Wed, Mar 10, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The odds have been updated for the 2020-2021 NBA MVP and the Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is no longer the frontrunner. With the updated odds, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is now the frontrunner to win the league’s MVP award at the end of the season.
Embiid was named to the All-Star game along with teammate Ben Simmons but the two were scratched from the competition because they were exposed to COVID-19 by their personal barber. The two continue to test negative for the Coronavirus but are not expected to be on the court for the team’s first game following the break with the Chicago Bulls.
Embiid overtook James last week but just recently became the consensus favorite to win the MVP award after the season comes to a close. The latest numbers have Embiid at +200 to win MVP, followed by James at +225.
The remaining field of MVP-caliber players and their odds are as follows:
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic at +350
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (+1300)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (+1400)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1600)
When the national sportsbooks first opened odds for the 2020-2021 season MVP candidates, Embiid opened at 40-1 to win the award. Since then, the Sixers star has put up impressive numbers almost nightly, increasing his odds to +200.
Through the first half of the season, Embiid averaged 30.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. If he keeps up his torrid play, Embiid could become just the second player in league history along with Steph Curry to average 30 points on 50% shooting and 40% on 3-pointers in a season.
Should Embiid win the MVP award, he would become the first center to do so since 2000 when Shaquille O’Neal took home the honors.
As of Wednesday, March 10, James has secured the most money wagered on the MVP odds, while Embiid has taken home close to 20 percent of all MVP bets placed.
James has won the MVP award four times in his illustrious career. His odds slipped to as low as +160 over Embiid in early March before the Sixers center overtook him last week.
Entering Thursday’s game with the Bulls, the Sixers are hanging on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference by a half-game over the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets just added Blake Griffin on a veteran-exempt contract after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons.
The Lakers are in third place in the Western Conference, just 3.5 games out of first behind the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz. The Lakers are just 3-7 in their last 10 games played and entered the All-Star break having lost their last two games. Los Angeles opens the second half of the season against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, March 12, at the Staples Center.
Make sure you place your bets soon on the new NBA MVP odds with Embiid at the top playing the best basketball of his career.