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Joel Embiid overtakes LeBron James as NBA MVP favorite

LeBron James, Joel Embiid, 76ers, Lakers, NBA

LeBron James has long been considered the favorite to win MVP this season, but his tenure as the favorite has ended, for the time being. Due to his massive increase in production, Joel Embiid is now the betting favorite to win the NBA MVP award, via SB Nation’s Harrison Faigen.

Embiid has been utterly special in the first half of the season as he’s compiled 30.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in his first 30 games of the season. He’s also shooting a career-high from the field (52.1 percent) and is making a career-best 41.6 percent of his three-point attempts.

Since the beginning of February alone, Embiid was unstoppable for the Philadelphia 76ers. Throughout the 14 games he took part in during February, Embiid averaged a whopping 32.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. The former third-overall selection has also recorded 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game since the beginning of February.

For much of the season, the debate of MVP has been between James, Embiid, and Nikola Jokic. All of them have separated themselves from the pack it seems like, with Embiid now taking the lead in odds to take home the hardware at the end of the season.

What makes Joel Embiid the favorite, besides his impressive numbers, is the fact that the 76ers hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 24-12. Though, you could make the argument that James has been just as impressive as he’s led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 24-13 record in the Western Conference despite not having Anthony Davis for nearly a month.