Finals) The award is accompanied by the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Named in honor of the first president of the NBA.

For the first 24 seasons, the MVP award was voted on by the NBA players themselves. This changed in 1979/80 and the votes were instead cast by a panel of respected sportswriters and broadcasters across the United States and Canada.

They are trusted to follow and cover the sport in enough depth to have informed, unbiased opinions about who should receive the award.

In 2010, one ballot was attributed to the general public. They cast their votes online and this remains the case to this day.

The NBA MVP awards are decided before the NBA Playoffs begin. In fact, even the late stages of the regular season are irrelevant.

The NBA MVP voting is already completed and submitted by then.


5 votes are cast by every member of the panel.

They represent their top 5 choices for MVP.

  • 1st place vote = 10 points

  • 2nd place vote = 7 points

  • 3rd place vote = 5 points

  • 4th place vote = 3 points

  • 5th place vote = 1 point

The player with the highest tally of points wins. It’s as simple as that.


Placing bets on who will be crowned regular season MVP is one of the more popular options for outright bets on the NBA. These bets are often referred to as “futures”.

Futures bets are wagers that predict longer-term outcomes such as the eventual NBA champions and include award predictions.

Does the player with the best stat sheet always win?

In a word – no.

If the player that crushes the stats plays for a team that is out of contention then they struggle mightily to be named MVP. It can be done, both Russell Westbrook in 2017and Nikola Jokic in 2022 won MVP for teams that failed to win 60 percent of their games.

But they are rare examples.

Westbrook had a history-making season. He broke the record for most triple-doubles in a season.

Jokić broke the record for the highest player efficiency rating (PER) in a single season.

He also led a Denver Nuggets team that was missing two key players all the way to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. In fact, take a look at the list of stats below his name later. They show where Jokić led the Nuggets and are pretty mind-blowing.

Aside from those players, we haven’t seen a player be named MVP from a team with less than 50 wins this century.

That is one major reason that LeBron James was not a contender last season.


We use the American-style system of representing odds here at The Jump Hub. If you prefer tp view your odds differently, then here is a handy odds converter. Don’t mention it.

On the opening night of the 2021/22 NBA regular season, here is how the odds to win MVP looked:

  • Luka Dončić +380

  • Kevin Durant +600

  • Joel Embiid +800

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +800

  • Steph Curry +900

  • Damian Lillard +1400

  • Nikola Jokić +1500

  • LeBron James +1800

  • James Harden +2000

  • Trae Young +2000

  • Devin Booker +2500

  • Anthony Davis +2500

  • Russell Westbrook +2500

  • Paul George +3000

Contrast that with how they looked 5 months later on March 18th:

  • Joel Embiid -140

  • Nikola Jokic +130

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +1000

  • Ja Morant +4000

  • Luka Doncic +5000

  • DeMar DeRozan +10000

  • Steph Curry +12500

  • Devin Booker +12500

  • Kevin Durant +15000

  • LeBron James +50000

Joel Embiid was now the clear favorite. Nikola Jokić only surged and passed him late in the season. In their infinite wisdom, Philadelphia chose to rest their big man towards the latter part of the season and he lost momentum.

The race was an exciting tussle between Nikola Jokić, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In the end, it wasn’t really that close. With 65 first-place votes and a total of 875 points vs Embiid’s 706, the win went to Jokić.



  • 2023 NBA MVP Award odds = +1200* (joint 4th favorite)

  • Born: February 19th, 1995 – Sombor, Serbia (age 27)

  • Measurements: 6’11” (2.11m) – 284lb (128kg)

  • Teams: Denver Nuggets

  • Position: Center

  • NBA Draft: 2014, Denver Nuggets – 41st pick

  • NBA debut: October 28th, 2015

  • Career length: 7 years (ongoing)

The two-time reigning MVP holder is Nikola Jokić.

The Serbian giant who plies his trade with the Denver Nuggets. The 2021/22 NBA season marked his second consecutive win. While this is not unusual (13 players have won MVP awards in consecutive seasons) Jokić is the lowest ever Draft pick in NBA history (41st) to win.

