Joel Embiid Gains Momentum in NBA MVP Contest with Nikola Jokic

With the regular season coming to an end in less than three weeks, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has surged to the front of the pack and is now the favorite to win the NBA MVP at -240 odds according to DraftKings. This puts him ahead of two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic, who entered the new year with a +170 odds to become the first player in NBA history to win the award in three consecutive seasons. At this time, Giannis Antetokounmpo (+450) and Jayson Tatum (+500) were tied for third in the MVP race.

Embiid has been on a tear since the start of the year, averaging 33.6 points per game and having the second-highest PER rating in the NBA (31.60). His best performance of the season came against Jokic when he scored 47 points, 18 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, which could have been a statement game for the 76ers center.

Jokic has also been impressive this season, averaging 24.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 9.9 assists per game. He leads the league in triple-doubles with 28, and has the highest PER rating in the NBA (31.71). However, the Nuggets have been slumping recently, which could be the reason why his odds have dipped to +250.

Milwaukee Bucks center Giannis Antetokounmpo is also still in striking distance at +450 odds. He’s averaging a career-high 31.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game, and his team currently holds the best record in the NBA at 51-20. If Antetokounmpo can stuff the stat sheet in the remaining 11 games, he has a chance to jump ahead of both Embiid and Jokic.