Joel Embiid off the board in the NBA MVP race at sportsbooks

Philadelphia’s star center is at risk of not reaching the minimum number of games played
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts to a team foul against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an In-Season Tournament NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts to a team foul against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an In-Season Tournament NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

NBA players must play a minimum of 65 games during the regular season to be eligible for awards such as regular season MVP, Defensive Player of the Yaer and even All-NBA honors.

Philadelphia 76er star Joel Embiid is having an outrageously good season, averaging 35.3 points per game on 34 games played. Embiid’s PPG and games played compares to other MVP candidates as follows: Luka Doncic (34.7 ppg on 40 games played), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31.3 ppg on 46 games played), Giannis Antetokounmpo (31 ppg on 45 games played) and Nikola Jokic (26.3 ppg on 47 games played).

You could argue that Embiid is easily the frontrunner for the MVP award if the minimum games played threshold weren’t in play. HIs excellent season crescendoed with the remarkable 70-point performance against the San Antonio Spurs last week.

Despite taking over the top of MVP odds lists in recent weeks, a number of NJ sports betting apps have removed Embiid from MVP odds as of now.

For example, here are the odds as seen on bet365 on January 31:

PlayerOdds
Nikola Jokic-130
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+350
Luka Doncic+550
Giannis Antetokounmpo+750
Jayson Tatum+4000
Anthony Edwards+10000
Kevin Durant+10000
De’Aaron Fox+12500

...and we have a similar look on FanDuel:

PlayerOdds
Nikola Jokic-125
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander+300
Luka Doncic+500
Giannis Antetokounmpo+700
Jayson Tatum+3700
Anthony Edwards+10000
Kevin Durant+10000
Kawhi Leonard+15000

The NBA added these rules to the new CBA that was enacted this past summer. Notably, the player must play 20 minutes in a game for the game to count as a game played toward this quota. Embiid missed consecutive games in recent days against Portland and Denver, but played last night against Golden State. However, fans were concerned with the appearance of Embiid attempting to play through injury. Hopefully the 76er big man can get healthy as well as play enough games to be included in very deserving awards consideration.

The Philadelphia 76ers play the Utah Jazz tomorrow evening followed by a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

As we check in on the NBA Championship futures odds, Boston remains the favorite as they have been for much of the season with +310 at FanDuel. Denver (+440), Milwaukee (+500), LA Clippers (+700) and Philadelphia (+1100) round out the top five teams.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not an online gambling operator or gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

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