This is crystal-ball material, and a hazy crystal ball will not get the job done. Yes, you can hedge and pick two or more players you believe have equal chances at winning, but that guarantees at least one loser. For those striving for perfection, this is a tough cookie to swallow but one that is necessary.

Who won NBA MVP 2022-23?

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers finally won the award after openly campaigning for it for several seasons, and a likely contributing factor was that voters did not want to make Nikola Jokic of Denver the first player to win three consecutive MVPs since Larry Bird in the mid-1980s. Embiid, however, was not all that valuable in the postseason, when the Sixers went out by losing Games 6 and 7 against Boston, and Embiid was held to 15 points on 5-for-18 shooting in Game 7.

The NBA season returned today, and we’re preparing for it with NBA futures bets for the entire Western Conference and Eastern Conference for the 2023-24 NBA season. We will also dive deep on NBA Awards including NBA Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year, Most Improved PlayerSix Man of the Year and NBA Coach of the Year.    

Let’s get into some NBA Most Valuable Player odds as we make our picks for the winner. 

NBA MVP Odds 2023-24

Here are the 10 favorites to win the next MVP award who appear on the Betway board the morning of Opening night:

Nikola Jokic, (Nuggets) +400
Luka Doncic (Mavericks) +500

Giannis Antetokounmpo, (Bucks) +600
Jayson Tatum, (Celtics) +800
Steph Curry (Warriors) +1400
Kevin Durant (Suns) +1500
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) +1600
Devin Booker (Suns) +2000
Damian Lillard (Bucks) +2200
De’Aaron Fox (Kings) +2800

Odds are subject to change*

Favorites to win NBA MVP in NBA 2023-24 season

Let’s handicap the race, shall we? There has not been a true surprise winner since 1996-97, when many voters said they were tired of repeatedly voting for Michael Jordan and decided to instead vote for Karl Malone of Utah. Jordan used that snub for motivation in the 1997 NBA Finals as Chicago won the second of three consecutive championships.

Nikola Jokic (+400)

He plays point-center, which nobody else plays, and he was just two-tenths of an assist shy of becoming the first non-guard to finish the season averaging a triple-double in 2022-23. He is a terrific ball-handler and shooter, and there are literally no weaknesses in his game. He is a very worthy favorite.

Luka Doncic (+500)

He is arguably the second-best player in the league because of his all-around talents on the offensive end, but he is going to need to be playing on one of the top three teams in the West to get this award, and he also is going to have to remain the alpha dog on a Dallas team that has Kyrie Irving, the quintessential me-first alpha dog. Will be interesting to watch.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600)

He won the MVP award in for 2018-19 and 2019-20, and the Greek Freak now has Damian Lillard shouldering some of the burden offensively, which is going to be scary good. With Malik Beasley now their designated 3-point shooter, the Bucks should be the highest-scoring team in the East -- and maybe in the whole league. Giannis needs to make his free throws. He was only 64.5 percent from the line last season, down nearly 8 percentage points.

Joel Embiid (+800)

He and his teammates have a situation on their hands with James Harden more or less a holdout, a dynamic that could change at any moment if general manager Daryl Morey finds a suitable trading partner. Embiid’s poor playoff finish was not his first, and he seems like a bad bet, quite honestly.

Jayson Tatum (+850)

An intriguing choice because he is the Celtics’ best player and increased his scoring from 26.9 to 30.1 points per game last season. Can he start clicking at 50 percent or better and get that average above 32  points? Those could be the two key components, and Boston will need to finish ahead of Milwaukee in the East, which is not impossible.

Steph Curry (+1400)

He won the MVP award in 2014-15 and 2015-16, and he is every bit as good a shooter now as he was then. The difference-maker for Steph is whether his team can finish with a better record than Denver and everyone else in the West, which will not be easy. But with load management now being discouraged, the Dubs are capable.

Kevin Durant (+1600)

He is one-third of a Phoenix superstar trip that includes himself, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. If he becomes the primary facilitator and raises his assists-per-game average from 3.5 to something in the 6-7 range -- along with the Suns competing for the No. 1 seed -- he has a shot. But remember, there is only one ball, and Beal and Booker like to shoot.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1600)

He was a First Team All-NBA selection last season, and that is probably his ceiling. The West is simply too competitive for the Thunder to even sniff the top four.

Devin Booker (+2000)

As is the case with Kevin Durant, someone has to be the distributor in Phoenix with Chris Paul no longer around. Booker averaged 5.5 assists last season. If his per-game scoring average gets into the 30s and his assists to 7.0 or better, he is an intriguing bet at this price.

Damian Lillard (+2200)

Dame Time did not get the trade to Miami that he wanted, but he is bringing his prolific scoring talents to Milwaukee, which will be a monster team. If he averages 32.2 points again, as he did last season when he was a one-man show in Portland, he will get votes. But will they be first-place votes?

De’Aaron Fox (+2800)

He won the inaugural Clutch Player award last season, and in all honestly if we had to pick a member of the Kings to contend for this award, it would be Domantas Sabonis at +5000.

NBA MVP 2023-24 Predictions and Pick

This is going to be one of the best MVP races ever because of the competition between Boston and Milwaukee to be No. 1 in the East, and because the West is so loaded. That said, Nikola Jokic is a favorite for a very good reason: He is the best player on the best team in the league. We all saw that in the postseason when the Nuggets won 10 of their final 11 games.

The Pick: Jokic (+400)

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NBA MVP History

A national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters votes on the award, putting five names on their ballots. Those votes are tallied on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis, and only one player (Curry) has ever been the unanimous MVP. We would be remiss to neglect to remember that LeBron James (+2800) has won this award four times and remains a beast of a player.

Here are the last 10 winners of NBA MVP:

2014: Durant
2015: Curry
2016: Curry
2017: Russell Westbrook
2018: Harden
2019: Antetokounmpo
2020: Antetokounmpo
2021: Jokic
2022: Jokic
2023: Embiid

Bet on NBA Futures odds at Betway 

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Visit Betway’s NBA picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.