Joel Embiid Overtakes LeBron James as MVP Betting Favorite

Joel Embiid Dunking With 76ers Background

  • Joel Embiid is the new odds on favorite to win the 2021 NBA MVP award.
  • The Sixers All-Star center is now the +190 favorite at
  • Philadelphia has the third best odds to win the East and has the 6th best odds to win the 2021 NBA championship.

For much of the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season, the MVP conversation centered around the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James.

James was coming off a season where he lost to Giannis Antetokounmpo in the MVP voting but led the Lakers to their first championship in the post-Kobe era while earning Finals MVP honors. L.A.’s King got off to a good start with partner Anthony Davis struggling and when Davis went out with tendonosis, James had to take on an even bigger role for the team.

But the Lakers have struggled since Davis’ injury and slowly, James’ lead in the MVP race was dwindling. And after Embiid’s monster game against the Utah Jazz right before the All-Star break, the Sixers big man took over the top spot in the best NBA betting sites.

New MVP Favorite

According to the online sportsbook, Embiid is now the +190 odds on favorite to win the NBA’s top individual award for the current season. LeBron is now second at +210 while Denver’s Nikola Jokic is third at +400. Preseason betting favorite Luka Doncic is fourth at +750 while Brooklyn’s James Harden completes the Top 5 at +1200.

Embiid’s rise in the oddsboard didn’t come as a surprise. The former 3rd overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft is currently the second-leading scorer in the NBA at 30.2 points per game this season. Embiid is also the league’s 5th best rebounder at 11.6 boards per contest while also contributing 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game.

During the month of February, Embiid has never looked better. In the 14 games he played last month, the former Kansas product averaged 32.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game since the start of the previous month.

Best Team in the East

With Embiid playing at a high level, the Sixers have risen to the top of the Eastern Conference team standings. As of the All-Star break, Philadelphia has the best record in the East at 24-12 although the Brooklyn Nets are breathing heavily behind their backs at 23-12.

The Sixers currently have the third best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +1100 at online sportsbook BetOnline with only the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks having better odds at +125 +130, respectively. Philadelphia also has the 6th best odds to win the 2021 NBA championship at +1100 in the same sportsbook and with Embiid having his best season ever, winning the title isn’t impossible.

Philadelphia though has to take it one step at a time. The Sixers have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons but have not made it past the second round during the Embiid-Simmons era. This year could be special though. Despite the Nets having a powerhouse lineup, the Sixers have never looked better under new head coach Doc Rivers. Embiid is healthy and is playing his best basketball ever.

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