It's never too early to look ahead to next NBA season as PointsBet, the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports, has released its odds for the 2021-22 NBA MVP award.
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is the favorite to win the award at +410 followed by a tie for second place between Brooklyn's Kevin Durant and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid at +750.
Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has the seventh-best odds at +1200, one spot ahead of reigning MVP Nikola Jokic who is given +1400 odds to repeat as NBA MVP.
Only 12 players in NBA history have won back-to-back MVP awards: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Anteokoumpo.
PointsBet oddsmakers think it's more likely that Lillard wins his first career MVP award than Jokic adds his name to that prestigious list.
Last season with his name in the thick of the MVP race, Lillard told Jason Quick of The Athletic that he believed he should be in the conversation.
"I see myself at the top of the league," Lillard told The Athletic in mid-Feb. "I’m one of the best players in this league, and I feel like I’m on that level. And the way our team is playing given our circumstances makes it even more obvious to me."
Lillard has finished inside the top-10 of MVP voting five times: 8th (2015-16), 4th (2017-18), 6th (2018-19), 8th (2019-20), and 7th (2020-21).
Dame finished the 2020-21 season averaging 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds with Portland ending the year at 42-30.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.