PHILADELPHIA — Leading the league in scoring and pushing for the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference, Joel Embiid seemingly has late-season momentum on his side in the NBA MVP race.
In a Friday edition of the Locked On NBA podcast, hosts Adam Mares and Wes Goldberg broke down the state of the race between Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and why it’s just heating up.
“These three guys are going to be very close. They’re all putting up statistical anomalies,” Mares said. “It’s going to come down to their team records … it’s going to come down to the head-to-head matchups … and it should.”
Denver hosts Milwaukee on March 25 and Philadelphia on March 27, followed by a 76ers-Bucks tilt in Milwaukee the following Sunday, three matchups that will play a significant part in deciding the award.
“The betting odds fluctuate, but I always knew it was going to come down to this final month and how those teams’ record performs and how they play head-to-head,” Mares said.
As of March 17, FanDuel Sportsbook has Embiid as the favorite at +100, followed by Jokic at +160 and Antetokounmpo at +370. Still, the 76ers are on a six-game win streak featuring several big late-game moments from Embiid, giving him the edge.
“Embiid is going for it right now. The Sixers have one of the hardest schedules in the league and they’re putting together six straight wins,” Goldberg said. “He’s just been great, Philly’s been rolling, Denver’s sliding, and that’s why I think you see Joel Embiid being the favorite right now, because quite frankly, he’s earned it.”