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Damian Lillard’s MVP Odds Surge after Hot Start

Portland’s leader is proving himself one of the best yet again.

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NBA: Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard started the 2022-23 NBA season on fire, and it’s beginning to show in the MVP betting odds. After four straight wins that saw Lillard score 41 points in back-to-back games, followed by Player of the Week honors, his odds have shortened from +6600 to +2500, according to The Athletic’s Cole Huff.

Jayson Tatum (+1200 to +600), Ja Morant (+1400 to +800) and Damian Lillard (+6600 to +2500) have all seen their NBA odds take a pretty significant leap since the beginning of the season. Tatum’s rise might be a case of trusting that the best player on arguably the league’s best team will sustain a fast start, while Morant’s and Lillard’s shortening odds could be a classic “absurd-numbers/team-on-back” type of case.

While, yes, Lillard’s shortening odds are in-part “absurd-numbers/team-on-back” related, they are also reflective of a return to form. Lillard’s original long odds were most likely due to uncertainty around his recovery from abdominal surgery earlier this year.

According to DraftKings odds (whose numbers vary slightly here), Lillard is currently just behind Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and just ahead of New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson in the top cluster of players.

  • Luka Doncic +450
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo +450
  • Ja Morant +700
  • Jayson Tatum +800
  • Joel Embiid +900
  • Kevin Durant +1200
  • Nikola Jokic +1200
  • Stephen Curry +2000
  • Damian Lillard +2200
  • Zion Williamson +2500

Continued success for Lillard could see his odds shorten even further, as he is no stranger to various rungs of the MVP ladder.