LeBron James, possibly the most talented player to ever take the hardwood, is now back on top of the 2021 NBA MVP race according to multiple sports betting sites. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was in first place at the All Star break after his stellar first half of the season performance.
Unfortunately for Embiid and all Sixer fans, the seven foot powerhouse bruised his knee while throwing down an emphatic dunk. Thankfully, MRI results showed that there was no structural damage done to Embiid’s knee (usatoday.com). However, the bruise appears to be a deep one and Embiid will miss at least a couple of weeks worth of games. The injury caused Embiid’s MVP betting odds to shift from +175 to +650 (Odds Shark). Here is a closer look at the NBA MVP race.
The New Favorite: LeBron James +170
It is definitely not a shock for all basketball fans to see King James in first place in the MVP race. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has already won four MVP Awards in his career and may very well add #5 when this season is all said and done. The 36-year old still looks like a youngster out there as he is averaging nearly 26 points per game so far this season.
2nd Place: Nikola Jokic +200
Jokic burst onto the NBA scene back in 2015 and has improved each year ever since. The 7-footer who hails from Serbia has made three straight All Star games and is a force to be reckoned with in the paint! The 26-year old shows a remarkable ability to pass the ball (especially for a big man) as he averages nearly nine assists per contest.
3rd Place: Joel Embiid +650
Can Embiid still rally to win the MVP Award? Absolutely! However, Embiid must get his bruised knee healed up quickly. The 27-year old has a history of foot and knee injuries and that is a definite cause for concern for all Philly fans out there. It is a real shame that Embiid got hurt as he was having his best ever pro season by averaging nearly 30 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game as well.
4th Place: Antetokounmpo / Doncic both at +1500
We all knew that Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic would be on this list. At +1500 odds, it is difficult not to sprinkle a few bucks on both of them at those generous odds.
Giannis has won the MVP two years in a row and he will have a shot making it three straight if the Bucks can continue their dominant play. Giannis will be a free agent at the end of this season so he will definitely be motivated to play at a high level to impress all bidding teams.
Doncic is a rare talent and he can simply take over a basketball game at any time. The 22-year old was the favorite to win the MVP when the season started. Doncic has averaged nearly a triple-double so far this year with 28.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game (basketball-reference.com). The only reason Luka’s MVP odds have plummeted is because the Mavericks have had a subpar performance as a team thus far.