By Skip Charles in Vegas
The NBA doesn’t pick up play until Thursday night after the All-Star break.
And Sixers fans will have to wait until Friday night to see James Harden in a Philly uni.
But one game seems to be all but over:
The race for NBA MVP.
That would be the Sixers Joel Embiid, who is the betting favorite at BetMGM at +125, ahead of two former MVPs — Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic (+275) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (+375).
Compared to Jokic, Antetokounmpo and others, Embiid has received the most bets and money for MVP so far this season. According to BetMGM, Embiid has received 20.3% of the bets and 25.3% of the money.
Embiid is averaging 29.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 49.5% from the field and 36.9% from 3-point range for the Sixers, who are currently 35-23 and in third place in the Eastern Conference at the all-star break. Embiid’s play has set the stage for the stretch run for Philadelphia, which will soon add Harden to the mix following a trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Behind Embiid, Jokic has received the second-most bets (14.3%) and third-most money (12.0%) at BetMGM. Steph Curry, who is currently listed at +1100, has received 14.0% of the bets and 19.3% of the money, trailing only Embiid.
Other players who have received a noteworthy level of action for MVP include Ja Morant (+1400), DeMar DeRozan (+2200), Antetokounmpo (+375), Devin Booker(+2200) and Kevin Durant (+6600).
Morant, who opened the year at +5000 and is now up to +1400, has received 8.5% of the bets and 5.4% of the money. DeRozan has received 7.6% of the bets and 5.0% of the money. Antetokounmpo has received 7.2% of the bets and 9.9% of the money. Booker has received 6.6% of the bets and 3.8% of the money. Durant has received 4.3% of the bets and 7.4% of the money.
Updated NBA MVP odds:
- Joel Embiid: +125
- Nikola Jokic: +275
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: +375
- Steph Curry: +1100
- Ja Morant: +1400
- Devin Booker: +2200
- DeMar DeRozan: +2200
- Luka Doncic: +4000
- Kevin Durant: +6600
- LeBron James: +15000
- Jimmy Butler: +20000
- James Harden: +25000
- Donovan Mitchell: +25000
- Trae Young: +50000