A once-excitingly close NBA MVP race looks to be all but over. Joel Embiid is a huge favourite in the league's final week.
The latest: Embiid sprinted past Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo in mid-March and hasn't looked back. Jokic and Antetokounmpo are the only possible challengers at this point, but it'd be tough to surpass the 76ers star.
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.
|Team||Odds (April 5)||Odds (March 26)|
NBA odds as of 5:00 p.m. on 04/05/2023.
Best odds to win NBA MVP
The favourite: Joel Embiid (-625)
After finishing second to Jokic on the MVP ballot in consecutive seasons, Embiid clearly wasn't looking to make it three runner-up finishes in a row.
Though he trailed Jokic for most of the season, Embiid came on particularly strong in March. He's scored 25-plus points in 16 of 17 games since the start of last month — headlined by a 52-point performance on Tuesday.
EMBIID DUNK FOR THE 50 PIECE 😱— NBA (@NBA) April 5, 2023
SIXERS LEAD BY 6 WITH 0:44 TO GO
📺: Live on TNT pic.twitter.com/b3gMScEUi4
With 33.3 points per game, Embiid is about to lead the league in scoring for a second consecutive year — to go with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He's also a force on the defensive end, averaging 1.7 blocks per game (seventh in the NBA).
Recency bias is currently working in Embiid's favour, as is the potential voter fatigue facing Jokic as a two-time reigning winner.
Other NBA MVP choices
Best value: Nikola Jokic (+800)
Winning back-to-back-to-back MVPs, as Jokic is trying to do, would land the 27-year-old in the esteemed (and exclusive) company of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird.
The lumbering centre leads the league in triple-doubles (29) as he did a year ago. No other player has even half as many as that.
Jokic has lightened his offensive load this year, shooting less and facilitating more. That'll likely cost him against the high-scoring Embiid. But Jokic's efficiency has ticked up, which shouldn't be lost on voters:
A player who averages approximately 25/12/10 is obviously a prime MVP contender, regardless of how little precedent exists for back-to-back-to-back winners.
Player to watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+900)
Though he ceded the MVP award to Jokic the past two seasons, Antetokounmpo hung around in the MVP race right through to the end.
He'll never be the facilitator that Jokic is, but Antetokounmpo is still more than respectable in that regard. Pair that with his status as the superior rebound and defender — plus the fact that he's averaging more than 30 points per game — and you've got plenty to like about the Greek Freak.
It does seem like he'll come up short this year, though, with Embiid holding such an extensive advantage on the odds leaderboard.
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