2021-22 NBA Award Races: Doncic favored to win MVP


Basketball is back, with the 2021-22 NBA season finally underway! After two shortened seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league returns to a full 82-game schedule for the first time since the 2018-19 season. The regular season started on October 19 and is projected to end on April 10, 2022, with the playoffs scheduled to begin on April 16. The 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend is scheduled to be held through February 18 to 20.

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the National Basketball Association, with the league announcing several festivities and celebrations throughout the 2021-22 season, as well as a list of the 75 greatest players in league history, chosen by a panel of current and former players, coaches, GMs, executives, and media analysts.

After one of the craziest offseasons in recent times, in which several superstars found new homes and a new landscape for the title race was established, the 2021-22 NBA season is expected to be one of the most thrilling in recent years. The Milwaukee Bucks are the defending champions, however, according to sportsbooks on betoclock.com, Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets are the odds-on favorites to win this year’s title.

It’s also time to start speculating about how the 2021-22 award races will shape up, as sportsbooks have already started offering odds on the major awards of the season. The Wonderboy Luka Doncic is the favorite to win the MVP award, while Jalen Green and Jordan Clarkson are the favorites to win Rookie of the Year and 6th Man of the Year respectively. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert is expected to win the award for the fourth time.

Most Valuable Player

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Last year, Nikola Jokic outplayed the opposition and took home the 2020-21 NBA MVP award, after a terrific campaign in which he led the Denver Nuggets to the third place in the Western Conference.

For the 2021-22 season, sportsbooks have Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic as the early favorite to win the MVP award, at +380 odds. Entering his fourth NBA season, Doncic has already proven he’s a MVP-caliber player, capable of executing and taking big shots down the stretch. We have yet to see how the Mavericks roster will be able to help him on the court, since he had to carry the team last season.

Doncic, however, will face tough competition, as Kevin Durant is the second favorite to win the 2021-22 MVP award, at +650 odds. Last season, Durant missed several games due to injuries and COVID-related absences, so he wasn’t able to truly perform in the way we expect him to. If he remains healthy, Durant is certainly poised for a great year in Brooklyn.

After leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years, the Greek Freak Giannis Antentokounmpo is also among the favorites to win the MVP award, at +700 odds, with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry rounding the list, at +800 odds.

Rookie of the Year

Last season, the youngest of the Ball brothers took North Carolina by storm, and won the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award. The third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball was also selected for the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

For the upcoming season, bookmakers have former NBA G League Ignite prospect and Houston Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green as the favorite to win the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year award, at +250 odds. A former McDonald’s All-American, Green made his NBA debut putting up nine points, four rebounds, and four assists in a commended performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

However, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Detroit Pistons point guard Cade Cunningham is also expected to contend for the award, and is currently ranked as the second favorite, at +300 odds. He’s yet to make his NBA debut, but his performances during the NBA Summer League turned a few heads in Detroit.

Other awards

The 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year, Utah Jazz shooting guard Jordan Clarkson is ranked at the top of this year’s race, with +600 odds to win the award for the second straight season. Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro and Warriors’ shooting guard Jordan Poole are also favored by bookmakers as possible recipients for the 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year award.Rudy Gobert, the 2020-21 Defensive Player of the Year, is the overwhelming favorite to win the award for the fourth time, at +300 odds, with Los Angeles Lakers power forward Anthony Davis behind with +550 odds. Even though he is still to make a team workout with the 76ers, amid the strange situation he put himself in, Ben Simmons is ranked among the favorites to win the award.

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