4th of July Collection | Now Available at the Barstool StoreSHOP HERE

Advertisement

Who’s Got The Juice? NBA MVP Rankings And Odds v1.0

We can’t yell and scream at each other like lunatics the entire season about who is the NBA MVP if we don’t start early. Most teams are at least 10 games into the season so what better time to begin the debate.

The first few iterations of these rankings are always crazy because teams that are supposed to be tanking haven’t gotten any “hamstring injuries” yet and some of the teams we know that will compete for the title have started slowly. But such is life in a league where load management and Kyrie Irving saying dumb shit are both commonplace.

Before I break down my rankings let me note, I take team record into consideration pretty heavily. The MVP is almost always on a title contender and always on a playoff team.  Just because you are the difference between your team winning 8 games and 38 games doesn’t make you the most valuable. Someone has to score on shitty teams too.

Of course odds are from the Barstool Sportsbook, where you can place your wager on your favorite player today!

With that in mind, let’s roll…

JUST MISSED – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Durant

10. Steph Curry (+1600) – Warriors (4-7) 

This is a perfect example of what I was just talking about. Steph is playing out of his god damn mind but until the Warriors start playing better he won’t rise in these rankings. Don’t worry tech nerds and obnoxious teenagers in the Midwest, the reigning NBA champs will be just fine and so will Steph.

The Warriors are giving their young guys a ton of playing time, which is perfectly illustrated in the fact that players 9-13 on their roster are averaging 13.8-16.9 minutes per game. They’ll continue to see what they have in guys like Wiseman and Kuminga so they know how (if at all) they can be used once it’s really time to make a run.

As for Steph, he’s averaging 32.6 pts, 7.1 reb, 6.9 ast, and 1.1 stl per game and his team is +28.6 points per 100 possessions better when he’s on the floor. Something tells me this is will be lowest he is ranked on this list all season.

9. Jayson Tatum (+700) – Celtics (8-3)

Tatum and the Celtics are off to a great start as they are 8-1 against every other team in the NBA not named the Cavs. Other organization’s hopes that Ime Udoka being the horniest bastard on the planet might derail their season look futile and early on it seems Tatum has taken his game to another level.

He’s averaging 31.2 ppg on 50/38/88 splits and is 7th in the NBA in PER. We all know that storylines play into MVP voting and if Tatum can play this well with the Celtics in the hunt for the top seed in the East after their messy offseason, he will have a legit shot at the trophy.

Advertisement

8. Pascal Siakam (+8000) – Raptors (7-5)

The best MVP odds from the Barstool Sportsbook on our list belongs to America’s hat and the dude with one of the most mystifying ascensions in the NBA over the last decade. Just four seasons ago he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. Now pundits don’t even blink when Siakam is mentioned as a legit MVP candidate.

His 24.8 pts, 9.3 reb, and 7.7 ast per game are all career highs, which includes almost 2.5 more assists per game than his previous high. Siakam is a great value bet if you believe the Raptors will be in the hunt in the East again, which I personally do. The fact that he is out for the next two weeks with a muscle strain will hurt him in the short term, however.

 7. Nikola Jokic (+2500) – Nuggets (8-3)

Stop me if you have heard this one before, the guy with the boring game playing for one of the least sexy teams in the NBA is dominant and is going to be in the running for the MVP again. His points per game are actually way down at 21.2 (he averaged 26 and 27 ppg the last two seasons) but his PER is 4th in the NBA and the Nuggets are 28.3 points per 100 possessions better when he’s on the floor. His career high on/off before this season was +11.5 in his second year in the NBA.

The issue Jokic is facing (like every multiple time NBA before him) is that the MVP voters love to spread the wealth. No player since Larry Bird in 1986 has won it three times in a row and it’s hard to imagine Jokic breaking that streak.

 6. Damian Lillard (+5000) – Blazers (8-3)

Advertisement

Every year we think the Blazers are finally going to fade away and every year Dame Time doesn’t let it happen. Dude is an absolute menace. If he gets a full season healthy without CJ McCollum eating into his looks, watch out.

At 32 years old Dame is averaging his second highest ppg with 28.6 and shooting a career high 41% from three-point land. His 3pt attempts are solidly in double digits and he seems to making the “older dude who now fills it up from outside to elongate his career” adjustment nicely.

