Best Bets for 2022-23 NBA Most Valuable Player award

We’ve reached the final and most important NBA award as BasketballNews.com’s “Betting Week” comes to an end. Over the past few years, the MVP race has been impressive, with Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic winning the award twice.

Who will appear this time in what should be another classic campaign? Without further ado, let’s examine the best bets for the 2022-23 NBA MVP award as well as the attractive black horse option. As always, all probability forecasts are provided by DraftKings.

Best Bet: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (+400)

Luka Doncic’s favorite player hype has reached its climax. Although Doncic faded into the second half of last season’s MVP race, it’s still the Ferrari engine that makes the Dallas Mavericks a formidable post-season threat. Will this be the year Doncic breaks through to win the MVP award?

All is well set up for Doncic to produce his best career season and, dare I say, likely flirt with a 30-point triple-double average. Since 2019-20, Doncic’s regular season numbers are simply ridiculous: 28.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game in True Shooting at 58.1%.

With Galen Bronson exiting this season for the New York Knicks, more scoring opportunities will be presented to the Slovenian phenomenon. I feel very comfortable saying that Doncic will be one of the finalists for the best player if he slightly exceeds his current numbers. Dallas hasn’t had a great season, but perhaps the most important development for the Mavs was Doncic’s conditioning. Playing for the Slovenian national team in this off-season, Doncic appears to be in the best shape of his NBA career, which should keep the Mavericks excited about the potential results.

The Mavericks have consistently put on their backs since their debut, and it should come as no surprise that Doncic is the MVP’s favorite heavy bet. Las Vegas may have been early in the year dropping an MVP, but 2022-23 is shaping up to be Doncic’s real step up. Buckle up, because we’re about to see the best version of Doncic yet.

Best Bet: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (+650)

Joel Embiid scores behind Doncic with the second best odds for the best player. Will the Philadelphia 76ers finally get his due? It’s fair to say Embiid should have won the MVP award last year over Jokic in a historic MVP race.

Looking to achieve success or hiatus in Philadelphia 2022-23, there is a lot at stake for those within the organization. James Harden just signed a new extension that helped the Sixers bring in former Houston Rockets teammates PJ Tucker, Danuel House and Trevelin Queen. Sixers CEO Daryl Morey is all about the duo of Embiid and Harden winning a championship, and the clock is ticking at the thought of the big man’s initial production window from generation to generation.

Already facing knee and foot problems throughout his career, Embiid must take advantage of his absolute dominance of late. With an average of 29.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game since 2020-21, Embiid has been rounded up into a two-way monster shape. When Embiid’s health cooperates, no one on the planet can stop him from reaching the basket relentlessly.

If the Sixers can benefit from an improved roster and his footer seven can stay healthy all season, the combo is in place for a breakthrough MVP. Embiid will put in the numbers, but it’s all about the health and success of the team. Even at +650 odds, there is real value offered on Embiid for MVP.

Dark Horse: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (+1200)

We’ve all seen the Grizzlies hack thanks in large part to Morant who made the leap to star. Memphis has a core that fits well together and everyone is on the same timeline moving forward.

However, at the start of next season, Memphis will be without its defensive anchor and the big rhinoceros man in Garen Jackson Jr. Morant will face more pressure to be Superman. Don’t be surprised if Morant shines in these conditions, making throwing a +1200 stock at DraftKings easily worth a long-term investment.

Memphis are betting their young core will continue to make strides forward, and they have added two other first-round prospects to the mix (Jake LaRavia and David Roddy). Morant is the leader of the Grizzlies, and will help keep them competitive in the reloaded Western Conference in his potential MVP case.

Last season, Morant averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds while Memphis was second in the West. Would it be out of the question for Morant to increase his scoring and help his totals to near 30 and 9? If so, Morant would help the Memphis win several games, and could use that success for a solid MVP affair reminiscent of Derrick Rose’s explosive 2010-11 season, in which he became the youngest ever league player.

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