Only three players in NBA history have won back-to-back-to-back
Most-Valuable-Player awards: Larry Bird (1984-1986), Wilt
Chamberlain (1966-1968) and Bill Russell (1961-1963).
That legendary club may add another member in a few months, as
it’s seeming more and more likely that Nikola Jokic will take home
his third-straight MVP award this season.
Early in the season, there was a new MVP front-runner every
month. In October, Luka Doncic had the best odds. In November,
Giannis Antetokounmpo became the favorite. In December, Jayson
Tatum narrowly took the lead. Initially, it seemed that Jokic
would have a tough time winning the award due to voter fatigue.
However, in early January, Jokic became the odds-on favorite to
win the award, and he hasn’t looked back since. And over the last
month, his odds have only gotten better.
Jokic's odds are now at -163, meaning he has a 63.6% implied
chance of winning the MVP award, according to OddsChecker. The next-best odds
belong to Joel Embiid, who is a +390 (or a 20.4% implied chance of
The sportsbooks are clearly high on Jokic, but bettors also view
him as the MVP favorite. Over the last seven days, 43.8% of all MVP
bets were placed on Jokic. The second-most bets were placed on
Antetokounmpo, accounting for 22.9%.
“The books have Jokic as a lock to win his third straight MVP –
something only Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell have
ever done,” OddsChecker spokesman Kyle Newman
“If the Nuggets fall short of an NBA title, Jokic would become
the first to do it without winning a title during those three
seasons. Considering the
Nuggets have +800 odds to win the NBA title, fourth-best
in the league, that’s exactly what the books expect to happen.”
Here’s a look at the latest odds in the NBA’s
The Jokic love lines up with the results of ESPN’s latest NBA MVP Straw Poll
(which dropped today). ESPN asked 100 media members to share their
current MVP ballot and Jokic was the runaway leader, receiving 77
of 100 first-place votes and 913 total points. To put Jokic’s lead
in perspective, the runner-up was Antetokounmpo, who received just
11 first-place votes and 552 total points.
Jokic is averaging 24.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 1.3
steals and 0.7 blocks, while shooting a career-high 63.2% from the
field, 39.1% from three-point range and 82.2% from the free-throw
Jokic's advanced stats show just how dominant he's been; he
currently leads all NBA players in statistical categories including
win shares (11.3), win shares per 48 minutes (.318), box plus/minus
(+13.2), value over replacement player (6.6), player efficiency
rating (31.8), assist percentage (47.3%) and defensive rebound
percentage (31.6%). He's also posting a career-high 70.3% True
Shooting percentage, ranking second in the NBA.
The 27-year-old has led the Denver Nuggets to the best record in
the Western Conference (41-18), and the second-best record in the
NBA (trailing only the 42-17 Boston Celtics). Denver has the
league's top-ranked offense, scoring 115.7 points per 100
Now that the NBA trade deadline has passed, which teams have the best