- Online sportsbook PointsBet has already paid out all bettors who wagered for Nikola Jokic to win the 2022 NBA MVP award while giving Joel Embiid bettors a free bet..
- Jokic was the consensus betting favorite to win the award before the betting boards were taken and he was also the winner of ESPN’s third MVP straw poll.
- But if Jokic is indeed the 2022 MVP, he could become the first MVP winner to be swept in the first round of the playoffs.
In what was an unprecedented move, online betting site PointsBet has already paid out bettors who wagered on Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic to win the 2022 NBA MVP award, even if the NBA is still a couple of months away from announcing the winner.
According to PointsBet:
The NBA Awards are still several months out, but we are confident that Nikola Jokic will win MVP once again ?
Today, we will be paying out all Jokic MVP bettors, and we will be giving all Joel Embiid MVP bettors a free bet! pic.twitter.com/j9IG9YQiiN
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) April 21, 2022
In a separate announcement, PointsBet said that it was already looking forward to the next MVP race by posting the earliest 2022-23 NBA MVP futures odds board.
2022 NBA MVP Finalists
SOURCE SPORTS: Jokic, Embiid, and Antentokounmpo Named Finalists for NBA MVP https://t.co/Sv7uCIGAAE
— The Source Magazine (@TheSource) April 19, 2022
Jokic was named as one of the three finalists for the 2022 NBA MVP award last April 17th so that means he is sure to finish in the Top 3. But while the NBA has yet to even announce when The NBA Awards show will be, PointsBet has already crowned Jokic the MVP and paid out bettors who wagered on the Denver Nuggets superstar to win the award. But while that may look premature at first glance, PointsBet had two very valid reasons to do so.
When the betting boards for the NBA’s MVP awards closed at the best NBA sportsbooks, Jokic was the consensus betting favorite at all sportsbooks. Not only was Jokic the favorite, but he was also pulling away from the rest of the field week after week since taking over the top spot at the end of March. At PointsBet, he was a -350 in the last odds board with Joel Embiid at +300 and Giannis Antetokounmpo at +700. The Joker was even listed at a shorter -400 at Caesars before the betting site closed its MVP betting board.
Aside from being the oddsmakers’ favorite, Jokic was also declared the “winner” during ESPN’s third and final NBA MVP straw vote. In fact, it was right after the third ESPN NBA MVP straw vote was revealed thaT Jokic overtook Embiid on the betting boards. Although ESPN’s poll is just a simulation, it has correctly predicted the winner of the previous four NBA MVP winners, including Jokic last season.
First-Ever MVP to Be Swept in the First Round?
Nikola Jokic is one loss away from becoming the first MVP in NBA history to be swept 4-0 in the first round. pic.twitter.com/uQ2MrqZB6D
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 22, 2022
Assuming that PointsBet is correct, and most likely it is, then Jokic would be the 13th player in the history of the NBA to win the MVP award in back-to-back seasons, joining among others, Giannis who won in 2019 and 2020. If Jokic does indeed get his second straight award, it will mark the first time since Moses Malone ( 1981-82 and 1982-83) and Larry Bird ( 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86) won back-to-back awards one after the other.
No one will question PointsBet for paying out early or the panel for voting Jokic as the 2022 MVP. The guy set numerous NBA records this season, including the highest PER in the history of the league and becoming the first player in NBA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season. But Jokic is also on pace to set a record he hopes won’t be his.
With Friday’s 118-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets are one loss away from getting swept in the first round of the playoffs. If the Dubs win Game 4, Jokic will become the first MVP winner to get swept in the first round of the playoffs. Well, that is if he is officially named as MVP winner in June.