2023-24 NBA MVP Odds Update: Jokic, Shai, and the Rest

By Chris Hughes   February 20, 2024 

2023-24 NBA MVP Odds Update: Jokic, Shai, and the Rest

Last year, Nikola Jokic was denied a three-peat as NBA MVP. However, he didn’t seem to mind, as he led he Denver Nuggets to their first NBA title.

While the Nuggets are looking like strong contenders to repeat, Jokic is also leading the pack to win a third MVP in four seasons. Another MVP will put him at another level since the only other player this century with at least three regular-season MVP awards is LeBron James, who has four.

As we head out of the All-Star break and down the home stretch of the regular season, we look at Jokic’s chances, his unexpected prime challenger, and some familiar faces with good value.

With around 25 games left, here’s our updated look at the 2023-24 NBA MVP odds.

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Jokic the NBA MVP Odds-on Favorite With 1 Challenger

At the moment, the 2023-24 NBA MVP odds race is a two-man one. Nikola Jokic (-150) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+200). Both odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Jokic is the unquestioned leader of the defending NBA champions. In last year’s playoffs, Jokic entered the superstar stratosphere by averaging 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 10 assists in 20 playoff games. He was named NBA Finals MVP, which more than made up for losing the regular-season award to Joel Embiid. If he plays at this level through June, his star will be even higher.

Gilgeous-Alexander has the edge over Jokic in points per game (31.1 vs. 26.1). In fact, the Thunder guard is third in the league in scoring. Where he falls short of Jokic is in the other major categories. Jokic is in the top five in rebounds and assists, while Gilgeous-Alexander is 14th in assists.

Jokic is about an assist away from averaging a triple-double, which would certainly help his cause.

Helping the underdog’s cause is OKC’s place in the standings. At the moment, the Thunder are second in the Western Conference, 1.5 games behind Minnesota for first place. Denver is three games behind Minnesota. If the Thunder were to rise from the Play-In Series a year ago to the top seed in one year, that could tilt the voters in SGI’s favor.

On the heels of Denver’s three-game losing streak entering the break, Gilgeous-Alexander’s odds went from +280 to +200 over the past week. We’d say it’s clear Jokic is the best player in the league right now, but if the Thunder capture the top seed, Shai might have enough momentum to win the award.

Check out Sidelines’ latest NBA Championship Futures Odds Analysis here.

Are There Any Value Contenders?

Giannis Antetokounmpo sits at +850, but his chances seem to be dimming with the Bucks struggling under new head coach Doc Rivers. Expect the veteran Milwaukee team’s focus to be on gelling as a team before the playoffs come around.

Luka Doncic, trending at +800, is second in the NBA in scoring at 34.2 PPG. He’s been on fire in the past month, logging a 73-point game along with four triple-doubles in a month’s span. But Dallas is fighting just to make the Play-In Tournament (a six-game winning streak going into the All-Star break helped), but Doncic will need to go at a torrid pace until mid-April if he’s to win the award.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum is an interesting case. At +1800, his play as of late has shot him up the odds board, where he was hovering around +3000 just a couple of weeks ago. Tatum is matching his career-high in scoring with last year’s 30 PPG (currently at 27 PPG), but his eight-plus rebounds and four-plus assists are career highs, and the Celtics are likely to earn the top-overall seed in the playoffs. A strong second half could push him further into contention.

Final Analysis: Jokic’s Award to Win

Twenty-five games isn’t a long time. For Antetokounmpo and Tatum, peaking for the playoffs will be more important than an individual accolade. Jokic is the so-called leader in the clubhouse, but keep an eye on Gilgeous-Alexander. If his leadership ends up bringing the No. 1 seed in the West to Oklahoma City, it could be enough to sway the voters.

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