NBA News Weekly: MVP Betting Hots Up

By Ziv Chen
 |  3 mins
8E3DFB6F-93D4-478C-99D9-112C2BB6C04E  Fact Checked by Mark Fordham
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NBA News Weekly: MVP Betting Hots Up

All eyes are on LeBron James at the moment as the Los Angeles Lakers forward continues to power toward the NBA’s all-time scoring record. Elsewhere, the New Orleans Pelicans are missing their star and have suffered a severe slump, with nine consecutive losses. Finally, after Joel Embiid’s 47 points in the battle of the MVP candidates last weekend, the race for the Michael Jordan Trophy is hotting up.

Check out some of the stories you might have missed in professional basketball with our roundup of the biggest news, including a team you might want to swerve when making NBA picks and sportsbooks in the coming days. 

Pelicans Slide Continues in Williamson’s Absence

January has been a miserable month for the Pelicans. New Orleans has the longest active losing streak in the NBA, now standing at nine games. Since losing Zion Williamson to injury, the team has never looked confident offensively and hasn’t been able to find wins.

Another defeat, this time against the best-in-the-West Denver Nuggets, was typical of the recent run – they were unable to score effectively from anywhere on the court. The Pelicans have slumped from second in the Western Conference to 10th in 31 miserable January days. Ouch.

Having been as low as +800 with some betting sites to win the NBA Finals this season, most NBA betting apps currently offer +2500 for New Orleans to win their first NBA championship.

Williamson was the beating heart of the Pelicans, scoring 26 PPG this season, and his absence revealed the team’s reliance on the 22-year-old power forward. With other stars, like Brandon Ingram, in serious slumps right now, the team is looking for someone to step up to fill the gap.

In the loss against Denver, Herb Jones showed that he might have turned around his personal cold shooting streak, scoring 21 points from 6-of-8 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws. CJ McCollum also added 24 points in the loss. It was a small consolation for the team that has only exceeded 103 points once on this losing run. The Pelicans will need to find a way to win without Zion. If they don’t, they may struggle to make the play-in. 

89 Points to go for LeBron’s Scoring Record

After another spectacular performance last night against the New York Knicks, LeBron James is hurtling towards the all-time NBA scoring record. The Los Angeles Lakers forward scored 28 against the New York Knicks in the 129-123 OT win, recording a triple-double, to ensure he continues to be a must-have NBA player prop pick.

LeBron’s numbers have been absolutely stellar in 2022/23, despite the Lakers’ poor season. He’s scored more than 40 points five times, including four in January alone. His lowest points total in January was 20 points against the San Antonio Spurs.

He’s motoring towards the record at an impressive pace, averaging 30.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.1 assists a game this season. Needing just 89 to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he just so happened to score exactly 89 points in the last seven days. The Lakers face the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. At his current rate, LeBron will make history very soon. 

Some USA sports betting sites are offering markets on when and how LeBron will seal the record. The shortest odds, at +130, are provided on him scoring his 38,388th point against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 9. If you’re interested in placing a wager on how he’ll break the record, some NBA betting sites are offering +650 for a dunk and +145 for a simple layup. Whenever and however the record is broken, LeBron looks set to make history in the coming weeks.

MVP Race Hots Up Pre-All-Star Break

With lots of focus on the NBA All-Star selections, the race for another significant award is heating up in the NBA: the Michael Jordan MVP trophy. Joel Embiid’s colossal 47-point performance against the Nuggets over the weekend shortened the Philadelphia 76ers center’s odds with some US betting apps to as low as +230.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic remains the favorite, priced between -105 and -130 to claim his third consecutive MVP, and his performances have been outstanding in 2022/23. He is averaging a triple-double a game all season, posting 25.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game in 2022/23.

Luka Doncic, the mercurial Mavericks guard, has been lighting up the NBA this season, scoring 40-plus points 10 times this year, hitting 60 points against the Knicks, and putting away 53 in his latest spellbinding performance last night against the Detroit Pistons. Averaging 33.4 ppg this year, Doncic must be in the conversation. He’s the third favorite, priced between +350 and +700 by betting apps.

Outside of this group, a host of players have a right to be in the MVP conversation this year. Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant and soon-to-be NBA all-time record points scorer LeBron James have legitimate cases for consideration. Whoever wins the Michael Jordan Trophy, it’s great to have so many outstanding players gracing the NBA now. Long may it continue. 

Ziv has served for two decades in senior positions with online gambling operators and software companies. In recent years he decided to combine his passions for writing, gambling, and sports, and became a fulltime casino and sports betting writer. Ziv’s biggest loves are the NFL (Pittsburgh Steelers), college football (Maryland Terrapins), casino games and online slots.

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