Shai Gilgeous-Alexander MVP Odds for the 2024 Season

By Ray Fittipaldo
Fact Checked by Peter Mooney

Toronto native Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is making Canada proud and has a chance to do something only one other Canadian has done in the history of the NBA. He is striving to become the second Canadian to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player award. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder

Steve Nash became the first Canadian to win it in 2005, but Gilgeous-Alexander is challenging this year. Gilgeous-Alexander is having another spectacular season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is third in the league in scoring, trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, and he has a chance to average more than 30 points per game for a second consecutive season.

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Current NBA MVP Odds

Nikola Jokic is trying to win his third MVP in the past four years while Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic are trying to win their first. Jokic is starting to gain some separation among the favorites with Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander battling to stay in contention.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, here is where Gilgeous-Alexander stands in his odds to win MVP in comparison to the competition:

Nikola JokicDenver Nuggets-1600
Luka DončićDallas Mavericks+800
Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderOklahoma City Thunder+2000
Jayson TatumBoston Celtics+10000
Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks+10000
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Has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Come Close To Winning Before?

Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the NBA's biggest superstars, but he didn't enter the league with much fanfare. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 draft averaged just 10.8 points per game during his rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him and a boatload for first-round picks following his rookie season to Oklahoma City for Paul George. Since the trade, Gilgeous-Alexander has improved every season, going from 19 points per game in his first season with Oklahoma City to 23.7 ppg, to 24.5 ppg and to 31.4 ppg last season when he finished fifth in the MVP voting. It has been a meteoric rise for Gilgeous-Alexander, who wasn't even listed for the MVP by the odds makers heading into the 2023-24 season. He's no longer so anonymous and is in the midst of the best season in his six-year career. Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting a career-best 54% from the field and has a chance to set his career-high in points per game as well.

What Could Impact Gilgeous-Alexander's Chances of Winning the MVP Award?

Gilgeous-Alexander is the best player on one of the best teams in the NBA, which always seems to be a prerequisite for the award. Oklahoma City, Denver and Minnesota are jostling for the best record and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Nikola Jokic, of course, plays for the Denver Nuggets. 

Oklahoma City finishes the regular season with four consecutive home games from April 9-14, which could be a big opportunity for Gilgeous-Alexander to make a move. He's averaging more than 31 points and almost 7 assists in home games this season. But the truth is, there is only so much Gilgeous-Alexander can do. Jokic, the heavy favorite according to most legal sportsbooks, is nearly averaging a triple-double for the season. Dallas' Luka Doncic, meanwhile, has a healthy lead in the league scoring race. Gilgeous-Alexander is going to have to do something spectacular in the final stretch of games to get in position to earn the MVP.

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🍁 Has a Canadian Won The MVP Award Before?

Steve Nash, who grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, became the first Canadian to win the NBA MVP in 2005. He also won the next year in 2006. In addition to their Canadian citizenship, Nash and Gilgeous-Alexander have something else in common. Both play point guard. Nash, however, wasn't as prolific of a scorer. During his two MVP seasons, he averaged 15.5 and 18.8 points per game. Nash gained the respect of the voters with his ability to distribute the ball and make his teammates better. He averaged double-digit assists in both of those seasons. Gilgeous-Alexander, meanwhile, is a modern-day point with the ability to score at an elite level. He can dish out the assists too, but he's more likely to look for his own shot than Nash was. 

Nash was a trendsetter of sorts. Before he won, the award was dominated by American-born players. The only foreign-born player to win the award before Nash was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994. But since Nash was MVP in back-to-back years nearly two decades ago, eight international players have won, including the past five winners -- Giannis Antetokounmpo (twice), Nikola Jokic (twice) and Joel Embiid. The other international player to win in recent years was Dirk Nowitzki in 2007. There is a little bit of a gray area when discussing Hall of Famer and two-time league MVP Tim Duncan, who was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He represented the United States in international play during his illustrious playing career, but the NBA considers him an "international" player. Duncan won the award in 2002 and 2003.

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What do NBA MVP Voters Look For?

The criteria for deciding the NBA MVP is strictly up to the 100 panelists the NBA has selected to vote on the award. For some, it's simply the definition of the award: the most valuable player on the best team. In other words, the player who is most vital to the team's success. For others, it's sustaining excellence on the court throughout the long season. And for others, any number of factors are considered, including leadership and an ability to make players around them better. 

It's a totally subjective process and many voters cast their ballots with different criteria. And that's OK. The league doesn't want a cookie-cutter process to determine the award. Earlier this century, there was the Kobe Bryant-LeBron James debate when both players were in the prime of their careers. James won four MVPs in five years while Bryant won just one, but the discourse kept fans engaged and grew the game. We're seeing something similar now with Nikola Jokic, who is poised to win his third MVP in four years. It's up to players such as Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic to push Jokic and earn their place in NBA lore.

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What is the Voting Process?

The panelists vote using a points system, giving each of their five candidates a ranking. The player with a voter's first-place vote gets 10 points, the second-place candidate gets seven points, the third five points, the fourth three points and the fifth one point. 

The NBA publishes the number of points after the voting is tabulated. Last year, for example, Joel Embiid garnered 73 of the 100 first-place votes and won the award going away with 915 points. Jokic was second with 15 first-place votes and 674 points. Giannis Antetokuonmpo was close behind in third place with 606 points and Jayson Tatum was fourth with 280 points. Gilgeous-Alexander was a distant fifth with no first-place votes and 46 points. 

The good news is that Gilgeous-Alexander is starting to garner more respect in NBA circles. Given that he is currently third in the odds, Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to get many more votes this year and should finish ahead of Antetokuonmpo and Tatum, whose odds have lengthened considerably over the final few months of the season.

Recent NBA MVP Winners

Joel EmbiidPhiladelphia 76ers2023
Nikola JokicDenver Nuggets2022
Nikola JokicDenver Nuggets2021
Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks2020
Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks2019
James HardenHouston Rockets2018
Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder2017
Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors2016


Ray has worked in sports journalism for the past 26 years, covering Super Bowls, Stanley Cup Finals, Final Fours and BCS national championship games.

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