Odds to win NBA MVP: Trae Young provides some long shot value
Young's odds have plummeted recently, but we believe that only makes him more valuable on the MVP futures market. Photo by Lynne Sladky/AP.

We've seen a pair of repeat NBA MVPs over the past four seasons, but for now the odds favour two players seeking to win the award for the first time.

The latest: Despite his status as the two-time reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic sits fourth on the odds leaderboard. The favourite, Luka Doncic, is already a bonafide superstar at age 23.

Check out the latest NBA MVP odds.

NBA MVP odds

Check out the latest odds to win NBA MVP. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

TeamOdds (Sept. 28)Odds (Sept. 23)
Luka Doncic+450+450
Joel Embiid+550+550
Giannis Antetokounmpo+600+600
Kevin Durant+800+800
Nikola Jokic+1,000+1,000
Jayson Tatum+1,200+1,200
Ja Morant+1,200+1,200
Steph Curry+1,600+1,600
Devin Booker+2,500+2,500
LeBron James+2,500+2,500
Kawhi Leonard+2,500+2,500
Zion Williamson+3,500N/A
Trae Young+4,000+4,000

Odds as of 4:31 p.m. on 09/28/2022.

Best odds to win NBA MVP

The favourite: Luka Doncic (+450)

Doncic was a menace in the 2022 NBA playoffs, pacing all players with 31.7 points per game and hauling the Mavericks to the conference finals for the first time in 11 years.

He may not have an MVP (yet), but he's finished sixth or higher in each of the past three seasons, landing on the All-NBA first team each year. Check out his averages in that stellar span:

PPGRPGAPGeFG%
28.38.88.753.7%
Stats via Basketball Reference

To be the MVP, you have to stuff the stat sheet in all sorts of ways. To do that, you obviously need to have the ball in your hands quite a bit.

Doncic has led the NBA in usage rate — an estimate of plays involving the player while he's on the floor — in consecutive seasons. His 37.4% usage rate last year was his highest yet, and there's still room to grow. For context, James Harden commanded a 40.5% usage rate in 2018-19.

For as much as Doncic has already accomplished, he won't turn 24 until February. He's still a relatively fresh face in the NBA, and we should expect him to continue his ascent.

One element Doncic could serve to improve upon is durability. He's missed between 16 and 21 games in each of the past three seasons. The past 10 MVP winners have only missed an average of 6.1 games per season.

Other NBA MVP choices

Best value: Trae Young (+4,000)

For reasons we can't quite understand, Young's NBA MVP odds took the greatest hit of all following the news that Kevin Durant was staying in Brooklyn. If you were at all intrigued by Atlanta's floor general at his previous 25-to-1 position, you should love this current price.

Young didn't land on a single MVP ballot last year, but his ascent is still in progress. Last year, his fourth in the NBA, the 23-year-old set new career highs in assists per game (9.7), effective field goal percentage (53.6%), 3-point percentage (38.2%) and free throw percentage (90.4%).

He ranked fourth in usage rate last year (33.3%), and that rate should remain sky-high for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to their draft night trade in 2018, Young and Doncic will always be linked. And while Doncic is a more justifiable MVP candidate entering this season, there's no reason the two guards can't be linked in their pursuit of that award as well.

Player to watch: Jayson Tatum (+1,200)

With his first All-NBA first-team nod and a glimmering playoff performance this past spring, Tatum is exactly the type of player that looks ready to grab a bigger slice of the spotlight.

He finished sixth in 2021-22 MVP voting but fourth in win shares, per Basketball Reference. Like Doncic, he's still quite young, as the three-time All-Star won't turn 25 until March. What we like most about Tatum, though, is his year-over-year improvement across the board.

SeasonPPGRPGAPG
2021-2226.98.04.4
2020-2126.47.44.3
2019-2023.47.03.0
Stats via Basketball Reference

The Celtics are favoured to win the NBA Finals, and Tatum is the chief reason why. If he continues to improve across the three main statistical categories and help Boston turn in a dominant season, he could put himself in line for this award.

Tatum does have to compete for touches with another high-usage player, though. Jaylen Brown (22.9 points/game over the past three seasons) will chip away at Tatum's statistical ceiling.

Then there's the addition of guard Malcolm Brogdon, who should be a net positive for Tatum. As the presumed facilitator, Brogdon should help Tatum climb to new heights in the scoring department.

We don't know exactly what that'll look like yet, but we're excited to watch.

NBA MVP odds notes

  • After the Brooklyn Nets made an announcement that put Durant trade rumours to bed, the 12-time all-star earned a small bump in his odds (from +1,000 to +800).
  • Outside of Young, the most notable odds decline recently belongs to Devin Booker (down to +2,500 from +2,000). His Phoenix Suns were once among the frontrunners to trade for Durant.
NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.