Why LeBron James is Odds on Favorite to Clinch 2020-21 NBA MVP

Published 01/27/2021, 6:00 PM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) poses with 2020 NBA Champion ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Nobody expected LeBron James to be in the Most Valuable Player (MVP) conversation before this season began. Yet, the 36-year-old continues to defy the odds.

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He was only an outsider to win this award, according to most sports books. The reason was simple – the Lakers were fresh off from winning the 2020 Larry O’Brien trophy, the final of which completed in mid-October itself. And then the shortest offseason in recent memory followed. So, everyone expected King James to take it easy.

Jan 25, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dunks in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

“The expectation was that he was going to miss some time and take it easy and get ready for the playoffs. Him not doing that has changed the complexion of the odds,” SuperBook head NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told ESPN.

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After listing him at 14-1 odds, they now list him as the favorite with 4-1 odds. Most fans were putting their money on LeBron’s heir, Luka Doncic, for the MVP gong. Though the Slovenian star is averaging 27.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 9.9 assists, the Mavs’ losing record doesn’t help his case.

Also, the other contenders – Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Kevin Durant don’t have the fans’ sentiment in their stride as king James does. While KD makes an emotional case, considering his return from a potentially career-ending injury, he now has the best supporting cast in the league.

The same can’t be said for James as his commander-in-chief, Anthony Davis is blowing hot and cold this season. He was a solo ranger against the Cleveland Cavaliers finishing with 46 points on 19-for-26 shooting, including 7-for-11 from 3-point territory.

LeBron James will enter the NBA record books if he wins 2021 MVP

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He will etch his name into the history books by becoming the oldest player to win the MVP. To make it even sweeter for him, it will be his GOAT nemesis Michael Jordan that he will surpass. Also, he will become the only player to win the accolade in three different decades!

Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

No matter who do you think the greatest player of all-time is, you have to admire the longevity, drive, and excellence of this kid from Ohio. He’s overachieved this season already, and anointing him the MVP would be the perfect reward for it.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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