2024 NBA MVP Odds, Betting Trends: Runaway Favorite Jokic Awaits Award

NBA MVP odds are no longer on the board at sportsbooks far and wide, with the regular season now complete. However, the award winner won’t be announced until some time in May.

Yet at BetMGM, there’s been no wagering on odds to win the NBA MVP since April 2. That's because Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was in such overwhelming command of the race that it was deemed over, 11 days before the regular season ended.

But there’s still the formality of the winner being made official. Here’s everything you need to know about 2024 NBA MVP odds: action, movement and betting trends. And if you’re looking to bet on the NBA playoffs, make sure to check out our NBA odds and use our BetMGM bonus code to get more when you wager.

2024 NBA MVP Odds

When The Race Was Won

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is expected to win his third NBA MVP in four seasons. (Getty)

Nikola Jokic won the NBA MVP in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. In 2022-23, Jokic lifted Denver to its first NBA title. But Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid nabbed his first MVP award, ending Jokic’s run.

As the 2023-24 regular season neared the finish line, Jokic was back in the driver’s seat. BetMGM had the Nuggets star as massive -5000 chalk on the NBA MVP odds board, in what was down to a three-horse race.

Dallas Mavericks standout Luka Doncic was the distant +2000 second choice, followed by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at -4000.

That was during the day on April 2, before Denver hosted San Antonio.

“Jokic was -5000, and that night, he had 42 points, 16 rebounds and six assists,” BetMGM trader Hal Egeland said. “For the awards, we’ll typically pull them when we consider the race to be pretty much over. We deemed that Jokic had over a 99% chance of winning, so we pulled it then.”

However, MVP wasn’t the first season-long awards market to close. Thanks to Spurs forward/center Victor Wembanyama’s huge debut year, BetMGM pulled NBA Rookie of the Year odds off the board by March 19.

At that point, Wembanyama was -10000 to win it all. The 7-foot-4 rookie averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 blocks per game.

Embiid Injury Ends Repeat Bid

A knee injury knocked the 76ers' Joel Embiid off the NBA MVP odds board. (Getty)

As January rolled along, Embiid was in position to win his second straight MVP. He was averaging 36 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, and he was the +120 favorite in BetMGM’s NBA MVP odds.

Jokic was the +300 second choice, followed by Gilgeous-Alexander at +375 and Doncic at +650.

The only issue was whether Embiid would meet the new rule of having to play in at least 65 games. By Jan. 28, he’d already missed 11 games due to various minor injuries, meaning he could miss just six more games.

Then on Jan. 30 against Golden State, Embiid suffered a lateral meniscus injury in his left knee. He missed more than two months, returning April 2, ending his hopes of a repeat MVP.

“The Embiid injury and new 65-game minimum certainly added some complexity to our pricing throughout the year,” Egeland said. “Even before his major injury, we had to consider his likelihood of reaching the 65-game threshold when making the MVP odds. His performance warranted him to be shorter most of the time, but his playing status was always a major concern.”

The 65-game rule was instituted to help the NBA combat the flood of load-management decisions that consistently took star players off the court.

“It’s certainly an added wrinkle, and it’s something we’re still learning about when it comes to accurate pricing for these markets,” Egeland said. “Had Embiid remained relatively healthy, I think that 65-game mark would’ve been an even more important factor. But it likely would have been another year of Jokic vs. Embiid debates.”

Small Loser for the Book

Last year’s NBA MVP race included a lot of chatter about Jokic fatigue among the voters. He’d already won two straight MVPs. His stats certainly merited the honor the first two times, and an argument could’ve easily been made for a third.

Along with possible voter fatigue, Egelad said there was also bettor fatigue with Jokic, as customers backed off some, too. Regardless, Embiid nabbed the 2023 NBA MVP award, and bettors came back around to the Nuggets star this season.

Jokic was No. 1 in ticket count at BetMGM, taking 22.3% of all bets to edge Boston Celtics standout Jayson Tatum (20.3%). And the Nuggets star ran away from the field in money, attracting 46.5% of all dollars in odds to win the NBA MVP. Jokic took 4.5 times more money than No. 2 Doncic.

“I think Embiid winning last year took care of most of that bettor fatigue for Jokic,” Egeland said. “Jokic will be a very small loser for us once he’s announced as MVP. But it was a year where several players worked their way into the conversation.

“Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander, Tatum, Jalen Brunson, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Edwards all had their moments where we were taking a decent amount of bets on them.”

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