Greek Freak still leading NBA MVP discussion, Doncic looking legit

Giannis Antetokounmpo playing for Bucks
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NBA · 2 years ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Three weeks into the NBA season, Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the odds-on favorite to capture a second consecutive MVP award.

Nothing has changed in that regard, but there has been a bit of moving and shaking since the very start of the 2019-20 campaign. Stephen Curry had been a trendy pick to win it for a third time given that he was finally the man in Golden State with Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson sidelined. A broken left hand, however, has knocked him out of the equation. The fact that Clippers newcomer Paul George (shoulder) still has not made his team debut leaves him massively behind the eight ball. Going in the other direction, meanwhile, is Mavericks second-year guard Luka Doncic. Always thought to be an MVP candidate for the future, Doncic is looking legit right now.

Let’s take a look at some of the contenders for the league’s highest individual honor.

Favorite: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+225)

What’s not to like about the Greek Freak’s chances of going back-to-back? He has the Bucks at a solid 7-3 through 10 contests and is averaging 29.7 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. All of those numbers are career-highs, and it is no surprise that he continues to get better and better at 24 years old.

Best Value: Kawhi Leonard (+800)

Being the best player on the best team would give anyone a big boost in the MVP race. Both Antetokounmpo and Leonard are capable of earning that distinction. The Clippers are also 7-3 and Leonard is contributing 26.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, and 2.3 spg. Like his counterpart in Milwaukee, those are all career-highs. George’s impending return may take away from some of those numbers, but it will also take some pressure off while also leading to more wins. The Clippers have a huge showdown on their hands for Wednesday with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and the Rockets. Be sure to check out our free NBA picks for that game and throughout the season.

Longshot: Luka Doncic (+1800)

Doncic, who offered a Michael Jordan-esque shrug following a three-pointer against Boston on Monday, is pouring in 28.3 ppg to go along with 10.3 rpg, 9.1 apg, and 1.1 spg. Perhaps equally important is the fact that the Mavericks are actually good this season. After missing the playoffs by a mile in 2018-19, they are currently in the postseason picture with a 6-4 record—good for seventh place in the Western Conference. Although Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis provide for one of the NBA’s most prolific duos, Doncic is quite clearly the star in Dallas.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5+ On Any NFL Pre-Game ML, Get $200 If Your Bet Wins

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any NFL pre-game ML

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$500

Get Your First Bet Risk-Free Up To $500

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets With PointsBet's Second Chance

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.