Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid's quest to win back-to-back league MVPs is in serious jeopardy after he suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee.
Embiid, who has already missed 13 games this season, could be looking at a lengthy absence from the lineup. That has essentially eliminated him from contention for the NBA's MVP award, as he can only miss four more games this season to meet the 65-game threshold for MVP.
It's unfortunate for Embiid, as he's having yet another amazing season, averaging an NBA-best 35.3 points per game. However, it's going to be nearly impossible for him to play enough games through this knee injury.
I mentioned this concern for Embiid back in January after his 70-point game against the San Antonio Spurs. Embiid moved the favorite to win the award after that game, but there were still concerns about whether or not his body would hold up.
Here's how the latest MVP odds look, with Embiid falling all the way to +6000 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Latest NBA MVP Odds
Joel Embiid No Longer Candidate to Win NBA MVP
Embiid's odds have seen a major slip, and he'll be taken off the board when he eventually misses five more games -- even though those may not come away.
Bettors should 100 percent stay away from Embiid, as he won't even qualify to win MVP unless he makes a miraculous recovery from his knee injury. With the Sixers having NBA title hopes, the team would be smart to rest him in the regular season.
Nikola Jokic Moves to Odds On Favorite to Win NBA MVP
Since Embiid is out of the running, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has moved to the odds on favorite.
The argument for Jokic is pretty simple. He's No. 1 in the NBA in Player Impact Estimate (21.6) this season, and the Nuggets' on/off numbers continue to look drastically different when Jokic is on the floor versus when he's off.
This season, Denver is +10.0 points per 100 possessions when Jokic is on the floor and -8.0 points per 100 possessions when he is off.
Not only that, but the Nuggets big man is putting up crazy numbers, averaging 26.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game this season.
Jalen Brunson's Odds Rising to Win NBA MVP
The biggest mover in the NBA futures market may not be Embiid, but actually New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson.
Earlier this week, I wrote a column on why Brunson has a path to win the league's most prestigious award. I bet him at +20000 on Tuesday night, and since then he has shifted all the way to +6000 (tied with Embiid) to win the league's MVP.
The shift came after Brunson led the Knicks to a comeback win -- the team's ninth in a row -- against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
Brunson scored 40 points in the game, and New York is now just half a game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Brunson is averaging 27.1 points and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3.
He's a dark horse candidate to watch, especially with All-Star teammate Julius Randle sidelined with a shoulder injury for at least the next few weeks.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.