NBA Most Valuable Player Betting Tips

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The NBA Most Valuable Player award is an annual award given to the player considered to be the best basketball player in the entire National Basketball Association over the course of that season.

Many leading bookmakers offer customers the chance to back the biggest names in basketball for this award, with the market consistently updated throughout the entire NBA regular season.

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NBA Most Valuable Player Betting Tips

The NBA Most Valuable Player award goes to the best player in basketball, so it goes without saying that the league’s biggest stars will always be considered front-runners for the award.

However, there are some notable trends that could help you when selecting a player to back in this market.

Players that want to be MVP have to play a role in their team putting points on the board. Since the inception of the award back in the 50s, only three players have won it while averaging less than 17 points per game. And since 1969, only one player has managed that, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns in 2005.

Sticking with the scoring theme, four of the last five Most Valuable Player awards have gone to the player who led the league in scoring that season. That is not a major surprise really – go on social media postgame and the player who scored the most points usually gets the lion’s share of the attention for their performance.

Scoring trends are not the only notable trends you should consider – should you also consider the position of the player?

Center dominated this award for the first 28 years, with the sport’s iconic stars playing that position, but since 1983 the MVP honour has gone to just three players who operate in that position. And when Nikola Jokic won it for the first time in 2020/21, he ended a 20-year drought for centers!

Shooting guards have not fared well in the race for Most Valuable Player. While Michael Jordan was a five-time NBA MVP during his glittering career, only three other men have played that position and gone on to win the award.

Power forward, point guard and small forward have combined to dominate this award since 2000, with 19 of the 22 winners playing one of those positions, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

So what about age? Only two players have ever won the Most Valuable Player award in their rookie season, and that has not happened since the 60s, while the MVP honour has gone to a player aged 23 or under on just four occasions.

And finally, team success is important. Since 1985 only three players have won the Most Valuable Player award when their team has finished third or lower in their conference regular season standings.

Times Won
Position
27 Center
11 Point Guard
11 Power Forward
10 Small Forward
8 Shooting Guard

Previous NBA Most Valuable Player Winners

The biggest names in the history of basketball have won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award since it was introduced during the 1955-56 season.

Bob Pettit of the St Louis Hawks was the first winner of the award, and over the next couple of decades Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell established themselves as the game's best player by winning the award four times each.

Los Angeles Lakers icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar then took it to a whole new level between 1971 and 1980 as he wast named the NBA's MVP a record-setting six times.

Larry Bird and Mahic Johnson then won the award three times each, before Chicago Bulls megastar Michael Jordan took the honours five times in the space of eight years, helping his team to two NBA title three-peats.

LeBron James is a four-time winner of the award but has not won it since 2013, with Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo both two-time winners. Nikola Jokic is also a two-time MVP winner, having claimed the award in each of the past two seasons.

