Sheridan: Many Discrepancies Between Newly Posted DraftKings And PointsBet 2021 NBA MVP Odds

Posted By Chris Sheridan on October 19, 2020
2021 NBA MVP odds Giannis Luka Doncic LeBron

Nobody has won three straight NBA Most Valuable Player awards since Larry Bird in the mid-1980s, and DraftKings Sportsbook seems to be indicating that the odds of Giannis Antetokounmpo doing it are freakish.

Sort of.

While the Greek Freak is the co-favorite at +600 (along with Luka Doncic), they are nearly twice as high as the numbers posted a week ago by PointsBet, the aggressive Australian-owned company. Antetokounmpo is +350 at PointsBet, and it is somewhat unusual to see such a large margin between two sportsbooks who both see the same player as most likely to win.

LeBron James is +700 along with teammate Anthony Davis at DraftKings. DK initially had Doncic at +700, too, but he is now +600 with Giannis.

“When you are putting up a futures book and you have three 7-1’s, the hold percentage cannot be ridiculous. You have to make it fair,” said DraftKings’ head oddsmaker Johnny Avello. “If anyone attracts an inordinate amount of money, we’ll lower them.”

LeBron was the only player other than Antetokounmpo to receive first place MVP votes this past season. He will be 36 next season, and if he were to win the award for a fifth time, he would become the oldest player ever to capture the hardware. Karl Malone was 35 when he won it in 1999.

Steph Curry of Golden State is right behind LeBron and Davis at +1000, and Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers is +1200. The only other player listed below +2000 is Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, who is +1600.

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NBA MVP odds 2021

Regular Season MVP

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Giannis Antetokounmpo
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+600
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+350
Luka Doncic
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+600
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+450
Anthony Davis
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+700
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+700
LeBron James
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+700
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+900
Steph Curry
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+1000
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+600
Kawhi Leonard
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+1200
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+900
Kevin Durant
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+1600
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+1200
Jimmy Butler
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+2000
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+6000
James Harden
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+2000
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+700
Nikola Jokic
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+2000
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+2500
Damien Lillard
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+2000
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+3000
Jayson Tatum
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+2000
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+1200
Joel Embiid
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+4000
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+2000
Kyrie Irving
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+4000
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+5000
Paul George
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+5000
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+10000

Can anyone unseat Giannis?

Antetokounmpo is drawing 87% of the handle and 17% of the wagers at DraftKings, where Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns has gotten 17% of the bets at odds of +6000.

“I don’t know why,” Avello said of the bets on Booker. “Maybe they feel there is good value at that number, but in my opinion there are guys at 50-1 that have better value.”

Sportsbetting.com has Doncic listed as the favorite at +400, just ahead of Antetokounmpo at +425 and Curry at +500. James and Davis are +700, just ahead of Harden at +800.

“I think we saw in the bubble who the next face of the NBA is going to be,” said Scott Cooley, a spokesman for the book, said of Doncic. “We had three of the league’s top defenders (Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Patrick Beverley) take turns guarding this kid during the playoffs, and all he did was drop 40-point triple-doubles on them. The Association is on notice.

“When handicapping MVP odds, you also have to consider the supporting cast. The Bucks have a lot of quality players, and possibly Chris Paul on the way, and the Lakers have two superstars. Unless Mark Cuban makes a bold move this offseason, Doncic is on an island.

The outside looking in

DraftKings listed 79 different players with MVP odds, but did not list LaMelo Ball, the soon-to-be-rookie expected to go Top 3 in the Nov. 18 NBA Draft. Ball is listed at +25000 by PointsBet. The longest odds in the DK field include R.J. Barrett of the New York Knicks, Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bojan Bogdanovic of the Utah Jazz, Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons, Derrick Rose of the Pistons and Collin Sexton of the Cavaliers – all at +50000.

But enough about longshots, and we will spare you the alternative facts that say the Knicks, Pistons, Cavs and Timberwolves actually have a chance at making the playoffs in 2021. They will all stink.

Let’s take a look at players that could actually be in the mix if things fall the right way. Former MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets is among a group of players at +2000, joined by Nikola Jokic of Denver, Jayson Tatum of Boston, Jimmy Butler of Miami and Damian Lillard of Portland. Former MVP Russell Westbrook is +6000, along with Zion Williamson of the Pelicans and Jamal Murray of Denver. One notable player of the 13 guys listed at +10000 is Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat.

 

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