Outside of a championship ring, the MVP is the most coveted and hotly contested award in the NBA. It’s what LeBron, KD, Giannis, Steph, Luka, Embiid and last season’s winner, Nikola Jokic, are always chasing. And it’s the conversation young ballers like Zion, DBook and AD work tirelessly to join.

In short, the NBA MVP award is the signature award in basketball. And beyond just rooting for your favorite player to win it, you can bet on the recipient at legal online sportsbooks.

NBA MVP odds are available throughout the calendar year. These odds change throughout the season, based on team and player performance. But you lock in the currently posted odds when you make your bet in the NBA MVP futures market.

Below, see the latest odds to win NBA MVP direct from legal online sportsbooks, plus how awards voting works and who the current favorites are each NBA season.

2022 NBA MVP odds

Below, see the current NBA MVP odds from the top online sportsbooks in the U.S. Click on any odds to go straight to the sportsbook, claim your sports betting bonus and get your MVP bets in.

NBA MVP odds – Favorites

There are five clear favorites to win NBA MVP heading into the 2021-22 NBA season. Will they hold up as candidates all the way through?  See their latest NBA MVP betting odds and top strengths below:

Luka Doncic

Few players do more for their team than Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic does for the Dallas Mavericks. Voters are sure to recognize that in his fourth year in the league—especially if it results in more wins for the Mavs. If Kristaps Porzingis stays healthy, it could help Luka’s MVP shine.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The back-to-back NBA MVP in 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo willed his team to a title and grabbed the NBA Finals MVP award last year instead. Can the Greek Freak join the elite three-time MVP club?

Joel Embiid

Dominant big man Joel Embiid emerged as an NBA MVP candidate last season, and the Philadelphia 76ers are going to depend on him more than ever this year without Ben Simmons. A healthy year from Embiid means MVP talk, for sure.

Kevin Durant

The Brooklyn Nets have a Big Three, but no one doubts two-time NBA Finals MVP and 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant is the most valuable among them. Is this Durant’s award to lose?

Stephen Curry

A back-to-back NBA MVP in 2015 and 2016, Stephen Curry uplifts the Golden State Warriors more than ever nowadays. He doesn’t appear to be slowing down in any way, either.

In which states can you bet on NFL MVP online?

You can bet on who you think will win NBA MVP in any state where sports betting is legal and regulated. That includes this list of states where you can place your NBA MVP bets online:

Legal StatesOnline Since
Arizona Sports BettingSince 2021
Colorado Sports BettingSince 2020
DC Sports BettingSince 2020
Indiana Sports BettingSince 2019
Illinois Sports BettingSince 2020
New Hampshire Sports BettingSince 2020
Michigan Sports BettingSince 2021
Nevada Sports BettingSince 2010, but in-person registration is required
New Jersey Sports BettingSince 2018, making NJ the first outside of Nevada
Oregon Sports BettingSince 2019
Pennsylvania Sports BettingSince 2019
Rhode Island Sports BettingSince 2019, but in-person registration is required
Iowa Sports BettingSince 2019
Tennessee Sports BettingSince 2020
Virginia Sports BettingSince 2021
West Virginia Sports BettingSince 2019
Wyoming Sports BettingSince 2021

Online sports betting is set to go live in Connecticut in October 2021. New Mexico, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Montana also allow online sports betting, but only at retail sportsbooks.

Here’s an additional list of states where you can bet on NBA MVP, but only in person at retail sportsbooks:

  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Arkansas
  • New York
  • Montana
  • South Dakota

Finally, this is a list of states where you should soon be able to bet on NBA MVP because they’ve legalized sports betting in some form or another, but it hasn’t launched just yet:

  • North Carolina
  • Washington
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland

How does an NBA MVP bet work?

We’re talking about a futures market, which means a betting market that will not be settled until a later date. That’s not until the end of the NBA regular season for MVP, although the odds are first set in the offseason and available all year long at NBA betting sites.

These live betting odds change before the season based on roster moves and injury status. Then, after the season starts, the odds shift regularly based on roster moves, injuries, public perception, and player performance. Of course, like any betting market, you lock in the currently posted odds at the time you place a bet. Pick the winner, and you’ll get paid at the odds as they were when you bet, no matter how much they change.

Positive odds on every favorite … at first

Throughout the offseason and most of the regular season, you’ll be able to bet on most players at positive odds. These tell you how much you stand to win, plus your bet back, for every $100 down. Then, late in the season, if a clear favorite for NBA MVP emerges, you’ll have to lay money to win money on that favorite.

In other words, the odds will turn negative, telling you how much you need to bet to win $100, plus your bet back, on that favorite. For example, last season, Nikola Jokic emerged as the late favorite to win the award. This pushed his odds to -140 by mid-April. He won, which meant anyone that bet on Jokic at -140 profited $100 for every $140 they bet.

Before the season, Jokic was more like +1200 to win. Anyone that bet on Jokic at those odds earned $1,200 for every $100 they bet. Do the math and you’ll see that the earlier you can get a bet down in the NBA MVP futures market, the more you’ll stand to win.

