After a week into the second half of the NBA season, Steph Curry is the betting favorite to win the MVP at +180 odds, but Giannis ‘Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo (+250), Nikola Jokic (+550), Joel Embiid ( +600), and Ja Morant (+1000) try to chase him down.
Kevin Durant was the preseason favorite to win MVP at odds of +400, but Curry took the top spot in the prop betting chart after a torrid start to the season from himself and the Golden State Warriors .
Durant slipped to +2200 odds but is also currently sidelined for at least another month as he recovers from an MCL knee sprain.
Big Men for MVP: Jokic, Greek Freak, Embiid
Jokic won the MVP title last season, but entered this season as the fifth favorite in the betting table at +1500 odds. Despite a slow start, Jokic played his best basketball of the season in the last two weeks which is why his MVP rating improved to +550. Heck, the Joker has been on fire. He’s recorded four straight triple-doubles over the past week, including a 49-point triple-double in an overtime win over the LA Clippers.
Overall this season, Jokic is averaging 25.9 points, 13.9 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. He is in the top nine in all three categories, including second in rebounds. His PER of 33.46 is the best in the NBA.
Greek Freak won MVP in back-to-back seasons in 2019 and 2020, but he only won a league title with the Milwaukee Bucks last season when Jokic won MVP. Greek Freak is averaging 28.6 points per game, third best in the NBA. He also averaged 11.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. He has the third-best PER rating in the league at 31.27. Since early November, the Greek Freak has seen his MVP ratings rise from +650 to +250 and he sits second in the table behind Curry.
Joel Embiid also plays some of his best balls of the season for the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s averaging 29.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season. He is the fourth-highest scorer in the NBA and has the second-best PER at 31.31. Embiid saw his MVP ratings go from +1500 to +600 last week, which included a 50-point game in just 27 minutes of action. He followed up his 50-pint game with 40 points last night.
Curry collapsed for MVP
Even though he’s mired in the worst shooting slump of his career, Curry is the player to beat for MVP at +180 odds. He’s struggled to find his footing in recent weeks. His meltdown started just as he was about to pass Ray Allen on the all-time 3-point list and it spilled over into the new year.
“I know I have to shoot the ball better,” Curry said. “I’m obsessed with shot numbers because that’s what I do and that’s what I work on. When you don’t hit those levels, it’s frustrating.
Curry knocked down a game-winning buzzer beater last night against the Houston Rockets, but he’s still not happy with his recent performance. That’s why he is one of the best in the world, because he always strives for perfection.
Curry is averaging 26.3 points and 6.2 assists per game this season, but in his January slump, he averaged just 21.6 points per game. In his previous three months, his averages were 27.6 ppg (December), 27.4 ppg (November) and 28.7 ppg (October).
🚨 STEPHEN CURRY’S CALLS GAME 🚨
—NBA (@NBA) January 22, 2022
OG MVP: Morant
At OG’s NBA Midseason Awards, we selected Morant as the first half MVP. Bookmakers and the betting public must have taken note of our assessment as Morant saw his NBA MVP odds rise from +2200 to +1000.
Morant is averaging 25.1 points, 6.9 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Memphis Grizzlies. He also has a PER rating of 25.10, which is ranked No. 9 in the NBA and impressive for a guard. The Grizzlies sitting in the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, and Morant’s solid play is improving as the Griz progress through the season.
Morant is super hot right now with consecutive games scoring at least 33 points. He dropped 38 points last night in Denver in a big win over Jokic and the Nuggets.