The Duel

Giannis Antetokounmpo Opens as Slight Favorite to Win 2019-20 NBA MVP Award

By Leo Abbe-Schneider
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Five
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Five / Jonathan Daniel
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

Even though we still don't know who won the 2018-19 NBA MVP Award, with the 2019 NBA Draft now in the books, the odds for next season's NBA MVP have been unveiled.

The odds-on favorite to win the 2018-19 MVP award, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is also the favorite in the initial odds release, from FanDuel Sportsbook.

With +350 odds, Antetokounmpo is the lead dog, closely followed by Golden State Warriors' guard Stephen Curry (+410) and likely 2018-19 MVP runner up James Harden (+600). To round out the best five odds, there's NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (+750) and soon-to-be LA Lakers' center Anthony Davis (+950).

Beyond that, LeBron James and Denver Nuggets' center Nikola Jokic are tied with +1200 odds to win the award, before a pretty significant drop off.

It's a lot of the usual suspects atop the odds, but there are some interesting options further down the list. There's 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard both at +2800 and an array of other All-Star with +10000 odds. One player with those 100-to-1 odds is No. 1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year favorite Zion Williamson.

While only two rookies have ever won the award (Wilt Chamberlain in 1959-60 and Wes Unseld in 1968-69), Williamson did shoot 68 percent from the field while averaging 22.6 points per game as a college freshman at Duke, so there's a chance he bucks the trend.

While Antetokounmpo is the initial favorite, things are sure to change once the dominoes start to fall in free agency come July 1.


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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. 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.

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