The 2023-2024 NBA season has been a wild one, with iconic players struggling to carry their teams while the new guard of the NBA begins to take control of the league. Unfortunately, the man who was the big-time MVP favorite, Joel Embiid, is basically out of the race after suffering a knee injury that will force him to miss more than the 17 games allowed to retain eligibility for end of season awards. The NBA MVP betting markets on most betting sites and betting apps would have one believe that this is a two-horse race, but we’re not so sure.
Early 2024 NBA MVP Betting Odds Breakdown
- Nikola Jokic is the odds on favorite to win his third MVP in four years
- OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is seemingly the only one with a shot to beat the Serbian
- Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both in the mix for MVP as well
2023-2024 NBA MVP Early Betting Odds - February 3
All odds provided by Sports Interaction.
|NBA MVP Odds
|Nikola Jokic (DEN)
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)
|Luka Doncic (DAL)
|Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
|Jayson Tatum (BOS)
|Jalen Brunson (NYK)
|Kawhi Leonard (LAC)
|Kevin Durant (PHO)
|Anthony Edwards (MIN)
|De’Aaron Fox (SAC)
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
Ho-hum, another year, another MVP Nikola Jokic will be Sombor Shuffling back to Serbia. He’s already a massive favorite despite there being thirty games left and the Nuggets sitting in fourth place.
They’re only one game behind the top spot, to be fair, so if he can get them into a top three position, someone else would need to do something really special to knock him off his perch. His stats are more than good enough as well, as he sits in the top 15 in scoring, top five in assists, and top three in rebounds.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
After years of asset hoarding by general manager Sam Presti, the OKC Thunder are finally back to serious contention, sitting atop the Western Conference thanks in large part to Canadian wunderkind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA’s bag is like no other, as he’s able to to score over 30 points a game without relying on the three-ball, instead leaning on his mid-range game and layup package.
For SGA to take home the MVP over Jokic, he’ll likely need to keep his Thunder ahead of the Nuggets in the standings while passing Doncic and Embiid in the scoring department. It would be hard to deny the MVP to a guy who won the scoring title and finished as the top seed in the brutal Western Conference.
Steve Nash was the first (and only) Canadian to win the NBA MVP Award, claiming back-to-back honours in 2005 & 2006.— Betting Top 10 - Canada (@Bettingtop10C) February 2, 2024
Can OKC's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander bring the award back to Canada this season?
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Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks
Always a bridesmaid, but never the bride. Luka Doncic is second in the league in scoring, third in the league in assists, and he leads all PGs in rebounds per game by nearly three boards. He’s also shooting the best percentages of his life—but it will once again be team success that holds the Slovenian back from the award he covets.
Doncic and the Mavs are currently 7.5 points out of the top spot. However, Doncic puts up video game numbers, so he doesn’t quite need to lead his team to the top seed. If he can get Dallas comfortably into the top four while maintaining 35 ppg and boosting his assists per game slightly to 10, he would be averaging a 35-point double-double, and that’s the type of stat line that will make voters think twice.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF, Milwaukee Bucks
Despite the fact that he and his teammates have already chased a head coach out of the building while leading them to the second seed in the East, Giannis Antetokounmpo is still having an elite season, as per usual. He’s averaging over 30 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists per game while averaging over one block and one steal as well. Those are MVP numbers, but he might be hurt by the presence of another perennial All-Star like Damian Lillard on the squad.
Antetokounmpo still has a chance, but the Bucks will likely have to go on a run and wrest the top seed in the East from the Celtics while also climbing a few rungs in the scoring race. It wouldn’t hurt if the Greek Freak was able to boost his shooting percentages as well, since 25 from deep and 66 from the charity stripe doesn’t reflect well on a player in 2024. The three-point shot will be tough, but if he can raise his free throw percentage to 70, pass Doncic and SGA in scoring, and lead the Bucks to the top seed in the East, he will have to be taken seriously.
Best of the Rest
There are a lot of elite players still in the race as well. It’s just strange that Embiid will not be considered even though he was the massive favorite before suffering his injury. This is also the first MVP race in a while that won’t feature Steph Curry or LeBron James anywhere near the top.
Jayson Tatum is always in the conversation as long as the Celtics maintain their large cushion atop the Eastern Conference, but it feels like even then he’ll have to up his scoring to 30 per game to challenge the top contenders.
Guys like Jalen Brunson, De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard all have great numbers, but they’re not on the level of the guys ahead of them right now statistically, so they’re best bet would be pushing their teams to a top two seed in their conference.
Perhaps the best long shot option is Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards. He’s averaging 25-5-5, which is not quite enough, but the Wolves are tied atop the Western Conference, and if they can secure that top spot by the end of the regular season and Ant can get up to 27-6-6, he could receive very serious consideration here. And at +15,000, why not?
Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.