With NBA MVP betting odds of +1200, he finds himself as a joint 4th favorite.

It would seem that the betting markets don’t give him much chance of winning for the third time in a row.

Statistically, there is a good reason for this. The only other times it has been done were by Bill Russell (1961-’63), Wilt Chamberlain (1966-’68), and Larry Bird (1984-’86).

Now, we’re not saying that Jokić can’t go on to become a legend in his own right.


3 of the most famous, influential basketball players ever to set foot on the court.

Just think of the names that didn’t manage to make that list and you will perhaps understand why the market thinks it unlikely.

The return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr doesn’t really help Jokić’s chances. They are bound to get a share of the court time that might otherwise have been all his.

Having said that, we’re certainly not writing him off.

Jokić finished in the top 10 in scoring, rebounds, and assists per game. He set a new NBA record with a 32.8 Player Efficiency Rating, virtually forcing voters to give him the award for a second straight season.

Check this out:

Here are the categories that Jokić led his team:

*position in the whole NBA.

  • Points: 2004 – 5th*

  • Points Per Game: 27.1 – 6th

  • Total Rebounds: 1019 – 1st

  • Rebounds Per Game: 13.8 – 2nd

  • Offensive Rebounds: 206 – 13th

  • Defensive Rebounds: 813 – 1st

  • Assists: 584 – 6th

  • Assists Per Game: 7.9 – 8th

  • Steals: 109 – 10th

  • Steals Per Game: 1.5 – 12th

  • Effective Field Goal %: .620 – 6th

  • Field Goals: 764 – 2nd

  • Field Goal Attempts: 1311 – 8th

  • 2-Pt Field Goals: 667 – 2nd

  • 2-Pt Field Goal Attempts: 1023 – 3rd

  • Free Throws: 379 – 9th

  • Free Throw Attempts: 468 – 8th

  • Minutes Played: 2476 – 18th

  • Turnovers: 281 – 5th

  • Player Efficiency Rating: 32.8 – 1st

  • Win Shares: 15.2 – 1st

  • Offensive Win Shares: 10.8 – 1st

  • Defensive Win Shares: 4.5 -2nd

  • Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: .296 – 1st

  • Box Plus/Minus: 13.7 – 1st

  • Offensive Box Plus/Minus: 9.2 – 1st

  • Defensive Box Plus/Minus: 4.5 – 1st

  • Value Over Replacement Player: 9.8 – 1st

  • Offensive Rating: 125.6 – 7th

  • Defensive Rating: 105.3 – 7th

  • Usage %: 31.9 – 10th

  • Total Rebound %: 23.0 – 3rd

  • Offensive Rebound %: 9.6 – 20th

  • Assist %: 42.6 – 4th

  • Defensive Rebound %: 35.5 – 2nd

  • Triple-Doubles: 19 – 1st

Let’s be honest. They couldn’t really give it to anyone else…

*in the whole NBA

If Jokić can put together another sensational season then he’s certainly in with a shout. But winning a third MVP in as many seasons is the stuff of extreme rarity.


Still, at +1200 it surely couldn’t hurt to throw a few dollars at the guy…


  • Games (G): 527 / 74

  • Points (PTS): 19.7 / 27.1

  • Total rebounds (TRB): 10.4 / 13.8

  • Assists (AST): 6.2 / 7.9

  • Field goal % (FG %): 54.2% / 58.3%

  • 3-point % (3P %): 34.5% / 33.7%

  • Free throw % (FT %): 83% / 81%

  • Player efficiency rating (PER): 27.1 / 32.8





  • NBA MVP Award odds = +450

  • Born: February 28th, 1999 – Ljubljana, Slovenia (age 23)

  • Measurements: 6’7” (2.01m) – 230lb (104kg)

  • Teams: Dallas Mavericks

  • Position: Point guard, shooting guard

  • NBA Draft: 2018, Atlanta Hawks (traded to Dallas Mavericks), 3rd pick

  • NBA debut: October 17th, 2018

  • Career length: 4 years (ongoing)

Luka Dončić has been the bookie’s preseason favorite for the last two seasons. The market clearly feels it is inevitable that he will win it at some point.

