Last week, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was the -210 favorite at BetMGM to win his first career NBA regular-season MVP Award after finishing second the previous two seasons to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who was +275 last week. However, after Denver's win over Philadelphia on Monday in which Embiid sat and Jokic posted a triple-double, Embiid is now at +120 second favorite to Jokic (+100), and Embiid could miss a second game in a row tonight against visiting Dallas. Click here for model picks.
Monday's game was supposed to be the final regular-season showdown between two of the leading MVP candidates, but Embiid was ruled out with a right calf injury. For whatever reason, Embiid just doesn't play the one time each season the Sixers visit Denver. Jokic delivered his 29th triple-double of the season with 25 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. Jokic is trying to become the fourth player to win three consecutive MVP awards, joining Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
Embiid had a franchise-record streak of 30-point games end at 10 in a row last Wednesday in a blowout win in Chicago. The big man played only 16 minutes with the game out of hand. He bounced back with 46 points last Friday at Golden State and then 28 on Saturday in Phoenix before taking Monday off. The Philadelphia Inquirer had ran the following headline after he skipped the matchup vs. Jokic: "Joel Embiid just ended the MVP conversation by sitting against Nikola Jokic. And that's fine."
Only once in NBA history has a player won the MVP while playing 68 or fewer games in an 82-game season: Bill Walton in 1997-78. Embiid has never played more than 68 games and won't this season. He's played 61 with seven scheduled games to go.
Embiid leads the NBA in scoring at 33.3 points per game, but the Mavericks' Luka Doncic is closing at 32.9 PPG. Because Embiid is questionable tonight, no props have been posted for him yet. Doncic is set at over/under 30.5 points. When the Sixers lost 133-126 in Dallas on March 2, Doncic had 42 points and 12 assists. Embiid dropped 35 points but had a minus-16 rating.
Also questionable tonight for Philly is James Harden, who has missed the past four with left Achilles soreness. Yet the Sixers are still -4, so oddsmakers clearly think Embiid will play.
Tyrese Maxey has gone supernova in Harden's place. Maxey's 87 points scored since last Friday are the third-most in the league. He is the only player in that span with at least 75 points while shooting a minimum of 55% from the field and 50% from deep. There are no props available on him yet, either.
So which 2023 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine's Fantasy baseball cheat sheets now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Joey Votto's disappointing season, and find out.
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