The question is simple BetUS online betting faithful! Will Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo pull off the three-peat this coming campaign or will still-blossoming Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic beat out the ‘”Greek Freak” to claim the league’s most prestigious individual award, the 2021 NBA MVP?
Let’s take a look at each player’s NBA odds to win the 2021 NBA MVP award.
Odds to Win 2021 NBA MVP Award
Luka Doncic +350
Giannis Antetokounmpo +450
As you can see, the do-it-all Doncic is now the sportsbook betting favorite to win the 2021 MVP award with Antetokounmpo the second choice on the odds list. Now, let’s take a look at each player’s past before moving on to my expert prediction on which one of these players will win.
In 61 games last season, the 6-7, 21-year-old Slovenian-born forward recorded a stellar 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game while shooting 46.3% from the field, 31.6% from beyond the arc and 75.8% from the free-throw line. In 2018-19, Doncic burst into the league by averaging 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game to win the 2019 Rookie of the Year Award.
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For his two-year career, Doncic is averaging 24.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. More importantly, the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has almost certainly not reached his full potential and will only get better. Dallas went 43-32 last season to finish seventh in the Western Conference. The Mavericks then put up a great fight in their first-round series against the LA Clippers before bowing out in six games.
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Dallas selected 6-6 wing Josh Green out of Arizona with the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft while nabbing Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry with the 31st overall pick. The Mavs moved veteran shooting guard Seth Curry for Sixers two-guard Josh Richardson. In free agency, the Mavs didn’t make any major splashes, but they did re-sign veteran Trey Burke and veteran big man Willie Cauley-Stein, though they sadly parted ways with longtime backup point guard J.J. Barea.
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Doncic finished fourth in last season’s MVP voting behind Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and James Harden. While Dallas didn’t do all that much to improve its roster over the one that finished last season, that will almost certainly mean that Doncic has to do even more this season, thereby increasing his chances of winning the 2021 NBA MVP award.
Still, just 26, Giannis Antetokounmpo won his second straight league MVP award by averaging a stellar 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. The 6-11 forward from Greece got 85 first-place votes to LeBron James’ 16. He led Milwaukee to the league’s best regular-season record (56-17). Unfortunately, the Bucks collapsed in the playoffs for the second consecutive postseason, bowing out against Miami in five games while losing two of those affairs by double digits and another by nine points.
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In 2018-19, Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. That was while leading Milwaukee to a 60-222 regular-season mark. It was also the league’s best record two years ago. Antetokounmpo won the 2018 MVP award by getting 78 first-place votes to LeBron James’ 23.
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Milwaukee made a major addition by trading Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and three first-round picks for New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday. That is a win for the desperate Bucks. Unfortunately, the Bucks botched their trade attempts to acquire perimeter sniper Bogdan Bogdanovic after Antetokounmpo reportedly recruited the 28-year-old sharpshooter. Milwaukee did add veteran forward Bobby Portis and veteran point guard DJ Augustin. They could start alongside Holiday in Milwaukee’s backcourt.
If oft-maligned swingman Khris Middleton can play at an All-Star level more consistently to join Holiday and Antetokounmpo and give the Bucks a legitimate “Big Three” the Bucks could actually reach and potentially win the Eastern Conference championship at the least.
While I have absolutely no doubt that Antetokounmpo is going to put up some monster numbers while averaging a double-double for the fourth straight season, my pick to win the 2021 NBA MVP award goes to Doncic. I believe Doncic is going to have to do more. Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo should have a bit of a load taken off his back by the addition of Holiday.
Not only that, but I think Antetokounmpo is going to have some ‘MVP backlash’ this season that generally comes with a guy winning two straight. No matter what kind of numbers the Greek Freak puts up, no one will actually be stunned. Doncic, on the other hand, is a more versatile player. He has the ability to pass the ball and make his teammates better. Again, I’m going with Doncic to get it done and you should too!
Pick: Luka Doncic