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It was a regular season to remember for Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

But at the end of the year, Embiid could not dethrone Nikola Jokić, as the Denver Nuggets center won his second-straight National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player award. Jokić picked up 65 first-place votes, with Embiid getting 26. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo finished third in the voting.

Coming into the 2022-23 NBA season, Jokić amazingly was not even in the top four of the futures betting odds with most New Jersey sportsbooks. Maybe Garden State bettors and fans are thinking there will be a changing of the guard after watching the NBA Playoffs last spring?

Right now, it is Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic that leads the futures, with Embiid and Antetokounmpo right near the top as well. But the emergence of other superstars like Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, and the return of Kevin Durant to full health might make this the most exciting year for the MVP race of all time.

Here is a list of some players that should be in your thoughts for the regular season MVP in 22-23, with one or two longshots thrown in to give you a chance to see even greater return on investment (ROI). But remember, only one of these players will eventually win the trophy.

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, +450: he is a walking triple-double, much like Jokić. If you watched Doncic in the playoffs (31.9 points., 9.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists) you will know why he is at the top of the odds.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, +550 with bet365 NJ current offer: you have to figure he is going to get one at some point. But if the Sixers don’t finish near the top of the Eastern Conference, or Embiid does not play 65-70 games, I think he is probably going to come up short once again.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, +600: the two-time MVP will be leading the Bucks without Khris Middleton for the first part of the year, and could carry his squad until help arrives. He could put up some video game numbers in 22-23.

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, +800: if (IF) he stays healthy, he will be in the discussion.

If you get the current BetRivers NY deal, you get Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets, at +1000: only three players in NBA history won the MVP three years in a row. That list is: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird. Not Michael Jordan, not Kareem, not Moses Malone, not LeBron. If Jokić makes it four players, he will probably have posted an epic campaign for the ages.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, +1200: I thought he should have been higher up the voting last year, and if he improves at all in 22-23, Morant will be in the top five. If you are in the top five, you have a chance to win.


Take Giannis (and the Bucks) to rise back to the top of the awards and honors.

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