I think there is certainly room to be skeptical if he can keep up this usage rate (32.1%, the highest of his career) and stay healthy (he hasn’t played more than 67 games in that last four seasons) but for now he’s right in the running.

 5. Devin Booker (+4000) – Suns (8-3)

Chris Paul has been less Chris Paul-y than we are used to this season but the Suns haven’t missed a beat because Devin Booker is balling. He is averaging a career high with 27.5 ppg and the Suns are a gaudy 23.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.

Everyone thought the Suns might come back to the pack this season but Booker continues to evolve into an elite playmaker and has them 5th in offensive efficiency and 2rd in defensive efficiency. His usage rate, 3pt attempts, and percentage are all down a tick to start the year which suggests he actually has a little room for improvement still. That has to have opposing front offices sweating more than Kliff Kingsbury thinking about his job security.

4. Ja Morant (+1200) – Grizzlies (8-4)

I’m going to agree with Zach Lowe and say Ja Morant is one of the most fun players in NBA history. What’s even scarier is that the 23-year old is still improving. He led the league in paint scoring last season and has made a 11%+ jump in 3pt percentage. His 28.8 ppg on 49/45/80 splits is absurd when you consider how easily he gets to the rim.

Advertisement

Morant is 9th in the NBA in PER and has the Grizzlies 7th in offensive efficiency. As the youngest player on this list, if he ever improves on defense he might be able to snag multiple MVP awards.  

 3. Luka Doncic (+250) – Mavericks (6-4)

The Mavericks started slow but won 4 of their last 5 and at this pace it isn’t long before Luka is at the top of the rankings. Even after a dud last night against the Magic he leads the NBA in ppg with 34.8, PER with 34.27, all while being double-teamed the third most possessions per game in the league (16.8). That means nearly 29% of the game he is being double teamed and he’s still shitting on cats. Just silly.

Luka is a one-man show after Jalen Brunson left in the offseason, which doesn’t bode well for their championship aspirations but I think it makes Luka the best bet to take home the MVP hardware this season.

 2. Donovan Mitchell (+2500) – Cavs (8-3)

This is another instance where I am putting heavy weight into the team record as the Cavs have started red hot at 8-3. Despite two bad losses in a row, Mitchell is averaging 33.7 ppg on this west coast swing and had by far the best defensive effort on the team down the stretch last night.

Mitchell is averaging career highs in points (31.9) and assists (5.8) while improving his 3 point shooting percentage by double digits to 45%. That leads the league amongst players shooting at least 4 per game. The only thing wetter than Mitchell’s jumper this season is the soak sessions happening all across the great state of Utah.

The Cavs are third in offensive efficiency and any worry that Mitchell would be defensive liability seems like a distant memory as they are ranked third there as well. With Darius Garland back from injury maybe these numbers will take a dip but then again maybe not. This number just dropped from +3000 to +2500 in the last 24 hours and with the Cavs looking as good as they do I’d grab it before it drops again.

Advertisement

1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (+250) – Bucks (10-1)

The Bucks are the best team in the East and Giannis is the best player in the NBA. Dude is on the warpath to get his trophy back after Jokic ripped it from him the last two seasons. With Khris Middleton out recovering from wrist surgery Giannis is averaging 31.8 points, 12.2 reb, 5.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. He is 3rd in the NBA in scoring, second in PER, and has the Bucks as the top defensive efficiency team in the NBA.

Giannis sat last night and the Bucks were still able to pull out a double OT thriller against OKC. Which means, the only possible argument against Giannis as the MVP frontrunner right now is a philosophical one. Can a guy really be the most valuable player in the league if his team is only 7.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court and they still outscore opponents even when he is on the bench?

The answer is yes. Fucking duh. Sometimes philosophical questions are the dumbest, just ask anyone who has ever had a conversation with Kyrie. 

Giannis and the Bucks are a juggernaut and the only thing standing between them and the MVP trophy and a one seed is health. There isn’t another team in the Eats currently in their class.  

 

.

.

.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Pat Bev Pod with Rone wherever you get your pods and on Youtube. You don't want to be the dweeb who doesn't know the tea from the NBA's best shit-talker. 

Advertisement