Three NBA MVPs in a row is something that has only happened 3 times in the league’s history. All three are upper echelon hall-of-famers in Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird. Nikola Jokic has a chance to become the 4th. It would be a remarkable feat, and another sign that the NBA has become a global game, with the last 4 MVP’s having been born outside the USA. That said, does he have a chance? Let’s break it down.

He won it last year with a team that was expected to be terrible. Instead, they overachieved with Jokic carrying the team on his back. Injuries and an ineffective supporting cast kept them from going further. The year before, the team was excellent, finishing with the 3rd seed, before bowing out in the Conference Semifinals.

This year, he’s playing on the best team that Denver’s had since the Carmelo Anthony-led team of 08-09. They’re-loaded with a bunch of talent in the offseason, and it’s paid dividends, as the Nuggets are currently comfortably atop the Western Conference. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ish Smith, and Bruce Brown that don’t just play important minutes, but give the team much-needed depth, something they were sorely lacking last year.

They were also with Michael Porter Jr., who missed almost all of last season, and Jamal Murray, who missed 33 games. Those two are back and starting for the Nuggets. Murray especially is an important part of the offense, averaging 18.5 points a game and 38.6% from the three-point line. Porter Jr. is also an excellent scorer, averaging 16.5 a game.

Since the MVP usually comes from a team that’s at or near the top of the standings, this part of Jokic’s case is solid. Even if disaster strikes, the Nuggets will finish with one of the top seeds in the conference, and it will largely be due to his play. His strong supporting cast and his ability to make everyone around him better are key components to an MVP bid.

As for Jokic himself, he is individually having a season that has become the norm for him. He’s average 25.8 points, 11 rebounds, 9.8 assists, and even 1.4 steals. All of those numbers lead the team, and again show why he is a complete player. You might notice that his scoring is slightly down from last year, when he averaged 27.1 points a game, but that can be chalked up to not having to carry the load offensively. In fact, with better help he’s been able to showcase his playmaking abilities even more, averaging a full two more assists per game than last season. In fact, his 9.8 assists per game is second in the league, which is remarkable for a center.

Who is favored for the MVP award? Draftkings Sportsbook has Jokic at +170 , followed by Luca Doncic at +250, and Jayson Tatum at +500 in second and third, respectively. So if you are looking to get in on the action and feel that Jokic will claim his 3rd straight award now would be the time to do so ( As we get closer towards the end of the season, Jokic’s MVP odds are likely to drop). If you do decide to take Jokic for MVP bet on Draftkings, be sure to check out their other top NBA offers such as the “$5 NBA SGPX Bonus Bet” and “Bet $5 on an NBA SGP, Get $10 Bonus Bet

Of course, the MVP is voted on by the media, and sometimes narratives take over. There have been times throughout the league’s history when they didn’t vote for a player for a variety of factors, such as not liking him or simply voter fatigue. After all, Michael Jordan probably could have won the MVP more than 5 times, but they decided to give others a chance. However, Jokic seems like he will avoid that fate. He’s a fun player, and being a big man who can make plays sets him apart. There has never been a player quite like him. If he keeps playing well, and the Nuggets win the championship or go deep into the playoffs, they most likely will still vote for him.

With a great team around him, and his ability to make plays and make everyone around him better, Jokic is in a good position and is well on his way to winning his 3rd straight MVP award.