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MVP Top 10

2021-2022 NBA MVP

Stephen Curry


Kevin Durant


Giannis Antetokounmpo


Nikola Jokic


Luka Doncic


Joel Embiid


Jimmy Butler


Paul George


James Harden


Anthony Davis



The NBA features nothing but the finest and most talented basketball players across the globe. Throughout history, we have seen several hoopers leave their mark in the league.

Selecting the NBA’s Most Valuable Player is not just about flashy plays, killer crossovers, and thunderous dunks. Many times in the past, the chosen MVP came from an elite team that put up great stats in the league.

This article discusses how to read and understand the NBA MVP odds and includes related information regarding MVP selection.

At, we help you analyze NBA betting odds and lines. We are a licensed online sportsbook dedicated to giving you the best NBA MVP odds for fun and profitable betting endeavors.

Understanding the NBA MVP Odds

How to Read the NBA MVP Odds

Oddsmakers list the MVP contenders’ names with a plus sign in front of the number representing their odds.

To know which player is the favorite to win the coveted award, check the number after the plus (+) sign. The player with the lowest odds is the favorite.

Let’s look at the examples below:

Player’s Name



Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks


Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers


Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors


Kevin Durant

Brooklyn Nets


Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks


LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers


Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers


Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets


Devin Booker

Phoenix Suns


Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks


James Harden

Brooklyn Nets


Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers


Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics


Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz


Kyrie Irving

Brooklyn Nets


Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans


Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies


Russell Westbrook

Los Angeles Lakers


Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat


Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards


Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks has the lowest odds in the list with +400 odds, so he’s the top favorite to win the MVP.

If you bet a hundred dollars on Doncic and he wins, you’ll receive a total of $500, inclusive of your original $100 bet.

Let’s say you bet on Steph Curry of GSW, and he wins. You’ll earn $800 plus your initial bet of $100, for a total payout of $900.

The higher the odds, the less probable it is for the contender to win. Though the potential payout is larger, betting on Bradley Beal to win the MVP is considered high-risk.

How Team Play Affects the NBA MVP Race

A panel of sportswriters decides who will be the MVP of the NBA regular season.

Each member of the media panel casts a vote for first to fifth-place selections.

NBA fans can also cast one ballot each through online voting. The player who receives the highest total votes wins the MVP award.

To understand the NBA MVP odds, you must examine the stats and how well teams play. Though it isn’t explicitly stated in the rules, it is implied that the MVP award recipient must come from a competitive team.

From 2001 to 2021, 12 out of the 20 MVP award winners came from teams with the best NBA record during the regular season.

The record only shows that a team’s total number of wins matter in the MVP voting regardless of how well someone played over the year.

Therefore, a player who wants to receive the MVP award must lead his team to have the best record in the league. If he can do it, there’s a pretty high chance that the voting panel will consider him.

How Players’ Performance Impacts Their Odds

The voting panel considers many aspects of the MVP contenders’ performance when exploring their odds to win the coveted award. These include:

  • Points per game
  • Field goal percentage (including percentages for free throws and two- and three-point shots)
  • Rebounds per game
  • Assists per game
  • How many minutes a player competes in every game

Two other noteworthy factors when selecting candidates for the NBA MVP award are the DBPM and VORP.

The DBPM (defensive box plus/minus) is based on a player’s defensive contributions on the court.

The DBPM is not measured with odds but rather on a scale from -10 to 10. When a player gets five or higher, he can be an appealing MVP favorite.

The VORP (value over player replacement) measures a player’s contribution compared to what a substitute player may provide.

The VORP also considers how well a team defends against an opponent. It also measures a team’s pace of play and scoring efforts. A player who has a VORP rating of 10 will be an ideal candidate for the MVP.

The MVP odds are finalized right after a regular season ends. The NBA used to announce the MVP award winner in May. However, in 2017, the league moved the announcement to late June.

The NBA MVP award doesn’t take into account a player’s performance in the NBA playoffs. The best player during the playoffs receives the Bill Russell Award, which is different from the MVP title for the season.

The NBA MVP History and Betting Trends

The NBA Finals MVP

Celtics legend Bill Russell was the first outstanding defensive center in NBA history. Russell won 11 NBA championships in the 13 seasons that he played. He was also a five-time MVP of the league.

In 2009, former NBA commissioner David Stern changed the “NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award” to “Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award” in honor of the Boston Celtics’ Hall of Famer.