And here he is again as the runaway favorite

The 2021/22 season started slowly for the Slovenian and there were concerns about his fitness levels. The second half of the season saw him put those fears to bed and he still made the All-NBA First Team.

Dončić is an all-around miracle worker for the Dallas Mavericks. He led them in scoring (28.4 ppg), rebounds (9.1), assists (8.7), and steals (1.2). It is not an exaggeration to say that he almost singlehandedly carried Dallas to the Western Conference Finals.

Luka went from Rookie of the Year to appearing on the All-NBA first-team in all of the last three seasons. He has quickly established himself as a top 10 player.

Dončić has come reasonably close to being named MVP, (6th place or better) in the last three seasons.

Although most players improve with age and experience (to a point), Dončić’s second season was the best of his early career.

Another bonus for Dončić is that he has some high-quality `assistance coming his way next season. Christian Wood can surely only make his job easier and allow him to shine even brighter…

Starting with odds of +550, down to +450 at the time of writing, it seems certain that even the best odds will drop further.

Grab any bets you wish to make sooner rather than later.


  • G: 264 / 65

  • PTS: 26.4 / 28.4

  • TRB: 8.5 / 9.1

  • AST: 8.0 / 8.7

  • FG %: 45.7% / 45.7%

  • 3P %: 33.7% / 35.3%

  • FT %: 73.7% / 74.4%

  • PER: 24.3 / 25.1





  • NBA MVP Award odds = +650

  • Born: March 16th, 1994 – Yaoundé, Cameroon (age 28)

  • Measurements: 7’0” (2.13m) – 280lb (127kg)

  • Teams: Philadelphia 76ers

  • Position: Center

  • NBA Draft: 2014, Philadelphia 76ers, 3rd pick

  • NBA debut: October 26th, 2016

  • Career length: 6 years (ongoing)

Joel Embiid has another strong MVP price that makes him the second favorite at the time of writing. After finishing as runner-up in back-to-back seasons, might it be his year?

Embiid was outstanding last season. He posted career highs in both scoring and assists. He also averaged more rebounds than in the previous season.

Embiid averaged 30.6 PPG to win a scoring title. Even though he dominated the action and led the league in the number of free throws attempted, he didn’t quite have the same impact as some others on this list.

Ultimately finishing second in the MVP voting behind Jokić, Embiid led his Philadelphia teammates in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. That doesn’t seem so impressive until we remember that he missed 14 games.

Embiid was the first center to lead the league in scoring since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. He will remain the 76ers’ best player and de-facto leader in the upcoming season.

If he can exceed his performances then he will be very difficult to surpass.


  • G: 328 / 68

  • PTS: 26.0 / 30.6

  • TRB: 11.4 / 11.7

  • AST: 3.3 / 4.2

  • FG %: 49% / 49.9%

  • 3P %: 33.8% / 37.1%

  • FT %: 81.0% / 81.4%

  • PER: 27.1 / 31.2


  • 5 x NBA All-Star: 2018-’22

  • 4 x All-NBA Second Team: 2018, ’19, ’21, ‘22

  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team: 2018, ’19, ‘21

  • NBA scoring champion: 2022

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2017

  • Second-team All-Big 12: 2014

  • Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: 2014

  • Big 12 All-Defensive Team: 2014

  • Big 12 All-Newcomer Team: 2014




  • NBA MVP Award odds = +700

  • Born: December 6th, 1994 – Athens, Greece (age 27)

  • Measurements: 6’11” (2.11m) – 242lb (109kg)s

  • Teams: Milwaukee Bucks

  • Position: Power forward, small forward, point guard, shooting guard

  • NBA Draft: 2013, Milwaukee Bucks, 13th pick

  • NBA debut: October 30th, 2015

  • Career length: 9 years (ongoing)

In arguably his best season to date, Antetokounmpo recorded a career-high of 29.9 points per game in 2021/22. Add to this, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists and you’re looking at one outstanding season. Nothing less than we have come to expect from him.

