The NBA MVP race has gotten unusually testy in current weeks.

Earlier this month, when Nikola Jokic appeared poised to take house his third straight MVP, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins steered that award voters fostered bias towards black gamers by mentioning that solely Jokic, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash have received MVP since 1990 with out being a top-ten scorer, setting off a frenzy all through basketball media.

However now, after a dreadful week of basketball from Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, Joel Embiid (-115) has handed the reigning back-to-back MVP because the betting favourite at PointsBet.

NBA MVP betting odds by way of PointsBet (150/1 or shorter)

Joel Embiid -115
Nikola Jokic +160
Giannis Antetokounmpo +300
Jayson Tatum +6000
Luka Doncic +15000

Joel Embiid
Getty Photos

Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have been on a heater since early December, which has helped him slowly creep again into the MVP dialog and move Jokic, who was dealing as a -350 favourite days in the past.

After beginning 12-12, the Sixers have 34-10 and are actually threatening the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic Division crown and coveted second seed within the Japanese Convention.

The 28-year-old heart has taken his scoring prowess to a different degree this season.

Embiid leads within the NBA in scoring (33.5 factors per recreation) and is capturing 54.1 % from the sector, each of that are, by far, profession highs.

Maybe most significantly, Philadelphia loved an iconic win over Denver throughout a nationally televised recreation in late January.

Embiid dominated Jokic inside throughout that recreation, scoring 47 factors and flattening 18 boards.

Jokic put up an underwhelming (for him) 24 factors, 9 assists and eight rebounds and appeared unmatched at occasions towards the overwhelming Embiid.

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic
NBAE by way of Getty Photos

Embiid’s favourite standing has as a lot to do along with his success as Jokic’s terrible week, although, as effectively.

The Nuggets had misplaced 4 straight coming into play towards the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

That four-game dropping streak contains losses to a few groups beneath .500 groups (Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors) and the post-Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets.

Jokic’s conventional numbers over these 4 video games (29.5 factors, 9.3 assists, 12.8 rebounds on 59.2 % capturing) aren’t an excessive amount of totally different from his season averages — he’s truly scoring about 5 factors extra per recreation.

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However the knock towards Jokic has been his protection, and Denver’s has been atrocious this week.

Towards 4 below-average or worse offenses, the Nuggets have allowed 123 factors per recreation on a league-worst 125.2 defensive ranking throughout their current skid.

That tough stretch has helped the Sixers (46-22) move the Nuggets (46-23) by way of file, which can be an enormous determinate in voters’ minds.

Denver is simply 4.5 video games up on the second-seeded Sacramento Kings and at risk of dropping the No. 1 spot within the West if their struggles sustain, which was unthinkable as lately as per week in the past.

If the chances are any indication, there’s nonetheless a ton to be decided on this race.