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For basketball players, there’s no greater accolade than the NBA MVP award. Considering the NBA is the best basketball league in the world, and the MVP is the most sought-after individual trophy, you can’t get more prestigious.
Moreover, NBA MVP is one of the most closely followed awards across all sports. Throughout the season, NBA.com will maintain power rankings that show which players are in contention.
Now, it’s not simply an award handed out to the best active basketball player. If it was, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun to bet on; LeBron James would simply walk off with the award all the time. Instead, there are a few topical factors that go into the selection.
We’ll discuss those factors along with some other tips that will allow you to identify the winner well in advance when betting. Every sportsbook will offer odds on the NBA MVP. However, those odds may differ slightly across the books. Gamblers have the choice of many sportsbooks in Arizona. So be picky with where you bet your money.
The odds for the NBA MVP award will change constantly throughout the entire year to reflect any changes. The biggest swings in the odds will happen during the regular season as players put together their body of work that will eventually be considered for the award.
If you’re looking to bet on the NBA MVP award in Arizona, you’ve come to the right place. This article will guide you through all the steps.
NBA MVP odds
How to bet on NBA MVP futures
When it comes to betting on the NBA MVP, there are two crucial components. The first is the player you choose for the bet. Many novice gamblers will think that this is where the bet starts and stops, but experienced gamblers know that the odds of a certain selection are just as crucial.
Odds used for the NBA MVP award in Arizona will be displayed in American format. It’s relatively simple to understand. To read American odds, one must first realize that there are two options in every game. The first option is the favorite, displayed with a minus (-) sign in front of a number.
This number shows how much a gambler needs to wager to win $100. For example, if you were betting at DraftKings AZ on Devin Booker to win the MVP trophy and his hypothetical odds were -200, you would need to bet $200 to win $100. Your total winnings would be $300.
Any option with an implied probability of less than 50% will have its odds shown with a plus (+) sign. This represents how much money will be won from a $100 bet. For example, on the BetMGM app if you wanted to bet that Chris Paul would win the MVP trophy and his odds were +400, a $100 bet would return $400 for a total return of $500.
You want to find a player with a better chance of winning MVP than his odds imply. Thus, you need to comb the NBA MVP betting odds and assess probability. Another important thing you must do before betting on the NBA MVP award in Arizona is to check the rules at your sportsbook of choice. Each one will have its regulations around how much basketball must be played for the bet to stand. For example, when the NBA season was cut short because of COVID-19, different sportsbooks handled the situation differently.
Every sportsbook has an online section where they detail the specific rules for their futures bets. Will your bet be voided if your chosen player gets injured for the entire season before they have even played one game? You’ll want to know before you place your bet!
Phoenix Suns MVP candidates
The Phoenix Suns are one of the best young teams in the NBA and have a few players that will have their names in the MVP conversation during any given year.
As this iteration of the Suns has matured into a true contender, MVP votes are certainly more likely. That’s because while individual success can merit lesser awards, such as All-Star Game selections, pushing a team toward the top of the standings is key to MVP consideration.
Currently, Devin Booker is the face of the franchise. Drafted out of Kentucky, Booker has quickly ascended toward the top of the NBA. Frankly, he is one of the best shooting guards in the league. He has a smooth jump shot, great ball-handling skills, and is one of the deadliest offensive players across the entire NBA. If Booker can improve even further and the Suns finish at or near the peak of the Western Conference in future years, he will surely be a candidate for MVP.
Besides Booker, the Suns also feature legendary point guard Chris Paul. Paul is one of the all-time best at his position. He controls the game like few have ever done. Furthermore, Paul has had a huge impact on every one of his teams. His stats are great, but Chris Paul teams just win, no matter how lackluster they were before he arrived. No better currency than that.
If the Suns had a great season, Paul could be someone with a few MVP votes. His odds will likely be high at the start of every season because Booker will garner a larger share of the spotlight. In that scenario, Paul could make an interesting value play.
Last but not least, big man Deandre Ayton is a promising player on the Suns’ roster. At the moment, he’s still quite raw. However, with substantial development, he could land in MVP conversations if he continues his upward trend.
The Phoenix Suns do have a history with MVP winners. Most notably, Steve Nash won the award in back-to-back years during the mid-2000s. Despite his small stature and pass-first game, Nash helped the Suns develop one of the highest-octane offenses the NBA has ever seen.
Past NBA data to consider when betting on MVP
When we look at historical data on NBA MVP voting, a few trends may help us predict future winners. The two largest factors are a player’s past performance (are they a top player in the NBA?) and his team’s predicted success (do we expect their team to be among the top three in the NBA?). These are the two most crucial factors to take into account.
