Joel Embiid has been installed as the betting favorite for the 2021 NBA MVP at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Following his 40-point, 19-rebound performance against the league-leading Utah Jazz, Embiid has surpassed LeBron James, and now sits at +210. LeBron is right behind at +260.
Both DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM moved the Philadelphia big man next to the Lakers legend, placing the two as co-favorites for the award.
DK made both +225, while BetMGM moved them to +250.
“We’ve seen steady action on Embiid all season and after a game like last night against the league’s best team, while being guarded primarily by Rudy Gobert, we felt it was time to make him a co-favorite with LeBron to win MVP," said Seamus Magee, Sports Trader at BetMGM. "The Lakers have struggled without Anthony Davis, had L.A. continued to win then LeBron would be the clear favorite but at this point in the season it is a two-man race for the award.”
Embiid is averaging over 30 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 24-12.
James has been the odds on favorite for much of the season, but the Lakers, as Magee notes, have struggled since Anthony Davis went down with a calf strain.
Los Angeles is 3-6 since Davis was sidelined and that recent Lakers slide has helped Embiid surge ahead of LeBron in the MVP odds, at least at one sportsbook.