Odds to Win NBA MVP: Giannis Is Huge Favorite Over LeBron

Odds to Win NBA MVP: Giannis Is Huge Favorite Over LeBron

As we get closer to the NBA basketball resuming in Orlando, Florida as 22 teams head to the Sunshine State in their quest to win the 2020 NBA Championship. Two All-NBA players may hold the key for how the postseason plays out, which coincidentally, are the top two vying for the Most Valuable Player Award.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James are one and two on the oddsboard to win NBA MVP with Giannis sitting comfortably with -3500 odds (97.2 percent implied probability) to win his second straight MVP trophy.

LeBron is listed at +650 and realistically, they are the only two players that should be considered heading to the Bubble City even if the best basketball betting sites have multiple options like James Harden (+5000), Luka Doncic (+5000) or James’s teammate, Anthony Davis (+8000).

If this is your first time betting on an NBA MVP prop or basketball props in general, check out our How To Bet on NBA guide that will offer guidance and tips on the best way to approach props, NBA Futures and more.

Here is the full betting list for the 2019-20 NBA MVP with odds analysis below it:

2019-20 NBA Most Valuable Player Award Odds
Player Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo -3500
LeBron James +650
James Harden +5000
Luka Doncic +5000
Anthony Davis +8000
Damian Lillard +8000
Nikola Jokic +8000
Kawhi Leonard +10000
Russell Westbrook +10000

Odds as of March 10 at  BetOnline

Why Giannis Will Win MVP

Before the suspension of the NBA season from the Covid-19, Giannis Antetokounmpo was putting up monster stats and had his Milwaukee Bucks in the driver seat. They led the NBA standings at 53-12 SU through 65 games and Giannis had upped his scoring and rebounding averages from his previous MVP-winning campaign in 2019.

The season suspension may have actually been some sort of divine intervention for the Greek Freak because he was nursing a knee injury in March that would’ve likely kept him out for two or three weeks and the Bucks were coming off some disappointing losses (most notably to the Lakers in prime time).

But now, with only eight games to go, it’s Antetokounmo’s award to lose, and based on the first 65 games, he was a juggernaut. His two-way play was in full force all season and in 57 games played, he was shooting 54.9 percent from the floor on 20 shots per game, all while only playing an average of 30 minutes. As a result, the Bucks led the NBA in points per game.

Barring injury or some sort of regression, he should take the MVP award but the first six games back in Orlando are all against higher-end playoff teams with only one “easy” game remaining against the Wizards. He may rise to the occasion or it could open the door for LeBron.

Why LeBron Will Win MVP

Back in March, LeBron James had made an incredible push to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award but it might be too late for the King to take back his throne.

Yes, the Lakers were first in the Western Conference at 49-14 SU in 63 games prior to the season suspension and with each team playing eight games in Orlando, it’s not far-fetched for the Lakers to catch the Bucks for best NBA record

But it’s an uphill battle for LeBron at this stage because all of that momentum and goodwill he had built up is all but gone now that we’re “in the bubble.” There are a few things that need to happen in Orlando in order for voters to be swayed back to James instead of voting for Giannis:

  • Lakers would need to win at least seven of their remaining eight games
  • LeBron would need to score at least match his points (25.7), rebounds (7.9) and assist (10.7) averages for each game. 
  • The Bucks need to lose 4 or more of their 8 remaining games.
  • Giannis needs to struggle from the field

These four points are not impossible but for all of these to happen, even then, voters may not want to change their vote based on the previous 60+ games of evidence. Award races can sometimes come down to narratives more than stats so now would be the time to jump on LeBron at +650 if you think he’ll overtake Giannis for the MVP trophy.

Check out our NBA Futures odds page for the most up-to-date betting odds.


How to Read NBA MVP Odds

When you visit your betting site of choice, you’ll notice the odds for NBA MVP laid out like this:

Giannis Antetokounmpo -3500

LeBron James +650

Anthony Davis +5000

Similar to a moneyline bet where favorites are shown by the minus sign (-) and underdogs have a plus sign (+), the player with the lowest odds is the fave. In this scenario it’s Giannis.

If you were to bet on which player will be named MVP, you would make a futures bet.

What is a Futures Bet?

This is a bet made on events that will happen in time. In this case, it’s MVP. To make a futures bet you would first use the handicapping info on this page to make your decision. Let’s say you feel strongly about Giannis’ chances and you have $1000 to wager. A winning bet would give you a payout of $1,020.86 – you get your $1000 back along with your prize of $20.86.

If you think LeBron James is going to have an incredible showing, that same $1000 bet on him would give you a payout of $7,500 – your $1000 is returned along with your winnings of $6,500. Our Odds Calculator can give you an idea of how much you’d win based on the MVP odds and the amount of money you bet.

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