The battle to be awarded the MVP award in the NBA has been one of the most exciting sub-plots to a fascinating season to this point. LeBron James was the leading chance throughout much of the season, but the ankle injury that he sustained a couple of weeks ago has all but ended his hopes of winning the award for the fifth time in his illustrious career.
However, that potentially opens the door for a new star to get their hands on the award, but which players are among the top favorites to win?
Nikola Jokic is the leading player to win the MVP award with the most popular sportsbooks. Jokic has been outstanding throughout the season for the Denver Nuggets, as he has averaged 26.4 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game. He has an excellent 56.9% success rate from the field and is averaged 41.9% from beyond the arc.
Undoubtedly, Jokic is a star in the NBA, and he has been named in the All-Star team for the past three years. He was named as an NBA All-Rookie First Teamer in 2016 and is good value to be favorite to win the MVP award this season.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been going under the radar throughout the NBA season and could have an outstanding chance of winning the whole thing this year. Joel Embiid will be at the center of their aspirations this term, as the four-time All-Star is the jewel in their crown. Embiid has averaged 29.9 points per game this season and has a 51.2% success rate from the field and a 37.8% success rate from beyond the arc.
He has averaged 11.1 rebounds per game this season and is coming into a pivotal stage of the season, having scored 36 points in a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and 39 points against the Brooklyn Nets.
When Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a new deal with the Milwaukee Bucks at the beginning of the season, it was a clear sign that this was going to be the campaign when the Bucks pushed hardest for the NBA Championship that he and the franchise crave. Giannis is already regarded as one of the best players in the league and has twice won the MVP award. Those two successes have come over the last two seasons as he has been named as the outstanding player in the regular season. He has also been named an NBA All-Star for the last five seasons.
Giannis continues to be one of the most dominant stars in the division this season, as he has averaged 28.5 points per game. The Greek star has averaged 56.4% from the field this season but has dipped to 29.7% from the three-point range. Furthermore, he has averaged 11.2 rebounds per game and six assists. His current points per game ratio is the highest it has been throughout his NBA career, and he could be a decent chance of claiming the MVP award this season.