This season is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory, due in part to the NBA MVP race that is sure to be close from the start. Two of the players in the top four are looking for their first award while the other two could become a three-time winner. The 2023-24 regular season is set to begin in just a couple of days and it all kicks off with the MVP favorite due up in the first game of the year.
*Odds via FanDuel
Odds to Win 2023-24 NBA MVP
Nikola Jokic (+430)
After winning back-to-back MVPs in 2021 and 2022, Nikola Jokic set out to win his third consecutive award last season, something only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird have done. Unfortunately for him, he came up just short as he finished second in the voting while almost averaging a triple-double for the season with 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game.
I’m sure he is okay with trading the MVP Trophy for a Championship Trophy as he led the Denver Nuggets to their first title in franchise history. Jokic was absolutely dominant in the Playoffs as he averaged 30 points per game with 11.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists. To add to his historic performance, he finished with the fifth most combined points, assists, and rebounds in a single postseason with 1,059. Now he jumps back to the top of the odds board and is hoping to win his third NBA MVP in four years.
Luka Doncic (+550)
For four straight seasons, Luka Doncic has averaged 27.7 or more points, including a career-high 32.4 in 2022-23. He comes into this season with the second-best odds to win the NBA MVP after being the favorite for the last couple of years. Despite his MVP-caliber performances, the Dallas Mavericks haven’t done much to take advantage and that includes missing the playoffs last season, even with the edition of Kyrie Irving for 20 games.
Now the duo of Luka and Kyrie had a full training camp/preseason together and will look to bounce back into the playoff picture. The Mavericks also have more talent on the roster than last season. Put those two things together and Luka’s numbers could look similar to last season. He comes into the campaign looking to get the monkey off of his back and finally win his first MVP award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600)
Jokic wasn’t the only player to recently win back-to-back NBA MVP awards as Giannis Antetokounmpo accomplished that feat in 2019 and 2020. Last season he averaged a double-double with 31.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, finishing as a finalist for award.
This season, Antetokounmpo sits third in the odds after landing Damien Lillard as his co-star. The Milwaukee Bucks got embarrassed in the playoffs in 2023, losing to the eight-seeded Miami Heat in the first round after being a number one seed so I’m sure Giannis has revenge on his mind coming into the season.
Jayson Tatum (+750)
Out of everyone on this list, Jayson Tatum might not be the most popular pick but he definitely can be in the MVP conversation this season. He’s coming off of a career year in 2022-23 as he set highs in points (30.1), assists (4.6), and rebounds (8.8). At just 25 years old, Tatum is a four-time All-Star and a three-time All-NBA selection (twice first-team). He also finished top six in the MVP voting in each of the last two years and took his team to the NBA Finals in 2022.
With his success and experience at this age, he’s only sure to get even better in a great Boston system that just added pieces to help his MVP case this offseason. Tatum has also been working on improving his defense even more, saying he wants to make an All-Defensive Team. If he does that while still maintaining his offensive ability, he has a very good chance to win his first NBA MVP.
Next Best Odds:
Joel Embiid (+850)
Stephen Curry (+1400)
Kevin Durant (+1900)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1900)
Devin Booker (+1900)
Donovan Mitchell (+3000)
Anthony Edwards (+3000)
Anthony Davis (+3000)
Damian Lillard (+3600)