This probably isn’t going to surprise anyone in Philadelphia, but apparently even winning MVP isn’t enough to get Joel Embiid the respect he deserves.
After winning the award last season, Embiid still doesn’t even crack the top three in the odds to win the award in the 2023-24 season. This is ridiculous considering he’s the reigning MVP and is maybe even better positioned to have a dominant season than he was last year.
Here’s why Embiid is a no-brainer MVP betting value.
The first thing that stands out is just how lopsided those odds are. Not only is Embiid fourth in the odds, but he’s a distant fourth. A line of +850 implies that he only has a 10.5% chance to win the award. For comparison, Jokic at +375 implies he’s just over twice as likely to win MVP at 21.1.%.
You don’t even need to think Embiid is the rightful favorite to think this is presenting some real value — even if you were to think it’s a four-man toss-up between Jokic, Embiid, Giannis and Luka (the other two players with better odds than Embiid), it’d be a no-brainer to take Embiid at 8.5-to-1.
“But Jason, will Embiid be able to dominate if James Harden gets his way and leaves Philly?”
That might actually put Embiid in a better position to rack up absurd stats. Embiid’s always a usage monster, and he ranked No. 3 in the NBA in usage rate last season. But looking at his splits in games with and without Harden, we saw that number jump from 37.2% when playing alongside Harden to an insane 39.5% in 15 games without Harden. For context, 39.5% would be the third-highest mark posted by any player over the last 10 years. Only 2016-17 Russell Westbrook and 2018-19 James Harden topped that.
His points per 36 minutes stayed about the same with (34.26) and without (34.93) Harden, but his assists per 36 skyrocketed from 3.58 with to 6.99 without.
We know Embiid can get enough action to win MVP if Harden does stick around, but Harden leaving could push him to another level altogether, getting a massively expanded role as a facilitator.
It’s not like the betting markets are expecting the Sixers to fall off, either, as we have the fourth-best odds to win the Eastern Conference.
How the same markets can call Embiid an MVP long-shot while also suggesting that we can remain a contender in the East with Harden threatening not to play is beyond me.
It’s a head-scratcher, and it’s frustrating to see Embiid continue to get disrespected like this, but it’s nice that we can at least cash in with some big betting value.
And if you want some added incentive to bet Embiid for MVP, Caesars Sportsbook will give you just that. Once you sign up and place your first wager, Caesars will return that amount in bonuses if your bet loses. So let’s say you wager $100 on Embiid to win MVP. If he wins the award you’ll win $850 in cash like usual. But if he doesn’t, Caesars will automatically give you a $100 bonus. This offer is good for up to $1,250! Make sure to sign up through the exclusive Section 215 link below to unlock the offer.