2020 NBA MVP Odds: Giannis Favored over Stephen Curry, LeBron James, More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2019

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals against the Toronto Raptors Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

If the odds are to be believed, the NBA MVP race next season will produce the same result as the just-concluded 2018-19 campaign. 

Per Caesars Palace, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a +300 favorite (bet $100 to win $300) to win the 2019-20 MVP award. Stephen Curry (+500) and James Harden (+600) round out the top three, followed by a trio of Los Angeles superstars at +700:

This list isn't far off from the group that started last season atop the MVP odds. LeBron James (+300) and Anthony Davis (+350) were the top two candidates, followed by Antetokounmpo (+400) and Harden (+500), per CBS Sports' Jack Maloney.

Antetokounmpo's position as the favorite makes perfect sense. The Greek Freak just won the MVP at age 24 and told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk he's only "at 60 percent of my potential."

The Milwaukee Bucks seem likely to be one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference again. If Antetokounmpo can unlock even 10 percent of that remaining potential, it will be hard to argue anyone is better than him. 

Anthony Davis and LeBron James could be in a difficult spot as teammates. Both players are immensely talented, but if their stats end up similar, voters might end up splitting the vote because of how difficult it could be to separate one from the other. 

Kawhi Leonard seems like an odd choice to be in the top six. The reigning NBA Finals MVP is a great player and figures to be the biggest star on a Los Angeles Clippers team that has high expectations.

But if Leonard continues to be on a strict load-management plan like he was last season, can voters justify naming him MVP if he sits out 22 games again? The last NBA MVP winner who missed at least 20 games in a season was Bill Walton in 1977-78, per Basketball Reference

Curry is the most interesting name on the list simply because he plays for the worst team, at least on paper. It's unusual to enter a season in which the Golden State Warriors aren't overwhelming favorites, but the loss of Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson's extended absence recovering from a torn ACL have the team in an uncertain position. 

The Warriors will likely need Curry to play like the superstar who won back-to-back MVP awards in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to compete for one of the top seeds in the Western Conference playoffs. 

 

Related

    Report: MJ Doc to Premiere on April 19

    ESPN is moving up release date for highly anticipated ‘The Last Dance’ documentary

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: MJ Doc to Premiere on April 19

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: NBA Plans Players 2K Tourney 🎮

    NBA will launch players-only NBA 2K tournament scheduled for Friday, will be broadcast on ESPN

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: NBA Plans Players 2K Tourney 🎮

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Re-Grading 10 NBA Blockbusters ✍️

    Melo to the Knicks. Harden to the Rockets. Our writer grades some of the biggest trades since 2010 ⬇️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Re-Grading 10 NBA Blockbusters ✍️

    Greg Swartz
    via Bleacher Report

    Shaq Explains 'Tiger King' Cameo

    Lakers legend says he's not friends with Joe Exotic after appearing in the Netflix documentary

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Shaq Explains 'Tiger King' Cameo

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report