Can LeBron James Become The Oldest NBA MVP This Season?

  • LeBron James has +1600 odds to win league MVP according to sportsbooks.
  • If James wins, he would become the oldest MVP in league history.
  • Before his injury, LeBron had the shortest odds to win MVP during the 2020-2021 season.

LOS ANGELES – Early NBA MVP odds have Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as an early favorite to win league MVP. Should James claim the award, he would be the oldest regular-season MVP in league history to do so.

James was actually ahead with NBA sportsbooks to win MVP during the 2020-2021 season. His teammate Anthony Davis was out with an injury, leaving James to carry his squad without his co-star, giving him +200 odds for the MVP award.

LeBron would eventually get injured and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets would claim the award. Can a full season of a healthy King James recapture voters’ attention and lead to the majority of MVP votes?

The Competition

2022 Regular Season MVP Odds

  • Luka Doncic +375
  • Joel Embiid +700
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +700
  • Kevin Durant +750
  • Stephen Curry +750
  • Damian Lillard +1400
  • Nikola Jokic +1600
  • LeBron James +1600
  • Devin Booker +2000
  • Trae Young +2000
  • James Harden +2000

LeBron sits with the eighth shortest odds at online sportsbooks to win the league MVP title. Most betting fans are looking towards younger players, hence why the three favorites are Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

What LeBron has over Doncic is team success. Luka’s Dallas Mavericks have not finished higher than the 5th seed in the playoffs with Luka and the MVP award usually goes to the best player on a winning team.

The Lakers are the favorite to win the Western Conference and have the second shortest odds at +350 to win the NBA Championship behind the Brooklyn Nets who have odds of +250. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks have +3000 odds to win the championship.

Joel Embiid finished second in MVP votes after leading the Philadelphia 76ers to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers may not see the same success, however, as the team is internally imploding.

Embiid’s costar in Ben Simmons wants to be traded and doesn’t plan to report to the team. His antics have killed his trade value so if the 76ers move him, they likely won’t be getting much in return, leaving them worse off than last season.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are a legitimate threat to LeBron’s MVP chances. The Bucks are the defending NBA Champions, the Greek Freak has won two of the last three league MVPs, and Milwaukee consistently wins a lot of games, usually as a top-three team in the East.

Voter fatigue on Giannis may have settled in, yet despite his successful season last year, Antetokounmpo only came in fourth in MVP voting.

Lakers Talent Stealing Votes

LeBron James has one other hurdle and it’s an internal one. The MVP award is heavily contingent on narratives and supports players being the overwhelming best player on their teams.

The Los Angeles Lakers have Anthony Davis and former MVP Russell Westbrook in the starting five alongside James. Voters may be split on awarding LeBron votes if the team’s success is viewed less on LeBron’s playing and more so on the Lakers stacking the deck as a whole.

Additionally, if Davis or Westbrook have breakout seasons, they may receive some votes, taking potential votes away from James.

LeBron only saw his odds to win MVP shorten after Davis was injured. His individual play without his costar saw him climb the Kia MVP ladder.

If the Lakers see all their stars healthy this year, it will be hard for James to win the MVP Award.