NBA 2023-24 MVP Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

NBA MVP Winner
NBA 2023-24 MVP Winner Betting Preview – Odds, Tips & Predictions

The NBA has no shortage of player awards handed out throughout the course of the season, but the most prestigious – at least during the regular season – is the MVP Award for the league’s most valuable player. The MVP has been won by international players for the past five years – after they’d previously only won it on four occasions since the award was introduced in 1955 – and that trend seems almost certain to continue this season. Nikola Jokic is the red-hot favourite to win what would be his third MVP in four years, while his solitary remaining competitors also come from outside the USA. Below, we take a look at the chances of each of the players that betting sites still give some sort of a chance to win the award with just a few games left to go in the regular season. 

Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) 

Nikola Jokic has been the best player in the world for a number of years now, and a third MVP award in four years is likely to be the individual reward at the conclusion of this season. The winner of the award in 2021 and 2022, he was somewhat controversially pipped by Joel Embiid last season, though the Cameroonian was a deserving winner for what had been a phenomenal season. But having not won the award for the first time in three years, Jokic quickly re-established himself as the best in the business with a dominant playoff performance en route to an inaugural title for his Denver Nuggets. This season, he has continued on his merry way. For a time Embiid looked like once again being Jokic’s biggest threat to winning the award courtesy of an unbelievable season of scoring, but a long-term injury has seen him miss the last couple of months and given Jokic a level of favouritism that has only increased as the season has worn on. Jokic isn’t necessarily doing anything this season that he hasn’t done before, but that’s far from a blight on him, Averages of 26.4 points (on 57.9% shooting), 12.3 rebounds and 9.0 assists are a good enough indicator of the impact he has on a game, and the eye test even better highlights it. Jokic is one of the great puppeteers the game has ever seen, with an uncanny awareness of what every player on the floor is doing at every second and the ability to immediately unpack it, getting his team a great look – whether it’s him taking the shot or a teammate – virtually every possession. At just 29 years of age Jokic likely still has plenty of time at the peak of his powers, and by the time it’s all said and done he could easily have joined the very illustrious group of players with four or more MVPs. Unfortunately there is very little value to be had if you’re looking to bet on him to win it this season – though BlueBet is offering far better odds than their counterparts – but that’s for good reason. It seems highly likely that Jokic will be taking home a third MVP award to Serbia in a few weeks’ time.   

Bet on Nikola Jokic to win the MVP @ $1.12 with BlueBet 

Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) 

One day, Luka Doncic will likely be an MVP winner. Still just 25 years of age, he has for years been a dominant force in the league, and 2023-24 has been his best season yet. The numbers that he is putting up need to be seen to be believed; at the time of writing, with just a handful of games left in the regular season, he is averaging 33.9 points per game on 48.9% shooting from the field and 38.1% from three-point range, to go with 9.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists. A 35-point triple-double is something that very few players will ever manage in their career, and Doncic is nearly averaging it. Critics will point to a high usage rate, and while that’s certainly a significant factor in why he is able to put up such gaudy numbers, there are a couple of pretty sound arguments against its relevance. For starters, Doncic has still been pretty efficient, and boasts a true shooting percentage higher than names like Steph Curry and Tyrese Haliburton for the season. Secondly, that high usage has been largely out of necessity. The Mavericks entered the season as a team built around a highly talented backcourt consisting of Doncic and Kyrie Irving, and very little else. Irving went on to miss a large chunk of the first half of the season, leaving Doncic to run the show without a whole lot of help, and still he managed to make the Mavericks a better than .500 team in a very competitive Western Conference. That alone refutes any questions surrounding the legitimacy of his stats; Doncic took what was realistically a pretty poor team without him and was able to lead them to a record matching teams with significantly more talent. With Irving back in the fold, Doncic has had a very, very talented number two man to share the load with, and a couple of savvy trades have also boosted the stocks of the Mavericks. But Doncic has been the one constant throughout the course of the season, leading his team to a likely playoff appearance. In many, if not most, years throughout the course of NBA history, Doncic’s season would be more than enough to win the MVP. The big question mark for him this season, however, will be whether he’s done enough to knock off the Joker. The odds and the narrative would suggest that he hasn’t, but Doncic’s case for MVP has been underrated all season. He would be a worthy winner of this award, and even if he’s up against it given the continued form of Jokic and the subsequent performance of his Nuggets, Doncic looks like the best chance to cause an upset. His odds vary pretty wildly from one bookmaker to another, but at $12 with some NBA betting sites and $6 at others, the longer of those odds look like decent value. 

Bet on Luka Doncic to win the MVP @ $12.00 with BlueBet 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)

 The Oklahoma City Thunder have looked to have a bright future ever since they traded Paul George to the Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a bounty of first round picks, but few would have predicted just how good they would be already in 2023-24. They have established themselves as a legitimate contender and are right in the mix to snare the first seed in the West, and the man they acquired in that George trade is a major reason why. Gilgeous-Alexander propelled himself into the game’s elite last season, but he has taken his game to another level entirely this season. The Canadian is averaging 30.3 points on 53.9% shooting as well as 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists,  and unlike the two names ahead of him on this list also happens to be an elite defender. He is one of the most robotic players in the league, and that is certainly no criticism. Gilgeous-Alexander can get to his spots whenever he wants and hit those shots with a high degree of efficiency, while his ability to consistently get to the line also means that he is a threat every night, even on the rare occasions when his shot is not falling. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his season is his incredible consistency. Those 30 points that he scores per game come without very much variance at all; as an example, of the 71 games he has played at the time of writing this season, in 13 of them he has scored exactly 31 points. He also leads the league in 30-point games, having poured in 30 or more points in 50 of those 71 games. The rapid improvement of Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren’s immediate impact and more recently the high level play of Josh Giddey have certainly all been significant factors in the Thunder’s improvement, but without Gilgeous-Alexander they wouldn’t be near the position in which they currently find themselves. The Thunder have been one of the best teams in the league all season and he is their best player, which is always a recipe for a strong MVP case. Given what Jokic and Doncic have been able to do, however, he may find himself in second or third on a lot of ballots. 

