Joel Embiid Overtakes LeBron James as Odds-On Favorite to Win NBA MVP Award

by March 11, 2021

Just when it looked like Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James had gained enough distance on Father Time to legitimately come away from the 2020-21 campaign with his fifth NBA MVP award at 36-years-old, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid came in like a thief in the night to become the new MVP favorite for this season.

Per ESPN’s David Purdum, Caesars Sportsbook has Embiid as the consensus favorite to win MVP for the 2020-21 regular season at +200. James, not far behind by any stretch of the imagination, is at +225.

Trailing behind Embiid and James are Nikola Jokic (+350), Luka Doncic (+1300), Stephen Curry (+1400), Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1600).

With the Sixers currently holding the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference standing at 24-12, Embiid has averaged 30.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals in 33.0 minutes per game. The four-time All-Star is also shooting a career-high .416 percent from 3-point range and leads the league in free-throw conversions (298).

Advanced stats also paint a positive picture of Embiid’s season.

According to Basketball Reference, The Process is averaging .283 win shares per 48 minutes (ranked second in the NBA) and recording a box plus/minus of 8.5 (also ranked second in the NBA).