NBA MVP odds 2023: Joel Embiid is a heavy underdog to retain his crown

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Heat 76ers Basketball
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid lifts up his mask during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, Friday, May 6, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Where does Joel Embiid fare in 2023-24 NBA MVP race?

The new NBA season is now just one month away and with excitement continuing to build, Sixers fans are left in a state of uncertainty. The James Harden drama has gone unresolved and the team appears to be in a state of flux. As ever, the one cornerstone to rely on is Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP.

Does Vegas think he can retain his MVP crown this season?

NBA MVP Odds: Joel Embiid asserts his dominance

Nikola Jokic+450
Luka Doncic+500
Giannis Antetokounmpo+550
Joel Embiid+650
Jayson Tatum+900
Kevin Durant+1300
Steph Curry+1400
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On Joel Embiid to win MVP

Joel Embiid is a heavy underdog to retain his NBA MVP crown

This will come as a surprise to many. Despite a dominant 2022-23 campaign that saw Embiid become the second-ever player from Africa to win the award, the Cameroonian sees himself stuck in the shadow of Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic once again.

However, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. If you’re looking to back Embiid to repeat his individual success, you’re getting a better price. It’s worth noting that Joel Embiid was tied with Luka Doncic at +500 before last season started. A late surge from the Sixer saw him surpass his rival in the MVP race, finally earning an award that had evaded him for so long.

Sure, the Sixers haven’t exactly had the most blistering offseason in team history, but they retain the same core pieces that propelled Embiid to his first-ever MVP win.

What about the Joker?

Nikola Jokic spent most of last season as the leading NBA MVP candidate only to be pipped to the post by Embiid. Jokic was chasing his third consecutive NBA MVP award and will now be looking for revenge.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 13: Indiana Pacers Center Al Jefferson (25) reaches in to tip the ball away from Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) in the second half during the game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on March 13, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

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Should you back Joel Embiid to win the NBA MVP Award?

Joel Embiid’s relationship with the MVP award has long been one of stress. He had been overlooked for years until the very end of last season and he’s now buried behind Jokic, Donic, and Antetokounmpo again.

No matter what shape the Sixers are in, you can almost guarantee that Joel Embiid will be the engine pushing them into playoff contention and is undoubtedly going to be willing the team to victory as he looks to replicate what was a truly remarkable 2022 season.

This might be the year to fade the Sixers as a team, but Joel as an individual? I don’t think there’s ever a season where that’s a safe bet…

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NBA MVP Odds: Best betting offers

AP Photo/Matt Slocum