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NBA Odds & Predictions

3 Best Dark-Horse MVP Candidates for 2021-22 NBA Season

Devon Platana
Three of the best dark-horse MVP candidates for the 2021-22 NBA season, including Paul George, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.
Three of the best dark-horse MVP candidates for the 2021-22 NBA season, including Paul George, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The 2021-22 NBA season is only a few days old, but that hasn't stopped people from predicting what will happen later this year. It's always popular to discuss who'll be named the season's Most Valuable Player, with the discussion centering around the usual suspects such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant among others.

However, that doesn't mean that the NBA MVP winner can't be a surprise. In fact, there are several potential candidates out there who are flying under the radar.

Here's a look at the three of the best dark-horse MVP candidates for the 2021-22 NBA season.

2021-22 NBA MVP Odds

1. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers (+3600)

Kawhi Leonard is out for at least the next few months as he recovers from ACL surgery, which means the Los Angeles Clippers will heavily rely on Paul George. The seven-time NBA All-Star is more than capable of playing without his running mate, as proven by him averaging 25.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest in 22 games without Leonard. It's also important to remember that George placed third in MVP voting back in 2018-19, so he knows how to get the job done. If he can step it up to that level again, 'PG13' can make some noise in the MVP race.

2. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (+6500)

Bradley Beal is one of the best scorers in the NBA. The 28.7 points per game he's averaged since the 2018-19 season are the third-most during that span. Unfortunately, a lack of team success has held Beal back from being involved in the MVP race. The Washington Wizards entered last year's postseason as the eighth seed. Improving on that this year would definitely bring Beal closer to the MVP conversation. Russell Westbrook is gone, meaning that the Wizards will live and die by Beal this season. With even more responsibility, it wouldn't be surprising to see him pushing 30.0 PPG or more throughout the year, proving why he just may be the most valuable player.

3. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (+3000)

Devin Booker is only 24 years old, but he's quickly become one of the top scorers in the NBA. He's averaged at least 24.9 PPG in each of his previous four seasons and consistently sees a large number of shooting opportunities (17.5 field goal attempts per game on his career). The Suns shocked a lot of people last year by finishing as the second-best regular season team, ultimately losing in the NBA Finals. Another finish like that or better could have Booker in the race. He's had another season to create more chemistry with Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton, too, which should help his chances. If Booker can take that and show that he's a better defender and three-point shooter this year, the sky is the limit.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.