Beyond that, looking at the past winners gives us some clues as to what types of players usually end up the NBA MVP. Recently, scorers (and especially wing players) have dominated the accolade. It’s very hard to win the MVP if you’re not scoring at least 20 points per game, though it is possible.
In addition, repeat NBA MVP winners are very common. From 2010 to 2020, we saw three instances of repeat winners: LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
You should also look for clues in the advanced stats. Basketball has been experiencing an analytics revolution. While the stats aren’t perfect, they do help quantify a player’s impact and can be used to predict future MVPs. Some of the most commonly used advanced stats when it comes to MVP voting are player efficiency rating (PER) and win shares. Both numbers are worth a look before you place an NBA bet.
Last but not least, you need to know when to bet NBA futures. Odds are offered all year round, but you want to make sure that you’re getting the very best betting lines possible. While it’s impossible to perfectly predict when a player’s odds will be highest, the earlier the better is the general rule. More time passing means more games and more data, and basketball odds will become less favorable as the MVP field narrows.
NBA MVP past winners
Here is a list of the recent winners of the NBA MVP award:
|2020-21||Nikola Jokic||Denver Broncos|
|2019-20||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2018-19||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks|
|2017-18||James Harden||Houston Rockets|
|2016-17||Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2015-16||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|2014-15||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|2013-14||Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2012-13||LeBron James||Miami Heat|
|2011-12||LeBron James||Miami Heat|
More NBA futures bets
While the next NBA MVP is one of the most popular NBA futures bets, it’s far from the only one. Timing can vary too. These futures bets don’t have to be on end-of-season awards like the MVP. Instead, they can cover a wide variety of topics on both individual and team levels. Other individual bets you might see include Most Improved Player of the Year or the Defensive Player of the Year.
These futures bets can also be added into the same ticket to create a parlay if gamblers are looking for large potential rewards. This is a risky tactic, though. Futures are difficult enough to win with just one selection, considering that only one loss makes a parlay a loser. Thus, it’s very risky to combine multiple selections into one.
Team futures bets could be on the eventual NBA champion, division winners or just an over/under on season win totals.
To recap, here are some of the most common NBA futures bets:
- Defensive Player of the Year
- Sixth Man of the Year
- Most Improved Player
- Coach of the Year
- NBA Championship winner
- Division winners
- Conference winners
- Over/under season win total
NBA MVP FAQ
Betting on the NBA MVP can be a confusing task. We answered some of the most commonly asked questions below.
How is the NBA MVP selected?
The NBA MVP is selected by a panel of media members not affiliated with any one NBA team. This panel usually includes about 100 independent journalists who cover the entire NBA. In the past, team broadcasters might get votes, but over time the NBA has moved toward national media members to avoid conflict of interest.
Despite the NBA’s best efforts, players in large markets still garner favoritism from voters. This is because of all the additional attention and fandom that happens for players in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or any other huge city. Recent winners like Nikola Jokic (Denver) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) are the exceptions to that historical rule.
Which player has won the most NBA MVP awards?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the most MVPs of any player ever at six. He achieved this feat with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, winning three on each team during the 1970s.
Michael Jordan finished his career with five MVP awards, just one short of Abdul-Jabbar’s record. He won all of those during his storied Chicago Bulls tenure.
LeBron James has four MVP trophies to his name. If he can find a way to win three more before he retires, he will take Abdul-Jabbar’s place at the top of the list. However, there’s a new generation of players now dominating MVP selections.
It remains to be seen whether Antetokounmpo’s back-to-back awards from 2019 and 2020 could launch him toward that record-breaking number seven. “The Greek Freak” is still only 26.
Which teams have the most MVP winners?
As any NBA fan might guess, the Boston Celtics (10) and Los Angeles Lakers (8) lead the league in this historical metric. Of course, these two teams have been among the league’s best since its inception. Their constant contention for championships (led by top talent) equates to all those MVP chances.
Who was the youngest player to win?
A decade before he was an energy player for the Knicks, Derrick Rose nabbed the MVP at just 22 years old back in 2011. Rose dazzled fans with the out-of-this-world athleticism he used to blow by defenders of all calibers and finish at the rim.
The then-Chicago Bull unseated Washington Bullets legend Wes Unseld as the previous holder of this record. Unseld’s win is still historical notable as he won the MVP in his rookie season, something only Wilt Chamberlain can also claim.
Who was the first NBA MVP?
The first NBA MVP was Bob Pettit, a forward for the St. Louis Hawks, in the 1955-56 season. Pettit was one of the stars of the early NBA and would win another MVP before his career was over. He played all but one of his seasons in the NBA for St. Louis.
Other early winners of the award included Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and Chamberlain. All of these players are legends in the league.