We’re seven weeks into this young NBA season, and we’ve already seen several players stake their claim as MVP favorites. Add the name Jason Tatum to that list.
The Celtics star moved up to the top spot at BetMGM this week, working as a slim +275 favorite after leading his team to 16-2 since the start of November. He’s rated just above preseason favorite Luka Doncic and two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo, who are tied at +300 after their stellar starts.
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2022-23 NBA MVP Betting Odds (via BetMGM)
Jayson Tatum favored to win NBA MVP award in 2022-23 season
Tatum was our best bet to win the award in the preseason when he was running as a 12-1 dark horse after leading his team to the NBA Finals. It was easy to do: the 24-year-old forward took a big leap forward in the 2021-22 season and became the best player of the best team on the “revenge tour”.
Flash forward to seven weeks into the season, and that’s exactly how he played. Tatum is averaging career highs in points (30.8) and rebounds (8.3) while shooting a career-best 48 percent from the floor. He’s doing it the other way, too: He’s one of five players to average at least one block and one steal per game and ranks 16th in defensive wins (1.1 ).
And, most importantly, he’s doing it all for the best team in the league — the main reason oddsmakers have Tatum rated as such a short favorite to win the award. The Celtics own the NBA’s best record (20-5) and net rating (+8.5) through 25 games, and are currently on a 66-game winning streak, guaranteeing a trophy for the rising superstar.
Of course, it’s early days and a lot can change between now and April. Tatum’s performance is not without equal: he ranks fourth behind Doncic (33.4 PPG), Antetokounmpo (31.9) and long-shot MVP Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31.3) and is the most advanced out of five. indicators.
That leaves the door open for another sensational scorer to steal the trophy if his team wins enough games.
Who else is worth betting on to win the NBA MVP award?
The obvious picks are the aforementioned Doncic and Antetokounmpo, but they’re less worth betting on than Tatum at his current price. Stephen Curry (+800) is posting an almost identical offensive stat line to his 2015-16 MVP campaign, but his Warriors look like a tough bet to reach 50 wins with their performance thus far.
Instead, keep an eye on Devin Booker (+2,500), who finished fourth in MVP voting last year and whose hot streak helped lead the Suns to the best record in the West. Also, it’s hard to ignore the ridiculous numbers that Anthony Davis (+2,500) puts up nightly, but the Lakers’ poor record (10-12) could hold him back.
If you’re shooting for the moon, don’t overlook what Gilgeous-Alexander (+5,000) has done so far. We covered his work in detail a few weeks ago, and he continued his elite scoring rate and excellent two-way play for an otherwise sleepy Thunder team. Only three MVP winners have come from teams with fewer than 50 wins, but he’s doing as interesting a job as any lottery-bound star.