Jayson Tatum Odds: Please Stop Betting Celtics Star To Win NBA MVP

Don't waste your money, it's not happening


March 31, 2022

There’s a reason Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum is 250-1 to win NBA MVP.

He’s not winning the award.

I hate to be so frank about one of the league’s best young players, but that’s the reality of the situation with five games remaining in the regular season. Tatum averaged 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists over 13 games in March to catapult the C’s towards the top of the standings — remarkable, yes — but voters pay much more attention to the full body of work instead of a sliver of pie at season’s end.

Surefire candidates like Denver’s Nikola Jokic (-155 at DraftKings), Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (+115) and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (+1000) have carried the mail for the entire season and have been much more consistent and efficient than Tatum.

Even Tatum admitted that he couldn’t find his rhythm in the season’s first couple months.

“It’s no disrespect to Jayson Tatum,” WynnBET senior trader Motoi Pearson told NESN. “These other cats have better résumés and that’s all that matters. Jokic has been a monster for 70 games and that Nuggets team (46-31) might only have 25 wins if he wasn’t in the lineup. That’s the truth.

“Embiid carried Philadelphia without Ben Simmons for almost five months before James Harden joined the squad and he’s averaging 30 points and 11 boards. Giannis has basically the same numbers as Embiid and he’s got Milwaukee one game away from the No. 1 seed in the East. And Devin Booker doesn’t even get talked about in this conversation. He’s the best player on the best team in the NBA and he’s 40-1 or higher for MVP. That’s wild to me.

“Tatum definitely improved over the course of the season and balled out late, but it’s not enough.”

Advanced metrics like player efficiency don’t help Tatum, either. For every campaign poster the Celtics blast out, there’s a statistical argument to debunk his MVP legitimacy. Tatum is worth nine less wins than Jokic and he ranks 13th in player efficiency behind guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Dejounte Murray, Rudy Gobert and Domantas Sabonis.

And while Tatum leads in the league in total points scored, he’s also taken the most shots.

If you’re looking to invest money in Jayson Tatum, you should consider a bet on the Celtics to win the East (+500). If he dominates the postseason the way he’s dominated over the last six weeks, that bet has value and it’s actually realistic. You could always hedge if the C’s make the East Finals, too. Just save the MVP bets for next year.

“I would look to open him at 8- or 10-1 for MVP next season,” Pearson forecasted. “That seems fair.”

Now that’s respect.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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