Odds to win NBA Most Improved Player: Markkanen remains favoured
Lauri Markkanen has been outstanding since joining the Utah Jazz. Photo by Steve Dykes/AP.

Several NBA players take massive leaps every season that change the trajectory of their careers. It's tough to predict who has an extra gear in them, but there are a few solid candidates this season.

The latest: Lauri Markkanen's game has evolved considerably, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's scoring numbers are trending up and Jalen Brunson is lurking in the background after a successful move to the New York Knicks in the offseason.

Here are the latest NBA Most Improved Player odds.

NBA Most Improved Player odds

Check out the latest odds to win NBA Most Improved Player. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

PlayerLatest Odds Odds (on Jan 21.)
Lauri Markkanen-139-139
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+125+110
Jalen Brunson+2,500+2,000
Tyrese Haliburton+2,500+2,500
Alperen Sengun+5,000+15,000
Nic Claxton+5,000+15,000
Bol Bol+15,000+10,000
De'Aron Fox+15,000+10,000
OG Anunoby +15,000+15,000
Anthony Edwards+15,000N/A

Odds as of 11:54 a.m. on 01/29/2023.

Best NBA Most Improved Player odds

The favourite: Markkanen (-152)

Markkanen was not the headliner in the Donovan Mitchell deal, but he has been the top dog for a surprisingly effective Utah Jazz offence in the early going.

The big Finn is on pace to set career highs in points and assists as he's taken on a larger role than he's ever had in his NBA career.

Not only has he locked in his 3-point stroke, but Markkanen has also improved his efficiency close to the basket. He's even providing a welcome dose of quality defence.

Markkanen crept up the board for this category before the season due to some dominant performances at FIBA EuroBasket, and his work overseas seems to have foreshadowed his excellence this season.

He's taken things a step forward recently and saw his odds surge with an incredible run from late December, averaging 29.3 points per game since Boxing Day.

Other Most Improved Player choices

Best value: Gilgeous-Alexander (+125)

When a player who's never made an All-Star Game appearance starts averaging more than 30 points per game, they've got a pretty good chance to win this award.

Gilgeous-Alexander has always been able to get a bucket, but now he's become one of the league's elite scorers. Not only is the Canadian scoring more than ever before, but his efficiency has also impressed across the board.

Despite taking more than 20 shots per game, SGA has kept his field-goal percentage over 50% and his free-throw percentage (90.6%) easily bests his previous career high (81.0%)

His defence has levelled up, too. His steal and block rates are on pace to smash his career highs, and he's looking more like a two-way force than ever before.

Gilgeous-Alexander is even driving winning more than he has in the past. The Oklahoma City Thunder are not contenders, but they've looked more respectable this season — and the guard has come up with some clutch shots.

Player to watch: Brunson (+2,000)

This was a clear three-man race until Tyrese Haliburton got injured and Brunson is the best candidate to fill his shoes.

The former Dallas Mavericks point guard is still a long shot, but he's been the heart and soul of a Knicks team that's exceeding expectations.

Brunson's case is built on his ability to step into a far larger role than he's ever held at the NBA level and produce volume scoring with solid efficiency.

The 26-year-old's per-game scoring average is nearly 10 points higher than what he produced in his four years with the Mavericks and he's on pace to set a career-high in assists. He's also developing a reputation as a player who can put his team on his back by creating his own offence.

Brunson will need to take it up another notch to win this award, but he's in the conversation.

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