His game continues to evolve and he enters next season’s race among the early favorites yet again.

Improving on his career averages in all of the categories listed below, it is hard to see what more the Greek Freak could have done to secure the victory.

In the last four years, the Milwaukee Bucks have secured 18 more wins than any other NBA team. Giannis Antetokounmpo played a huge part in this statistic.

Giannis joined a certain Michael Jordan as the only two players in NBA history to win multiple regular season MVPs, DPOY, and a Finals MVP.

Here in The Jump Hub office, we have a very soft spot for Antetokounmpo. The general consensus is that this might be his year again. “Voter fatigue” is real and represents part of the reason why so few players take a 3rd award after their second straight season. Giannis is in prime position.


  • G: 656 / 67

  • PTS: 21.8 / 29.9

  • TRB: 9.4 / 11.6

  • AST: 4.6 / 5.8

  • FG %: 53.5% / 55.3%

  • 3P %: 28.8% / 29.3%

  • FT %: 71.8% / 72.2%

  • PER: 24.5 / 32.1




On level odds with last season’s winner, we have the trio of:


  • NBA MVP Award odds = +1200

  • Born: September 29th, 1988 – Washington. D.C. (age 34)

  • Measurements: 6’10” (2.08m) – 240lb (108kg)

  • Teams: Seattle Supersonics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets

  • Position: Small forward, power forward, shooting guard

  • NBA Draft: 2007, Seattle Supersonics, 2nd pick

  • NBA debut: October 31st, 2011

  • Career length: 14 years (ongoing)

Evergreen Kevin Durant was the NBA MVP 2014 winner and continues to prove himself a contender. His stat sheet in 2021/22 was as impressive as ever. In fact, he surpassed himself in all the categories we have listed here.

When he is fit and healthy, Durant is arguably among the best individuals ever to play basketball.

Hopefully, he can use any doubts that have been expressed about him of late to motivate himself. Watch this space for another monster season and a genuine shot at being named NBA MVP.


  • G: 939 / 55

  • PTS: 27.2 / 29.9

  • TRB: 7.1 / 7.4

  • AST: 4.3 / 6.4

  • FG %: 49.6% / 51.8%

  • 3P %: 38.4% / 38.3%

  • FT %: 88.4% / 91%

  • PER: 25.3 / 25.6





  • NBA MVP Award odds = +1200

  • Born: March 3rd, 1998 – St Louis, Missouri (age 24)

  • Measurements: 6’8″ (2.03m) – 210lb (95kg)

  • Teams: Boston Celtics

  • Position: Small forward, power forward

  • NBA Draft: 2017, Boston Celtics, 3rd pick

  • NBA debut: October 17th, 2017

  • Career length: 5 years (ongoing)

After the disappointment of being largely marked out of the action in the NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum is sure to bounce back.

He has become Boston’s chief scoring threat and has increased his scoring average year after year since his NBA career began in 2017/18.

Tatum can righty be considered the leader of the Celtics. And they are a dangerous side for sure. But the fact remains that Jayson is not going to excel every time he plays. His performances can be first-rate and as good as any. But then we remember how often he gives the ball away at times. It was a major contributing factor to their capitulation in the NBA Finals and a serious thorn in his side if he is ever to become MVP.

2021/22 still marked Tatum’s best performances stat-wise and it would be a mistake to dismiss his chances of finishing first in the MVP race. But we’re not convinced it’s his time just yet…


  • G: 365 / 76

  • PTS: 20.9 / 26.9

  • TRB: 6.6 / 8

  • AST: 3 / 4.4

  • FG %: 45.6% / 45.3%

  • 3P %: 38.3% / 35.3%

  • FT %: 84.4% / 85.3%

  • PER: 18.8 / 21.8




  • 2023 NBA MVP odds = +1200

  • Born: August 10th, 1999 – Dalzell, South Carolina (age 23)

  • Measurements: 6’3″ (1.90m) – 174lb (78kg)

  • Teams: Memphis Grizzlies

  • Position: Point guard

  • NBA Draft: 2019, Memphis Grizzlies, 2nd pick

  • NBA debut: October 23rd, 2019

  • Career length: 3 years (ongoing)

Although finishing 6th in the voting for MVP (one place up from the previous season), Ja Morant was the youngest player to receive any votes. He won the award for Most Improved Player instead and however you look at it, Ja Morant’s star is in the ascendancy.

