DALLAS - Keeping up with the new NBA MVP favorite is becoming a full-time job. It seems as if there is a different favorite to win the the award every week and right now, the race is wide open.
LeBron James' high ankle sprain has major implications on his hopes of winning a fifth MVP award. Since learning that James will miss an extended amount of time, Denver’s Nikola Jokic has pulled away from the rest of the field, rising to +110 odds to to win the award for the first time.
James has dropped from +160 all the way down to +450, still holding onto the second-best odds at Bovada.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is tied for the fourth-best odds (+1200) with Portland's Damian Lillard and Brooklyn's James Harden. Both Lillard and Harden have recently forced themselves into conversation. Here are how the odds stand:
Nikola Jokic +110
LeBron James +450
Joel Embiid +600
Giannis Antetokounmpo +900
Luka Doncic +1200
James Harden +1200
Damian Lillard +1200
At the beginning of the 2021 NBA season, Doncic was the odds-on favorite. Doncic's odds fell sharply after a 9-14 start that saw the Mavs fall to 14th in the Western Conference, Dallas has rattled off 13 wins in their last 18 games to vault all the way up to the eighth seed at 22-19.
The 22-year-old is coming off an incredible 37-point performance in Dallas' win over Portland, in which he was 8-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc. The eight made three-pointers ties Doncic’s career-high that he converted during a Jan. 17, 2020 game against the Blazers.
“Luka was just phenomenal,” Carlisle said. “When he’s in that rhythm and is mixing in the drives and the threes, he’s virtually impossible to deal with, and tonight he showed how great he was.”
There is no shortage of talent in the league but Doncic can't be denied a seat at the MVP-talk table.