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Betting on Who Will Win the 2020 NBA MVP

By Noah Davis
| July 11, 2019

This summer’s free agency period drastically altered the NBA betting landscape.

That sounds like hype in a year where Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson may never hit the hardwood, but it’s not.

For one, Durant left the Warriors for Brooklyn, anyways. But his presence with the Nets may not fully be felt until the 2020-21 NBA season, making sure that the Eastern Conference remains wide open.

Aiding that argument was the departure of Kawhi Leonard from Toronto. The former Spurs star helped the Raptors win their first-ever title, then promptly bolted to team up with Paul George in Los Angeles.

Except it wasn’t for the LA team most expected. Instead, Leonard spurned LeBron James and the Lake Show to join the Clippers.

This, after the Lakers swung a massive trade for Anthony Davis. That alone was supposed to change everything, but with big move after big move, the NBA as a whole got an incredible facelift.

All of this understandably changes the way we look at each respective squad and their 2020 NBA Finals odds. But it also should dictate how we look at each individual superstar in terms of NBA MVP voting.

2020 NBA MVP Odds

Giannis Antetokounmpo secured the hardware last year, and with stars joining up and so many things changing, it’s actually quite possible he repeats.

The Greek Freak was as impressive as anyone statistically, but he also carried the Milwaukee Bucks to the brink of the NBA Finals. If he can again post huge numbers and keep Mil-town atop the east, he’s a threat to repeat as league MVP.

Whether or not you agree, this is looking like the most unpredictable NBA season ever, and that may very well give way to some incredible NBA MVP betting value.

To get an idea of just how much this upcoming season really is up in the air, get a load of the latest 2020 NBA MVP odds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks+300
Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors+450
James Harden – Houston Rockets+500
Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers+700
Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers+1000
LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers+1000
Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets+1200
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers+1300
Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves+1500
Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks+1500
Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers+1500
Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder+1500
Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers+2500
Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics+4000
Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz+5000
Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans+5000
Blake Griffin – Detroit Pistons+6000
Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns+6000
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors+6000
Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics+6000
DeMar DeRozan – San Antonio Spurs+7500
Jimmy Butler – Miami Heat+7500
Kemba Walker – Boston Celtics+10000
Mike Conley – Utah Jazz+10000
Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers+15000
Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards+15000
D’Angelo Russell – Golden State Warriors+15000
Nikola Vucevic – Orlando Magic+15000

As I mentioned, there’s little reason to deny Antetokounmpo as the early favorite. He literally just won, but his Bucks are presently poised to be the best team in their conference again.

There’s also a pretty strong argument that The Greek Freak — who is still just 24 years old — is only going to be getting better. That’s scary for a guy who averaged a staggering 27.7/12.5/5.9 line through all of last season.

The downside with Giannis is two-fold; repeating isn’t easy, and he won’t be such a big surprise this year. That isn’t enough reason to completely ignore him when it comes to your NBA MVP betting, but the voters could consider it.

He’s still near the top of the list for me, as are the majority of the contenders you see here with compelling NBA MVP odds.

Stephen Curry may have as good of a case as anyone. Not only has arguably the best shooter ever claimed two MVP trophies in the past, but he’s embarking on his most challenging season to date.

Everyone expects the Warriors to take a step back, but Curry is still going to have to do an insane amount of heavy lifting for this offense. Golden State still will always have title expectations, yet the Dubs lost Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and DeMarcus Cousins in free agency — not to mention Klay Thompson to a knee injury.

Should Curry dig deep again and post crazy numbers while keeping Golden State among the league’s best teams, people deciding the NBA MVP winner will have to seriously consider him.

The same goes for guys like James Harden and Nikola Jokic.

I’m not sure I feel the same way about Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James, however. You’re actually getting reasonable value with some of these guys, but now that they’re backed by serious star power, their path to a league MVP win becomes a little more difficult.

After all, the winners historically have absurd statistical campaigns and/or have to do most of the work as they push a team toward success.

I don’t think it’s impossible one of these stars do enough to win (Kawhi Leonard lifting the Clippers to title contention is going to be impressive), but it isn’t where I’d direct most of my focus.

NBA MVP Sleepers

In such an unpredictable NBA season, I may be eyeing value more than ever. That likely starts with betting on the 2020 NBA Finals but could be something I’d press for even more for individual player awards.

The NBA MVP award is weird, as it doesn’t always seem obvious, yet in a very real way, it ends up going to the exact player it should.

It’s almost an aesthetic award, too, as all of the best players are putting up mind-boggling numbers, so the kicker is usually who is having such a huge impact that it’s the main reason their team either takes a massive leap or enjoys ridiculous success.

One great way to look at this was three years ago when both James Harden and Russell Westbrook had insane seasons. Harden was certainly in the argument for league MVP, but Russ delivered the first season-long triple-double since Oscar Robertson.

Westbrook got the award based on a historic accomplishment, but he’s failed to secure it in each of the last two years. That’s partially because OKC has regressed and also because James Harden lifted the Rockets to new heights two years ago and Antetokounmpo did something similar last year.

When looking at the 2020 NBA MVP, I might try to gauge which star player could be in a position to push his respective franchise to a whole new level of play.

That has me digging into some value available at NBA betting sites, with the following players standing out the most.

Joel Embiid +1300

This is where the sleeper conversation starts, as seven players hold better NBA MVP odds than Embiid does going into next year. Regardless, Embiid was arguably in the mix even last year, when he put up 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game for the 76ers.

