Could The Nuggets Rest Nikola Jokic And Affect MVP Odds?

NBA Player prop
NBA Player prop

The Denver Nuggets have been one of the most consistently successful teams in the NBA this season, thanks in large part to their MVP-favorite center Nikola Jokić.

The two-time reigning MVP is at it again, currently averaging an unheard of triple double, and the Nuggets have the second-best record in the NBA at 46-20. Denver took over the top spot in the Western Conference on December 20th, and have held on to that position ever since.

First Place Nuggets Could Rest Nikola Jokić. Could Embiid Steal MVP?

jokic mvp 061121

They’ve been essentially the only team in the NBA that hasn’t had to look in their rearview mirror in over a month. The Nuggets stretched their lead over the Grizzlies to 4.5 games back on February 7th, and are now sitting a very comfortable 7.5 games ahead of the Kings, who are now in second place.

With just 16 games remaining and a slew of winnable games coming up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Denver lock up the number one seed by the time the calendar changes over to April. Should that happen, would head coach Michael Malone consider resting Jokic and making sure that the MVP is fresh and ready for the playoffs?

If he did, his MVP might not be the MVP anymore.

NBA MVP Odds Play
Nikola Jokic -325 BetOnline logo
Joel Embiid +450 BetOnline logo
Giannis Antetokounpo +550 BetOnline logo


As it stands today, Jokic is the runaway favorite for MVP as far as the sports books are concerned. He is listed at -325 to win the award for the third-straight time, and it seems that only voter fatigue can stop him from the accomplishment.

But in this case, it would be a five-to-seven game absence that would lower the likelihood. Joel Embiid is currently listed at +450, but the 76ers are in a heated battle for playoff position, and could use big numbers from their big man if they hope to hold on to the 3-seed or even make it up to the 2. Giannis Antetokounpo has the Bucks in first place in the East, and he is listed at +550.

Could Malone forego the rest and have Nikola Jokić play in meaningless games down the stretch? Perhaps. But the Nuggets have larger ambitions than personal achievements, and betting on Embiid or Giannis to steal the award in the final games might be a good idea.

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