Cover Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images


There are about 20 games left in the NBA season, which means we're just a month away from the start of the NBA Playoffs. It also means there aren't many games remaining for the NBA MVP to separate himself from the pack.


Right now it appears to be a three-man race between James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George. Harden is putting up insane numbers and setting NBA records, Giannis is the best player on the best team in the East and Paul George has become the best player in Oklahoma City, keeping it relevant in the stacked Western Conference. 


But while Giannis and George are having great seasons, it seemed like a foregone conclusion Harden would get his second straight MVP award a month ago. But suddenly, the race is heating up and Giannis is closing the gap. 

There are two major developments here. First, the aforementioned closing of the gap between Giannis and Harden as Giannis is now just +115 to win MVP. However, even though the gap closed, Harden is also now the odds-on favorite to win MVP at -135. It's the first time all season that a player has moved to minus odds to win MVP. 


What happened? Giannis has been on fire following the All-Star breaking, leading the Bucks to wins over the Celtics and T-Wolves while averaging 28.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.5 steals. Harden, meanwhile, keeps doing his thing. 

Harden is averaging 36.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game on the season. Giannis is at an equally impressive, averaging 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. George is averaging 28.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists. 


The biggest thing Giannis and George have in their favor? Their teams are having better seasons, with the Bucks having the best record in the league. If they finish that way, and Giannis has a massive performance down the stretch, it's conceivable he could win the MVP. Of course the same is true for either Harden or Paul too. 


The NBA MVP race is as close of a race as we've had in a while this late in the season and it looks like it will come down to how these players (and their teams) finish the season. 


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.