Just remember, all bets stand unless the season is canceled and no NBA MVP is named. Plus, bets are only voided and returned on players who do not play throughout the entire season.

NBA MVP Race – Betting trends

More than half the time, the NBA MVP winner is the best player on the best team in the league. It didn’t happen last season, but six of the past 10 NBA MVP winners were the best player on the team with the best regular-season record. Plus, two of the other four winners were the best players on the squad with the second-best record.

In 2017, Russell Westbrook became the first player since the 1960s to average a triple-double and win MVP without his team topping (or almost topping) the standings. Last season, Nikola Jokic had to get within a couple of assists per game of doing the same to manage it. Clearly, while NBA MVP is an individual award, the team wins count.

It’s also worth noting that leading a team in scoring isn’t a clear path to the MVP. Only three of the past 10 NBA MVP winners were the league’s top scorer that season. Scoring is clearly an important stat, but not the most important. Winning may matter more.

NBA MVP list past 10 years

Here’s a look at the past 10 winners of the NBA MVP Award:

2020-21Nikola JokicCDenver Nuggets
2019-20Giannis AntetokounmpoPFMilwaukee Bucks (2)
2018-19Giannis AntetokounmpoPFMilwaukee Bucks
2017-18James HardenPGHouston Rockets
2016-17Russell WestbrookPGOklahoma City Thunder
2015-16Stephen CurryPGGolden State Warriors (2)
2014-15Stephen CurryPGGolden State Warriors
2013-14Kevin DurantSFOklahoma City Thunder
2012-13LeBron JamesSFMiami Heat (4)
2011-12LeBron JamesSFMiami Heat (3)

More NBA futures bets

There are a number of other NBA futures markets available alongside NBA MVP, including those surrounding awards like:

  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Sixth Man of the Year
  • Coach of the Year

Plus, you can bet in several other types of NBA futures markets, including:

  • NBA Finals winner odds
  • Team win totals
  • Division winner (regular season)
  • Conference winner (playoffs)
  • To make the playoffs
  • Season Scoring/Rebounding/Assist leaders


How does NBA MVP voting work?

A media panel of sportswriters and broadcasters votes on NBA MVP. A single ballot is also cast by fans online. Ballots are cast awarding points to a top-five selections for MVP. That’s 10 points for first, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth, and one for fifth. The player awarded the most points is the NBA MVP.

Who has won the most NBA MVP awards?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a record six NBA MVP awards. Kareem won it with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, 1972, and 1974, and then again with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976, 1977, and 1980. He also won six NBA titles and two NBA Finals MVP awards.

What are the most controversial NBA MVP picks of recent years?

There may have been some controversy surrounding Nikola Jokic’s MVP win last season, considering his Nuggets finished third in the West while Joel Embiid led the 76ers to the best record in the East, and Stephen Curry led the league in scoring. However, there hasn’t been any real controversy in the MVP award selection since Steve Nash‘s 2004-05 win. He scored just 15.5 ppg compared to teammate Amare Stoudemire‘s 26.9 ppg. Plus, big man Shaquille O’Neal dominated the league, scoring at 22.9 ppg and averaging 10.4 rpg while leading Miami to the best record in the East.

Who has had the best/worst MVP years?

Michael Jordan’s 1992 MVP year is considered one of the best ever. He led the NBA in scoring at 30.1 ppg, while averaging 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Plus, the Bulls posted 67 wins to lead the entire league. Meanwhile, Steve Nash’s second MVP Award is widely considered the worst season by an NBA MVP. He scored 18.8 points, dropped 10.5 assists, and grabbed just 4.2 rebounds per game. The assist numbers are the only really impressive ones, and they were down from the year prior. Plus, Phoenix posted just the third-best regular season record in the league that season.

Is it ever good to bet on a repeat MVP winner?

Why not? After all, 14 MVP winners have gone on to win again, including eight that have won three times or more. Here’s the list of multiple MVP winners in the NBA:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6)
  • Michael Jordan (5)
  • Bill Russell (5)
  • LeBron James (4)
  • Wilt Chamberlain (4)
  • Moses Malone (3)
  • Larry Bird (3)
  • Magic Johnson (3)
  • Karl Malone (2)
  • Tim Duncan (2)
  • Steve Nash (2)
  • Stephen Curry (2)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (2)
  • Bob Pettit (2)

How has analytics affected MVP voting?

Analytics are advanced stats that shape playing strategies. They’re not really the kind of thing NBA MVP voters ponder when they vote. If analytics have an impact on the MVP award, it’s in how the use of analytics can impact a player’s performance.

When is the best time to bet MVP futures?

Like we said earlier, the earlier you can get a bet down in the NBA MVP futures market, the more you’ll stand to win. In the offseason and most of the regular season, you can bet on most players, even the favorites, at positive odds. It’s usually only late in the season, when a clear favorite emerges, that you’ll have to lay money to win money on any player. Still, logic dictates that the NBA futures odds will almost always be better on the favorites, and the eventual winner, the further away you are from the end of the season.

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