Where does Joel Embiid fare in 2023-24 NBA MVP race?
We’re now nearing the 50-game mark in the 2023-24 NBA season and all eyes are turning towards the MVP race. If you’re a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s a topic that’s bound to have caused a stressful debate or two in recent weeks, as Joel Embiid’s health and dominance continue to divide opinion.
The Sixers’ big-man is the reigning NBA MVP and just a few weeks ago, looked primed to become the first repeat-winner since Nikola Jokic. Then the injury bug hit.
Does Vegas still think he can retain his MVP crown this season?
NBA MVP Odds: Joel Embiid drifts as injury concerns rise
Joel Embiid is a heavy underdog to retain his NBA MVP crown
How quickly the tables turn. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement actioned a new 65-game minimum for all regular season awards. Going into the teams’ recent loss to Golden State, Embiid had just five more potential absences left to take between now and the end of the season if he was going to be eligible to win the award.
Embiid originally missed time due to knee soreness, and then a clash with Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets spurred ‘ducking’ rumors. Fast forward a few weeks and it clearly looked like Embiid was pushing himself through physical pain to play games. In the fourth quarter against the Warriors, he went down with another knee injury after playing a game where he clearly looked like a shell of his usual self.
What’s infuriating is the fact that this is the same man who just a few short weeks ago put up 70 points against the Spurs and is averaging better totals than he did when we won the coveted award last year.
The fight to muscle through hardship to win the award is admirable, but at what cost? The Sixers are riding a tough losing streak and he’s pushed himself to a point where he may not be able to even meet the minimum 65-game requirement.
With that said, miracles can and have happened as Embiid has proven time and time again…and at +2000, you’re getting a lotto ticket on the most dominant force in the NBA.
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. However, the best plan here would be to flirt with a $5-$10 punt that could yield some substantial returns.
An even better idea would be to use a bonus bet. You can get these by signing up to new sportsbooks as a thank you from the company. So instead of betting $5 on Embiid to win the MVP Award, you can get up to $1,500 in bonus bets to wager on the same line!
NBA MVP Odds: Best betting offers
AP Photo/Matt Slocum