He led the Memphis Grizzlies to the second-best record in the NBA. Doing more than his fair share with an average of 27.4 points per game. He deserved his place in the field even if he never seriously challenged for the top.

Memphis’ performances when he was out injured didn’t help his chances any.

At just 22 years of age, it’s hard to argue that Morant isn’t already one of the best players in the NBA. He seems destined to be named MVP at some juncture. Whether it is this season? We can’t quite see it just yet.

But we have been wrong before…


  • G: 187 / 57

  • PTS: 21.2 / 27.4

  • TRB: 4.5 / 5.7

  • AST: 7.1 / 6.7

  • FG %: 47.4% / 49.3%

  • 3P %: 32.7% / 34.4%

  • FT %: 75.4% / 76.1%

  • PER: 19.4 / 24.4




When Curry won the MVP award in 2015/16, he became the only player ever to do so unanimously. We have no doubt that he will continue to dazzle with his shooting skills this season. It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that he could win it again. Maybe not unanimously this time…


The 25-year-old shooting guard received 216 total votes for MVP last season. One second-place vote and eight third-place votes. He would need to step up his performances this season significantly to feature any higher. Stranger things have happened.


Despite James’ typically robust numbers (30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 6.2 APG), the Los Angeles Lakers were disastrously poor in 2021/22. That surely hampered his chances of being named MVP again. But anybody who writes him off from winning a 5th just yet knows nothing about basketball. The King should never be underestimated.

Ultimately, a better team performance from the Lakers is essential if we are to see James truly compete.

Maybe Kyrie Irving could help out with that? He and Irving have some previous after all.

James needs to stay healthy and focused. He has missed 25+ games in three of the last four seasons. With the best will in the world, it is virtually impossible to win MVP if you don’t play at least 60 games.

TRAE YOUNG (+3000):

Trae Young collected the most assists and most turnovers in the league last year. We’re not sure if one fully cancels out the other. But it’s close. He tied for 3rd (with Jokić) in scoring with 28.4 PPG and genuinely carries the Atlanta (Go Hawks!) offense. It’s just that he is somewhat of a liability at the other end.


Coming off the back of an ACL tear, Leonard is highly unlikely to play anywhere near the 60 games he needs to contend for this award. He will certainly have a lot to prove and be raring to go. Whether his health can support his ardor is yet to be seen. If it can, then Kawhi Leonard has to be worth $10 at this price. the main reason we aren’t writing him off entirely is that the award has frequently been given to the driving force on the best team in the league. Stay fit and Leonard can be just that. You don’t get the Finals MVP twice without knowing how to play the game…


The Minnesota Timberwolves decided to show what they can do for brief stretches of last year. When they did, Karl-Anthony Towns was their leading man at both ends. Lacking some essential aggression at times, the Wolves were dumped out of the NBA Playoffs in the first round. They will need to do better…


Jimmy Butler is a veteran player who tends to keep his powder dry until the time comes to hit another level in the NBA Playoffs. Sadly for him, the voting for MVP will be over by then.


Davis has played in just 76 games over the past two seasons. When he is healthy, he’s one of the best two-way players in the game. Pity that’s not nearly often enough.


Talk of “Supermax” contracts and broken foot surgery aside, Zion Williamson has not stepped on a basketball court in anger since May 2021. Even with the best will in the world, putting in an MVP-level season right after that seems unlikely. As his odds of doing so would seem to suggest…


Damian Lillard can have as many shots he wants now that C.J. McCollum has traded to New Orleans. But in a team that failed to make the NBA Playoffs last season, he has little chance of having any impact on the competition here.

