NBA MVP Futures Best Odds and Picks, January 7th, 2023
NBA MVP FUTURES BEST ODDS AND PICKS JANUARY 7th 2023 – Now that we have reached the halfway point of the 2022-23 NBA campaign, basketball fans are starting to get a good feeling about which teams are title contenders compared to those that fall into the pretenders’ category.
That goes for the individual player award categories as well.
This week, we will look at the top three players we should watch in the most valuable player race.
Nikola Jokic +370
You cannot have this conversation without mentioning Denver Nuggets big man, Nikola Jokic.
After all, he has won the award in each of the past two seasons. While his scoring and rebounding averages have dipped somewhat from a year ago (25.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest), Jokic is averaging a career-best of 9.5 assists per contest.
To put this stat into perspective, there are only two other players who average more than 9.5 assists per contest: Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks (9.9) and Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers (10.2).
And by the way, both guys play at the point guard position for their respective teams.
That being said, Jokic has proven that the center position is still relevant in an era where the 3-point shot is king.
Whether he pulls off a 3-peat in this category remains to be seen. But based on the numbers, he will be in the conversation right up until the end of the regular season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo +350
I mentioned above that Jokic has won the league MVP award in the last two seasons. Ironically, the next guy on this list also won the award in consecutive seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20). For the fifth consecutive season, Antetokounmpo is averaging over 27 points per outing.
This includes a career-high in scoring (32.7) to go along with 12.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest. And he is shooting an efficient 53.2 percent from the floor.
Opposing teams will never be overly concerned with Giannis pulling up from beyond the arc, as he’s converted just 24.7 percent of his attempts from long range.
Despite this fact, the “Greek Freak” can get to nearly any spot on the floor he chooses, making him a difficult cover for even the best defenders in the league. That said, a third MVP award in five years isn’t out of the question for the Bucks power forward.
Luka Doncic +300
Since joining the Mavericks in 2019, Luka Doncic has given the Mavericks fans a lot to cheer about, while establishing himself as one of the transcendent talents in the NBA.
Since his rookie campaign, Doncic has averaged no less than 27 points per contest. He has also proven to be a capable playmaker (8.7 APG) and a presence on the boards (8.8 RPG).
During the month of January, Doncic was simply unstoppable. He averaged 35.1 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting from the floor and a respectable 42.4 percent from 3-point range.
During that stretch, Doncic compiled a 60-point outing against the New York Knicks and a pair of 50-point games against the Houston Rocket and San Antonio Spurs.
He also added seven outings in which he tallied 30-plus points.
And on the season, Doncic is averaging a career-high 34 points per game on shooting splits of .501/.352/.742.
Although the Mavericks currently hold the No. 4 spot in the conference playoff race, they are just five games above .500. But without Doncic in the rotation, this team would be in the bottom half of the conference at best, which makes him an easy selection to win the league’s MVP award.