According to the wise guys of sports betting, Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is primed for an MVP season. Last season, NBA odds makers pinned Doncic second-most likely to win the prestigious award. However, in light of his spectacular playoff performance and the Mavs' roster construction, the line makers shifted No.77 to the front line.
Doncic remains at the top of the list regardless of the betting website. As always, the superstar keeps himself in good company. Two-time MVP Giannis Antekounmpo, 2014 award winner Kevin Durant, 2021 runner-up Joel Embiid, and two-time MVP (first unanimous winner) Stephen Curry round out the top five players with the highest odds.
For Doncic to capture his first and the Mavericks' second all-time MVP award, a lot must go in his favor. (Kind of like everything went in Dallas’ favor in the Wednesday preseason blowout at Charlotte.) Naturally, other candidates must experience a few bad breaks for the law of averages to weigh on Doncic's side.
Today, the probability of the two-time All-Star achieving MVP status is at +400 odds, up 50 from last year. Without going down the rabbit hole of sports betting, those are some relatively favorable odds. For every $100 bet on Doncic to win MVP, the gambler would win $400.
Doncic's competition for the award, based on the preseason MVP odds, is pretty steep.
Antetokounmpo, months removed from capturing his first championship, also gave MVP voters a rest following consecutive MVP nods. In light of his NBA Finals heroics, it's fathomable for voters to kick the tires of a past winner.
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“It was a terrible game,” Doncic says. “We couldn’t make nothing. But 81 to go.”
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Aside from his close call last season, Embiid has the most intriguing pathway to the prestigious individual award. In light of the Ben Simmons saga, Embiid benefits from a narrative perspective and numbers angle once the guard inevitably gets traded.
As media and fans hold players' decisions against them, Durant remains one of the most polarizing figures in sports history. Once shunned for his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors, now the seven-footer ironically hears caws of criticism for leaving the Stephen Curry-led team. Coming off his best statistical playoff performance, Durant has the oddsmakers on watch.
Curry, another MVP favorite, has history on his side. Aside from winning the award two consecutive years, the game-changing guard finished third place on the ballots last season. With a healthy Klay Thompson down the line, it's plausible the better team standing shifts Curry in a more favorable position.
Despite Doncic gaining preseason MVP momentum, the climb to the top won't be easy. But it ought to be fun.