Bet on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to win the MVP @ $21.00 with PlayUp

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)  

Jayson Tatum has locked himself into a position as a top six or seven player over the past few seasons, but has never really broken into the upper echelon of that group. The international superstars of the league like Jokic and Embiid have always had him covered and still do, and particularly with his statistics having taken a bit of a dip this season it’s realistically hard to imagine him getting close to the above names in MVP voting. But anybody who has followed the Celtics’ season closely will know how good he has been this year. That dip in numbers – which hasn’t been significant anyway – hasn’t been a product of any regression in his play, but rather a product of necessity. The Celtics starting five is about as stacked as any in recent memory, with every player on the floor capable of scoring heavily on their day, and while he is their number one option, there are very capable number twos, threes, fours and even fives out on the floor with him. As a result, Tatum isn’t required to take on as heavy a load as he has in recent seasons, nor is it beneficial for the Celtics. And his numbers are still pretty damn good; Tatum is averaging 27.9 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field and 38% from three-point range, while also grabbing 8.3 rebounds and dishing out 4.9 assists per game. Clearly they aren’t quite as gaudy a group of numbers as what the above names have managed, but on a team with as many mouths to feed as what the Celtics have, they are still impressive enough. The Celtics are an incredibly well-oiled machine and the best team in the league, and Tatum is their best player. As mentioned in the Gilgeous-Alexander write-up, that is often a pretty resounding case for the MVP. But this year, there are multiple standout players on the best teams in the league. The Celtics are the frontrunner to win the championship for plenty of reasons and Tatum is one of the chief among them, but this team is not set up in a way that is likely to produce a genuine MVP candidate. Tatum will be hoping that come season’s end, he has an even more significant piece of silverware around his neck, but as far as the MVP race, the above names have him covered. 

Bet on Jayson Tatum to win the MVP @ $101.00 with BlueBet 

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) 

Milwaukee BucksIt’s not all that difficult to make an MVP case for Giannis Antetokounmpo most years. He won the award consecutively in 2019 and 2020 while averaging a little under 30 points per game, a little over 11 rebounds per game and a little under 6 assists per game, and every season since he’s put up similar numbers. In fact, this season he’s amped them up a little more, averaging 30.8 points and a career-high 6.5 assists, and he continues to be one of the best defenders in the league. But with the development of Jokic into a generational player, Embiid into one of the most dominant interior forces we’ve ever seen, and now the continued growth of the likes of Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander, Giannis has taken a couple of steps back in the list of best players in the NBA in the eyes of most. Maybe there is an element of voter fatigue added in there too, or at least a numbing to just how impressive a player he is given he has been doing it for so many years, but whatever it is the reality remains that Giannis hasn’t been seen as a top two or three MVP candidate for most of the season. The Bucks have also generally been seen as failing to quite deliver on their potential, though given they look likely to snare the second seed in the Eastern Conference it could certainly be worse. All of this sounds very negative; Antetokounmpo is a phenomenal player at both ends of the floor, and he deserves credit for continuing to deliver at such a consistently high level while incorporating another star in Damian Lillard who is accustomed to running his own show after wallowing away in Portland for so many years. Giannis remains one of the absolute best players in the league and his presence means that the Bucks, for all of their ups and downs this season, still have the potential to win the championship this season, even if they’re viewed as a little way below the likes of the Celtics and the Nuggets. But as far as the MVP award goes, while Antetokounmpo will no doubt come under consideration in the polling booths, he won’t be outvoting all of the names that have come before him in the betting odds. 

Bet on Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP @ $101.00 with PlayUp 

Nikola Jokic is clearly the most likely player to win the MVP award at this point in the season, and he would and probably will be a very deserving winner. Unfortunately, there is little point in betting on him given how short his odds are. His only two realistic threats to the award are Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander, and as I’ve iterated all season long, Doncic stands out to me as the one most capable of causing a boilover. The Mavericks are clearly not as good a team as the Nuggets and Jokic is the primary reason his team is so dominant, but Doncic has led what is otherwise an average team to a potential top six finish in a very competitive Western Conference, and is close to averaging a 35-point triple-double while doing it. That is wild. Empty stats no doubt exist, but Doncic’s are far from that. He has had an extraordinary season, and at around $12 with some NBA betting agencies he looks like the best value selection in a market with a favourite who is too short to justify betting on.  

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NBA MVP awards by position

  • Point guard - 11 
  • Shooting guard - 8
  • Small forward - 9
  • Power forward - 10
  • Center – 29

NBA MVP History

  • 2021-22 – Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) 
  • 2021-22 - Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
  • 2020-21 - Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
  • 2019-20 - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • 2018-19 - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • 2017-18 - James Harden (Houston Rockets)
  • 2016-17 - Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • 2015-16 - Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • 2014-15 - Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • 2013-14 - Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • 2012-13 - LeBron James (Miami Heat)
  • 2011-12 - LeBron James (Miami Heat)
  • 2010-11 - Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)

James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.

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