Why Luka's Teammate Is His Biggest Threat To Winning MVP

Last season, Luka didn’t garner a single first-place MVP vote. Here's why a bet on Doncic is really a bet on Porzingis 👇 (four minute read)

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The Favorite To Win MVP

With the NBA season less than a month away, Vegas has tapped Luka Doncic for the second straight year as the betting favorite to win the MVP

  • Luka’s 2021 MVP odds: +400

  • Luka’s 2020 MVP odds: +325

However, last season, the Mavs failed to surround Doncic with the help he needed to outshine Jokic, Embiid and Curry. In fact, Luka didn’t garner a single first-place MVP vote

So, after two straight years as the favorite to win MVP, let’s take a look at who actually stands in Luka’s way. I know what you’re thinking…Giannis, Curry, Jokic…but I have something else in mind

Luka’s Biggest Roadblock

Outside of 2021 Nikola Jokic and 2017 Russell Westbrook, every MVP in the last decade has had a true second superstar playing alongside them. If Doncic is going to bring home the award this season, the Mavs need Kristaps Porzingis to reemerge as a legitimate second-in-command

With Porzingis playing Center over the past two seasons, the Mavs have posted an offense that’s ranked in the NBA’s 90th percentile. Defensively, however, those same units have struggled, ranking towards the bottom of the NBA

This makes it hard to keep KP on the court at what is statistically his best offensive position. Doncic has one of the highest usage rates in the NBA, so finding ways for Porzingis to remain on the court at Center and make life easier for Luka gives him his best chance to win MVP

No Faith In KP

While Porzingis obviously isn’t close to an MVP-caliber player, other top candidates at least have their second-in-command listed in the Top 40 MVP odds

  • Sixers: Embiid +700, Simmons +20,000

  • Nets: KD +700, Harden +2000, Kyrie +4000

  • Bucks: Giannis +800, Middleton +15,000

  • Warriors: Curry +800, Klay +15,000

Porzingis’ MVP odds are nowhere to be found. While that doesn’t take anything away from Doncic, it shows how little faith there is in KP. Even players such as Anthony Edwards, DeMar DeRozan and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have long odds available

How You Can Hedge

If you bet on Luka to bring home MVP, you’re really betting on the Mavericks to be a top team in the West. Outside of Westbrook’s 2017 MVP season, MVP winners predominantly come from Top 5 teams

The Mavs’ over/under for total wins this season is listed at 48.5 games. If you want to hedge on Doncic winning MVP, take the Dallas under

  • Under 48.5 wins: -115 (bet $115, win $100)

Or, you can go the complete opposite direction and really double-down on Dallas. Check out this full Mavericks parlay

  • Luka to win MVP: +400

  • Dallas over 48.5 wins: -115

  • Dallas to make the NBA Finals: +1200

If you bet $100 on this parlay, you’re looking at a $12,052 payout. That’s enough money to snag a pair of the Dior Air Jordan 1 Highs 🤑

The Craziest Part

There have been eight International All-Stars in each of the last two NBA seasons. Just five years ago, before Giannis, Embiid and Jokic entered their primes, there were only two…

The NBA is truly becoming an International game, and if Luka wins MVP this season he’ll be the third consecutive foreign player to bring home the biggest individual honor in the sport of basketball