Season
Name (No. of times won)
Position
Team
1955–56 Bob Pettit Power forward  St. Louis Hawks
1956–57  Bob Cousy Point guard  Boston Celtics
1957–58 Bill Russell Center  Boston Celtics
1958–59 Bob Pettit (2) Power forward  St. Louis Hawks
1959–60 Wilt Chamberlain Center  Philadelphia Warriors
1960–61  Bill Russell (2) Center  Boston Celtics
1961–62  Bill Russell (3) Center  Boston Celtics
1962–63  Bill Russell (4) Center  Boston Celtics
1963–64 Oscar Robertson Point guard  Cincinnati Royals
1964–65  Bill Russell (5) Center  Boston Celtics
1965–66 Wilt Chamberlain (2) Center  Philadelphia 76ers
1966–67  Wilt Chamberlain (3) Center  Philadelphia 76ers
1967–68 Wilt Chamberlain (4) Center  Philadelphia 76ers
1968–69 Wes Unseld Center  Baltimore Bullets
1969–70  Willis Reed Center  New York Knicks
1970–71  Lew Alcindor Center  Milwaukee Bucks
1971–72 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2) Center  Milwaukee Bucks
1972–73 Dave Cowens Center  Boston Celtics
1973–74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3) Center  Milwaukee Bucks
1974–75 Bob McAdoo Center  Buffalo Braves
1975–76 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4) Center  Los Angeles Lakers
1976–77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5) Center  Los Angeles Lakers
1977–78 Bill Walton Center  Portland Trail Blazers
1978–79 Moses Malone Center  Houston Rockets
1979–80  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6) Center  Los Angeles Lakers
1980–81 Julius Erving Small forward  Philadelphia 76ers
1981–82 Moses Malone (2) Center  Houston Rockets
1982–83  Moses Malone (3) Center  Philadelphia 76ers
1983–84  Larry Bird Small forward  Boston Celtics
1984–85 Larry Bird (2) Small forward  Boston Celtics
1985–86  Larry Bird (3) Small forward  Boston Celtics
1986–87  Magic Johnson Point guard  Los Angeles Lakers
1987–88 Michael Jordan Shooting guard  Chicago Bulls
1988–89 Magic Johnson (2) Point guard  Los Angeles Lakers
1989–90 Magic Johnson (3) Point guard  Los Angeles Lakers
1990–91  Michael Jordan (2) Shooting guard  Chicago Bulls
1991–92  Michael Jordan (3) Shooting guard  Chicago Bulls
1992–93 Charles Barkley Power forward  Phoenix Suns
1993–94  Hakeem Olajuwon Center  Houston Rockets
1994–95 David Robinson Center  San Antonio Spurs
1995–96  Michael Jordan (4) Shooting guard  Chicago Bulls
1996–97 Karl Malone Power forward  Utah Jazz
1997–98  Michael Jordan (5) Shooting guard  Chicago Bulls
1998–99 Karl Malone (2) Power forward  Utah Jazz
1999–00  Shaquille O'Neal Center  Los Angeles Lakers
2000–01 Allen Iverson Shooting guard  Philadelphia 76ers
2001–02 Tim Duncan Power forward  San Antonio Spurs
2002–03  Tim Duncan (2) Power forward  San Antonio Spurs
2003–04 Kevin Garnett Power forward  Minnesota Timberwolves
2004–05 Steve Nash Point guard  Phoenix Suns
2005–06 Steve Nash (2) Point guard  Phoenix Suns
2006–07 Dirk Nowitzki Power forward  Dallas Mavericks
2007–08 Kobe Bryant Shooting guard  Los Angeles Lakers
2008–09 LeBron James Small forward  Cleveland Cavaliers
2009–10 LeBron James (2) Small forward  Cleveland Cavaliers
2010–11 Derrick Rose Point guard  Chicago Bulls
2011–12  LeBron James (3) Small forward  Miami Heat
2012–13  LeBron James (4) Small forward  Miami Heat
2013–14 Kevin Durant Small forward  Oklahoma City Thunder
2014–15  Stephen Curry Point guard  Golden State Warriors
2015–16 Stephen Curry (2) Point guard  Golden State Warriors
2016–17 Russell Westbrook Point guard  Oklahoma City Thunder
2017–18 James Harden Shooting guard  Houston Rockets
2018–19 Giannis Antetokounmpo Power forward  Milwaukee Bucks
2019–20 Giannis Antetokounmpo (2) Power forward  Milwaukee Bucks
2020–21 Nikola Jokić Center  Denver Nuggets
2021–22 Nikola Jokić (2) Center  Denver Nuggets

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NBA Most Valuable Player FAQs

What is the NBA Most Valuable Player award?

The NBA Most Valuable Player award is given to the player considered the best basketball player in the world.

Who won the NBA Most Valuable Player award last season?

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets won the 2021/22 NBA Most Valuable Player award.

Who has won the most Most Valuable Player awards?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers) won the Most Valuable Player award six times in his career.