Jerry West (Los Angeles Lakers) was the first recipient of the award in 1969.

Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) holds the record for the most NBA Finals MVP awards, with six to his name.

LeBron James of the Lakers has been named the NBA Finals MVP four times.

The NBA MVP Trends Based on the Country of Origin

Nearly 28% of NBA players were born outside the United States. While Americans have won 92% of the NBA MVP awards, the title was given to non-U.S.-born players three times in a row from 2005 to 2007.

Steve Nash from Canada won the MVP award while playing for the Phoenix Suns in 2005 and 2006.

Meanwhile, German Dirk Nowitzki, who played for the Dallas Mavericks for 21 years, won the MVP award in 2007.

Other NBA MVP Trends to Consider

The NBA MVP award has been won by basketball players who were 23 years old or younger only on four occasions:

  • Wilt Chamberlain, age 23 (Philadelphia Warriors, 1959-1960)
  • Bob McAdoo, age 23 (Buffalo Braves, 1974-1975)
  • Wes Unseld, age 23 (Washington Bullets, 1968-1969)
  • Derrick Rose, age 22 (Chicago Bulls, 2010-2011)

Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld earned the NBA MVP honors as rookies. Chamberlain hit the 1959-1960 season by storm when he won Rookie of the Year, All-Star MVP, and regular-season MVP.

Chamberlain posted an average of 37.6 points and 27 rebounds per game. He was a scoring machine pitted against the rebounding magnet Bill Russell in his entire career.

Three MVPs had fewer than 17 points per game. They were Bill Russell (1961-1965), Wes Unseld (1969), and Steve Nash (2005).

The NBA Franchise With the Most MVP Winners

The NBA teams with the most championships also have the most MVPs.

  1. Boston Celtics (ten MVPs from 1957 to 1986)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (eight MVPs from 1976 to 2008)
  3. Chicago Bulls (six MVPs from 1988-2011)
  4. Philadelphia 76ers (six MVPs from 1966-2001)
  5. Milwaukee Bucks (five MVPs from 1971-2020)
  6. Houston Rockets (four MVPs from 1979-2018)

The NBA MVP as a Futures Bet

Futures bets are stakes on an event, tournament, or series that will take place in the future. Betting on the NBA MVP odds is an example of betting futures.

The NBA MVP award can be fairly easy to predict. However, even as the current league is loaded with superstars of the last season, there could be a long-shot win in 2021.

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets secured his first NBA MVP award for the 2020-2021 season. Jokic posted 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.

King James of the Lakers performed well in the middle of the season. However, Jokic was consistent from start to finish.

Visit the NBA official page for more information about the NBA. Check for archives to know more about a team’s regular and offseason performance, postseason standings, and the NBA season matchups.

Are you a fan of Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns? How about Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers? Listen to podcasts and read some articles about them to help you bet with confidence.

More importantly, go only with legit betting sites, like, Fanduel, and Draftkings, that are dedicated to giving bettors the latest NBA odds.

The Legality of Sports Betting

States Where Sports Betting Is Legal

A Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 placed sports betting legalization into the hands of different states across the U.S.

Today, Nevada isn’t the only state that permits a variety of legal sports betting.

Before you place a bet on the league, ensure that your current location allows legal sports betting.

If you’re physically located within the states listed below, you’ll be able to bet legally on the NBA.

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia


  1. What position dominates the NBA MVP award?

The centers have dominated the NBA MVP award with 27 MVP winners. Below are the other MVP awards by position as of 2020:

  • Point guard (11 MVPs)
  • Power forward (ten MVPs)
  • Small forward (nine MVPs)
  • Shooting guard (eight MVPs)
  1. How many media members are there on the voting panel?

One hundred media members in the voting panel decide the next season’s MVP. These reporters are not affiliated with any of the NBA franchises.

  1. Which basketball players have the most MVP awards?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, had six MVP awards. Michael Jordan also had six, followed by Bill Russel with five, and LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain with four each.

  1. When is the NBA Draft?

The NBA Draft is held annually near the end of June, right after the NBA Finals.

  1. Who’s eligible to be drafted in the NBA?

The pool of eligible players includes:

  • All players over the age of 19 with a contract to play for an international professional team
  • All international players 22 years old and above
  • All US-born players who have played their four years of college eligibility

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