The 2022 NBA regular season MVP race has a bunch of familiar faces and the return of some old ones. Steph Curry has managed to stay healthy and is draining buckets like usual.
However, Curry has faltered a bit lately, and there are plenty of superstar players ready to step in as the new favorite to win.
Looking at the number of players listed on FanDuel Sportsbook, you can see plenty of names to keep in mind.
TOP TEN ODDS FOR NBA REGULAR SEASON MVP WINNER
- Stephen Curry: +135
Kevin Durant: +220
Giannis Antetokounmpo: +850
- Nikola Jokic: +1500
- Joel Embiid: +3000
- Ja Morant: +3000
- LeBron James: +3300
- DeMar DeRozan: +4000
- Luka Doncic: +7000
- Devin Booker: +7000
Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000!
STEPHEN CURRY +135
Nobody drains as many threes as Stephen Curry, and that’s true now as it is of all-time. Earlier this year, Curry passed Ray Allen to become the all-time leader in three-pointers. This season, he also leads the league with 5.1 triples per game.
However, nobody attempts as many shots from beyond the arc as Curry. He chucks 13.1 threes a game; that’s 3.3 more than the next highest player.
Curry’s three-point percentage is 38.4, which is 4.6 percent lower than his career average.
He’s sixth in NBA scoring, averaging 26.8 points, and contributes 6.1 assists a game.
Curry is still scoring at a great tick, but you’d be buying high on him at +135.
KEVIN DURANT +220
To put it simply, Kevin Durant leads the league in scoring. He’s averaging 29.8 points a game, 5.8 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and one block a game.
Durant is also a workhorse, and his 37.4 minutes is second only to Fred VanVleet. He’s been a rock for Brooklyn. Durant has kept the Nets thriving, with Kyrie Irving avoiding vaccines and James Harden’s inconsistent play.
He’s scoring 2.7 points higher, dishing out 1.6 more assists, and making 2.3 percent more field goals than his career averages. At the same time, his three-point percent is only 1.9 percent lower than his career average.
KD is outspoken and commands attention, which, coupled with his skills, will garner many votes.
Durant might be behind Curry at +220, but that’s probably only for the time being.
JAMES HARDEN +10000
OK, we took a little bit of a shot at Harden because of his up-and-down play, but he’s still a beast.
Harden leads the Nets in assists per game at 9.7 and in rebounds at 8.1. He’s averaging 1.3 steals and 22.4 points a night. Also, those 9.7 assists a game is second in the NBA.
However, there’s no doubt that his shooting percentages are down from his career averages. Harden is down 5.4 in field goal percentage and 3.5 in three-point percentage, but he can quickly recover those by season’s end.
Harden is one of those players that could quickly go on a run, but it always feels like the voting panel doesn’t want him to win.
Harden could be a decent longshot at +10000, but no matter how well he plays down the stretch, we just don’t see him winning it.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO +850
Giannis Antetokounmpo won back-to-back MVPs in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Then he took a year off to win an NBA title. It’s evident that an MVP award takes a backseat to defending the NBA Championship, but the “Greek Freak” could do both.
Antetokounmpo is one of those rare NBA athletes that can pretty much do whatever he wants on the court. He’s third in NBA scoring, averaging 28.4 points, leads his team in rebounds with 11.4, and is second on the Bucks with six assists a game. He also averages 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks a night.
According to the NBA player impact estimate, he ranks second, accounting for 20.9 percent of all events in the games he’s contributed to.
Antetokounmpo at +850 feels like an oversight, but he’s not as outspoken as KD, so he might not galvanize enough voters on the panel.
NIKOLA JOKIC +1500
Nikola Jokic should arguably be the favorite to win MVP. He’s the reigning winner, and he leads the league in the NBA’s impact estimate at 23.7.
Jokic is tenth in scoring, averaging 25.7 points per game. However, he’s second in rebounding at 14.1 per game and second with 30 double-doubles. Jokic is a center that’s 11th in assists, averaging seven, and picks up 1.4 steals a night. He leads all centers with 10.1 field goals a game, 1.4 more than the next best player.
Jokic also has the highest player efficiency rating at 32.45, 0.7 higher than Antetokounmpo.
At +1500, Jokic might not be the man to beat right now, but that could easily change in a few months.
LEBRON JAMES +3300
Whenever you write about the NBA MVP award, you must mention LeBron James. It’s right here, section 23, paragraph six, “When writing about the MVP Award, you must…”
All joking aside, King James might not be leading the Lakers to the promised land this season, but his numbers are pretty ridiculous. This 37-year-old freak of nature is second in NBA scoring, averaging 28.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks a game.
Let’s put that into context, his career averages are 27 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks a game. The last time James won MVP, he averaged 26.8 points, eight rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks. James’ percentages are better than his career averages as well. He’s making 2.4 percent more field goals and 2.6 percent more three-pointers.
If LeBron can stay healthy, he could be a sneaky bet at +3300, especially if he grabs some old man strength consideration from voters.
All NBA predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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