Philly was a bit more loaded then, but his numbers were comparable to The Greek Freak. Had the 76ers not taken a small step back and Embiid missed 18 games, perhaps he’d have garnered more consideration.

The numbers already tell us Embiid is an MVP-caliber player. If he can be even more monstrous and carry the 76ers to their best season yet, he could look like a steal at this price.

Russell Westbrook +1500

Westbrook isn’t long for OKC, so this bet is more about him being traded to another city and carrying them. Taking his triple-double mantra out onto the road would be interesting, while Westbrook has known nothing but success to this point in his career.

True, but Westbrook has had difficulty in reigning himself in, while his efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. That got Paul George wanting out of town and ultimately contributed to the ongoing dismantling of the Thunder.

Westbrook is still in his basketball prime and has the energy and talent to put up insane numbers. If he can keep going like this, boost his scoring back up, and carry his new team to great heights, he could easily be back in the MVP discussion.

Kyrie Irving +4000

Embiid is a monster, and Westbrook is a former MVP, but Irving is where my infatuation with NBA MVP sleepers truly begins this year.

Irving is finally “home” with the Brooklyn Nets, and despite posting strong numbers and winning at a high level in the past, it’s pretty arguable he’s just now finally getting to spread his wings.

The crazy part is Irving isn’t inheriting some awful Nets team. He serves as an arguable upgrade at the point over D’Angelo Russell but otherwise slides into a deep and well-coached team.

The arrival of fellow superstar Kevin Durant could be delayed an entire year due to a torn Achilles, however, which could force Irving to rack up insane stats in his first season. If he’s up to the challenge and elite production helps the Nets rack up wins, he could be an amazing value bet for this wager.

Devin Booker +6000

Part of betting on the NBA is seeing rapid ascension before it actually arrives. Some could see Giannis Antetokounmpo ready to take flight last year, but it was never easy to believe the Bucks were going from a borderline .500 team to the best record in the league.

I won’t vouch for the Phoenix Suns making that leap, but when you have an unstoppable force and talent around them, good things happen. Betting on the Suns making a huge leap in the loaded west feels like the mother of all reaches, but the signs for positive movement are there.

Ricky Rubio gives the Suns a legit point guard for the first time in years, while Booker heads a pretty loaded roster in terms of sheer talent. Booker is also coming off a campaign that saw him put up 26.6 points and 6.8 dimes per contest.

If Booker’s scoring climbs further and he can push the Suns to the playoffs, he’s absolutely worth a look at this price tag.

Jimmy Butler +7500

If you want more value, consider Butler, who is a grizzled veteran compared to Booker and joins a Miami team operating out of the weaker east.

Miami may be 1-2 big moves from title contention, but they could still push for the playoffs behind a huge season from Butler. Butler saw his role regress substantially in Philly last year, and after it didn’t translate to a trip to the NBA Finals, he opted for better weather and his own team.

That’s going to demand a lot of action (and production) out of the former Bulls star, but if he can deliver and help Miami get into the playoffs, this price tag may demand your attention.

Bradley Beal +15000

You can potentially double your money if you roll with Beal, who will be the face of the Wizards this year with John Wall (Achilles) down for the count.

The Bradley Beal trade rumors are running wild, but he’s still just 26 years old and could be seen as the future of the franchise. Assuming he doesn’t get dealt, he’ll have a shot to prove he can carry Washington on his own.

I personally don’t believe he has enough around him to actually will the Wiz into the playoffs, but it’s going to be on Beal in the end. For a guy who dropped 25.6 points and 5.5 dimes per game (both career highs) and didn’t even seem to be forcing the issue too much, there does seem to be some untapped upside here.

Is Beal a big enough star to push the Wiz to the playoffs and deliver a huge stat line? Even if he’s not, these +15000 NBA MVP odds may be too tempting to bypass.

Who Will Win the 2020 NBA MVP Award?

I don’t want to get you off of any of the big NBA superstars out there.

Betting on LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and the like is never a bad idea. They’re the best players on the planet, and if they put up huge numbers and get their teams deep into the playoffs, they have a shot at being named league MVP.

Leonard and James specifically are trying to carry the Clippers and Lakers to the promised land. If either of them turns these teams into top-three teams in the NBA, the voters will acknowledge that and give them a boost.

That being said, I’m more inclined to either chase high-end value via NBA MVP sleepers or try to get some value with someone who is bound to carry a major offensive burden and has a good shot at willing his team to a strong year.

For whatever reason, everyone is doubting the Warriors, and I’m not fully on board.

I’m aware that losing Kevin Durant is big and that Klay Thompson being out for most of the year will hurt. D’Angelo Russell is a solid running mate for Stephen Curry, however, while the latter is bound to see a huge increase in usage.

For the best shooter we’ve ever seen, that’s kind of a big deal.

Curry is 31 years old now, but he’s still in his prime and put up 27.3 points per game last year on a stacked team. It’s true that losing the help could hurt him, but Curry can score in a variety of ways and can hit anywhere from long range if he has an inch of breathing room.

I’m willing to back Curry one more time, especially with a massive role heading his way. Golden State could take a sizable step back, but all things considered, Curry coming out and averaging 30+ points per game en route to a playoff appearance would be quite impressive.

There’s an argument for 10-15 players going into next year, but Curry’s narrative and price have me biting early in the 2020 NBA MVP betting process.

PICKStephen Curry+450

Check out our complete NBA betting guide for more odds and predictions on the upcoming NBA season.