If you had a look at the MVP race from a few weeks ago compared to where it is now, you would certainly see some differences. Injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James are almost certainly going to take them out of the running, which means that the door may now just have been kicked wide open. That said, there are some who believe that we might be heading for a 2-horse race. The first two players that we mention on out list here look to be the firm favorites, but there are a couple more that may just have a say in how it all plays out. Let’s take a look at the current NBA MVP contenders so you can star planning your bets and place them against their NBA Regular Season MVP odds.
NBA MVP Race – Favorites and Underdogs
Since returning from the All-Star Break, the Denver Nuggets have been on fire. As we head into the new week, they are on a 5-game winning run and have won 8 of their last 10. It has been a team effort for sure, but Nikola Jokic has been nothing short of brilliant. That’s not really surprising when you look at what he has been doing all season long. As it stands right now, Jokic has a shot at the 50-40-90 (50% shooting average, 40% 3-point average, 90% free point average) club, where he would be in very good company with a limited number of players. He is the man to beat right now.
The fact that Lillard is still the second top scorer in the league despite playing through several different niggling injuries tells you just how good he has been this season. The Trail Blazers have won 7 of their last 10 games, which included a 4-game winning streak that saw Lillard average over 25 PPG during that stretch. The question here is whether Lillard can remain injury free the rest of the way. If he can and gets fully healthy, he might just make a run at the MVP.
While Jokic and Lillard look like the two frontrunners in the MVP race right now, there are a couple of players who could upset the apple cart with a string finish to the season. If you were going to pick one player to do just that, it would be hard to be against James Harden making that run. Given where the Nets are right now, it’s easy to forget that they were just 7-6 before Harden rolled into town. That is the sort of impact that makes MVP voters sit up and take notice. Also of note is that the Nets are just 1-2 in games played when Harden is out with injury.
You look at Giannis this season and you see that the Bucks go as he does. They seem unable to pull out a win when Giannis has an off night, which may explain why the Bucks are having something of an up and down season. While he still has a shot a winning the MVP this season, you have to think that he needs to be exceptional the ret of the way.