LAMELO BALL (+7500):

The Charlotte Hornets are a vibrant, offensive team. LaMelo Ball is the key to their energy levels and drive. But to truly have any chance here he would need to become a far better rounded player.


Whichever team Donovan Mitchell ends up shooting for in 2022/23, he is bound to get a ton of points. We can’t see that being enough to propel him up this list very far.


  • 2021/22: Nikola Jokic – Center – Denver Nuggets

  • 2020/21: Nikola Jokic – Center – Denver Nuggets

  • 2019/20: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Power Forward – Milwaukee Bucks

  • 2018-19: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Power Forward – Milwaukee Bucks

  • 2017/18: James Harden – Shooting Guard – Houston Rockets

  • 2016/17: Russell Westbrook – Point Guard – Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 2015/16: Stephen Curry – Point Guard – Golden State Warriors

  • 2014/15: Stephen Curry – Point Guard – Golden State Warriors

  • 2013/14: Kevin Durant – Small Forward – Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 2012/13: LeBron James – Small Forward – Miami Heat

  • 2011/12: LeBron James – Small Forward – Miami Heat

  • 2010/11: Derrick Rose – Point Guard – Chicago Bulls

  • 2009/10: LeBron James – Small Forward – Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 2008/09: LeBron James – Small Forward – Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 2007/08: Kobe Bryant – Shooting Guard – Los Angeles Lakers

  • 2006/07: Dirk Nowitzki – Power Forward – Dallas Mavericks

  • 2005/06: Steve Nash – Point Guard – Phoenix Suns

  • 2004/05: Steve Nash – Point Guard – Phoenix Suns

  • 2003/04: Kevin Garnett – Power Forward – Minnesota Timberwolves

  • 2002/03: Tim Duncan – Power Forward – San Antonio Spurs

  • 2001/02: Tim Duncan – Power Forward – San Antonio Spurs

  • 2000/01: Allen Iverson – Point Guard – Philadelphia 76ers

  • 1999/00: Shaquille O’Neal – Center – Los Angeles Lakers


  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record 6 times.

  • He is the only player to do so when his team did not making the NBA Playoffs.

  • Every player who won and was eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been inducted.

  • Bill Russell and LeBron James are the only 2 players to win the award 4 times in 5 seasons.

  • Rookies have only won the award twice. Wilt Chamberlain in 1959/60 and Wes Unseld in 1968/69

  • The only winners considered to be international players by the NBA are:

    • Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria)

    • Tim Duncan (U/S/Virgin Islands)

    • Steve Nash (Canada)

    • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)

    • Nikola Jokić (Serbia)

  • Stephen Curry is the only player to have won the award unanimously. Falling just one vote shy of unanimity were Shaquille O’Neal in 1999/00 and LeBron James in 2012/13. Both got 120 0f 121 possible votes.

  • Since 1975/76, only three players have been MVP in a season where their team failed to win at least 50 regular season games. They were:

    • Moses Malone: 1978/79 & 1981/82

    • Russell Westbrook: 2016/17

    • Nikola Jokić: 2021/22


Well, if you made it this far: kudos.

As a final reward, here are some interesting trends you might not have been aware of. It pays to check them out and factor them into your sports betting strategy.

  • Repeat winners are quite common. Jokic’s latest win marked the 13th different player to have won the award two (or more) years in a row.

  • The MVP winner usually comes from a high-performing team. The MVP has only come from a team that didn’t finish first or second in its conference 4 times in the last 37 years.

  • The award is usually given to a player with a reasonable amount of time spent in the league. A rookie hasn’t won MVP since 1969 (Wes Unseld). Only four MVPs in NBA history have been younger than 23 years old.

  • The MVP award has historically been heavily dominated by centers. Jokic’s victory in 2020/21 broke the trend and saw a player from another position win. The last one to do this was Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999/00 season.

  • MVP awards by position:

    • Point guard: 11

    • Shooting guard: 8

    • Small forward: 9

    • Power forward: 10

    • Center: 28

Whomever we see win NBA MVP this coming season, we are certain that it will be a tough battle. Here’s hoping it’s the toughest yet…

*NBA odds are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.

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