NBA MVP Odds Continue to Heavily Favor Giannis Antetokounmpo Ahead of James Harden After Luka Doncic Injury
By Zach Brunner
Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued his strong play from last season, now improving to the odds-on favorite to win the 2019-20 NBA MVP Award. He recently has extended his lead in the odds, climbing from +210 to -135 over the last month, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Much of the recent rise in the odds has also paralleled a stalled rise by Luka Doncic, thanks to an ankle injury he suffered in mid-December..
Giannis has played absolutely terrific this season, leading his team to an NBA-best 27-4 record, including a 17-2 record against Eastern Conference teams. We have seen Giannis improve in one major part of his game in every offseason, and this past offseason was focused on his 3-point shot. He averages 34.2 percent shooting from downtown this season, which is a big improvement from 25.6 percent just a year ago.
This new threat of him hitting 3-point shots makes even more unstoppable, which was shown in the Bucks' recent matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the top team in the Western Conference at 24-6. In Milwaukee's 111-104 win over LA, Giannis scored 34 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
Doncic was rising in the MVP odds, but has since plateaued at the third-best odds (+500) following his ankle injury. Just ahead of him is James Harden (+490), with LeBron James (+600) and Anthony Davis (+750) rounding out the top 5 by the odds to win this year's NBA MVP.
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