2020-21 NBA MVP Award Odds: Predicting Which Stars Will Challenge LeBron James

A special NBA season has witnessed the breakout of new potential Championship challengers and exciting rookies, but the high expectations around one man in particular have remained.

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2020-21 NBA MVP Award Betting Preview & Picks

After playing a key role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ title triumph last season, LeBron James is back at the front of the queue as favorite to be named 2020-21 NBA MVP this term. The 36-year-old finished second in the vote for the fourth time in his career last year and was disgruntled to do so, but LeBron is as short as ever to be crowned best in the business come the end of this season.

That’s according to the latest odds provided by Sugarhouse USA, where LeBron leads at +140 odds after another stellar start. With his often heroic hand guiding them, the Lakers went 22-8 across their first 30 games—only the Utah Jazz (24-5) can boast a better record—and are very much in the frame to go back-to-back. 

It’s feared the injury suffered by star center Anthony Davis could be detrimental to the Lakers’ championship hopes, but the First Things First crew argued his absence will only galvanize LeBron in the MVP pursuit.

James has started every game while averaging 25.9 points and 7.9 assists per outing, as well as 2.5 three-pointers and 7.6 defensive rebounds, both of which are career highs. It’s been eight years since we last saw the Ohio native lift the MVP award, a run that finally looks ready to end following back-to-back awards for Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dark Horse: Damian Lillard (+2000)

Sitting on the cusp of that upper echelon of MVP frontrunners sits +2000 outsider Damian Lillard, but bettors could be wise to move on his odds now before a potential drop in price.

The 18-10 Portland Trail Blazers very likely wouldn’t be where they are without the input of Lillard, with the team still very much in contention for the Northwest Division should the Jazz let up at all.

NBA insider Chris Haynes recently argued his candidacy as a potential MVP winner:

In his ninth NBA season, the 30-year-old point guard is averaging 29.8 points and 7.7 assists per game, boasting a free throw percentage of .933 and the eighth-highest minutes-per-game ratio in the league.

Lillard—a five-time NBA All Star and winner of last year’s ‘Bubble MVP’ award—is displaying career-best figures in a number of categories but needs to sustain current levels to get the end-of-year recognition many already feel he deserves.

Sleeper Pick: Donovan Mitchell (+6600)

The MVP award can often be a confusing affair when vote time comes, but it’s still somewhat confounding to see Donovan Mitchell shipped out at odds as far as +6600 odds at this point.

On the back of his first All Star nomination in 2020, “Spida” has returned at world-class levels again this season, though perhaps the Jazz’s greatest strength is a weakness for the individuals. Utah have earned widespread praise for their quality across the board, summed up by the fact Jordan Clarkson looks a shoo-in for the 6th Man award, taking the spotlight off a star like Mitchell.

Nonetheless, 1993 MVP Charles Barkley recently argued in his defense and said the Most Valuable Player is the best performer on the best team, and the Jazz are looking exactly that:

Shooting guard Mitchell isn’t quite a leader in any particular stat fields, but his contributions across the court and the flair he brings to a threatening Utah side can’t be overlooked.

2021 NBA MVP Predictions

  • Winner: LeBron James (+140)
  • Dark Horse: Damian Lillard (+2000)
  • Sleeper Pick: Donovan Mitchell (+6600)

2021-22 NFL MVP: Odds Favorites

Player

Outright Win Odds

LeBron James

+140

Joel Embiid

+500

Nikola Jokic

+500

Steph Curry

+1200

Luka Doncic

+1200

Giannis Antetokounmpo

+1400

Kevin Durant

+1600

Damian Lillard

+2000

Kawhi Leonard

+4000

James Harden

+6600

Donovan Mitchell

+6600

 

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