Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart shoots a free throw against the Las Vegas Aces in the second half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Everett, Wash. The Storm won 97-83. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
- Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart is the early betting favorite for WNBA MVP
- A’ja Wilson, Sabrina Ionescu, Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker round out the top five
- Read below for our best value picks to claim the hardware for 2021 MVP
After the first few weeks of the 2021 WNBA season, the opening odds for the MVP award have surfaced. And a handful of familiar faces sit at the top of that list.
So far in the new year, teams such as the Connecticut Sun, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm, Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces have risen atop the league standings as they try and position themselves to make a run at a 2021 WNBA Championship.
In the top five for favorites to claim the MVP hardware, most of the names are players for those teams starting off strong, with Seattle Storm All-Star and 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart holding a strong lead as favorite at +175.
Behind Stewart is Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson (+350), New York’s Sabrina Ionescu (+500), Washington’s Elena Delle Donne (+800) and Chicago’s Candace Parker (+800).
2021 WNBA MVP Odds
|Player||Odds at DraftKings|
|Breanna Stewart (SEA)||+175|
|A’ja Wilson (LVA)||+350|
|Sabrina Ionescu (NYL)||+500|
|Elena Delle Donne (WAS)||+800|
|Candace Parker (CHI)||+800|
|Jonquel Jones (CON)||+1000|
|DeWanna Bonner (CON)||+1200|
|Napheesa Collier (MIN)||+1400|
|Liz Cambage (LVA)||+2000|
|Brittney Griner (PHX)||+2500|
|Arike Ogunbowale (DAL)||+2500|
|TIna Charles (WAS)||+3000|
|Sylvia Fowles (MIN)||+3000|
|Betnijah Laney (NYL)||+3000|
|Nneka Ogwumike (LAS)||+5000|
Odds as of May 26th
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Should Stewart Be a Heavy Favorite?
It’s no surprise that Stewart is the early favorite to claim the MVP award. Just how heavy of a favorite she is, however, is somewhat surprising. In these initial odds, Stewart (+175) has a sizeable lead over Wilson in second (+350).
Stewart last won the MVP award in 2018, the first time she received the honor. After sitting out the 2019 campaign with a ruptured Achilles, Stewart returned to the court a year ago and put together another solid season in her career.
In 2021, many think she will continue that dominance while going on to win MVP for a second time.
Breanna Stewart (36 PTS, 11 REB, 5 BLK) was cookin’ tonight ⚡️
She becomes the 5th WNBA player to record at least 35 PTS, 10 REB and 5 BLKS in a game pic.twitter.com/t6n9kyqus6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 23, 2021
So far this season, Stewart ranks near the top of the league in multiple categories. Also being listed as the favorite to win MVP in the preseason WNBA General Manager’s survey, Stewart opened the year earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors, averaging 28.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
She also become the fastest player in WNBA history to surpass 2,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds marks during the week.
🔥 No. 1 in the league in points per game
🔥 Three double-doubles
🔥 Became fastest player to 2500 points and 1000 rebounds@breannastewart is your Western Conference Player of the Week! 🤩#TakeCover pic.twitter.com/8MIdvbGCfc
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) May 24, 2021
If she’s able to stay healthy all season, Stewart should be the top candidate or at least one of the finalists to claim the MVP award in 2021. We could see the distance between her odds and the rest of the frontrunners shrink, but her name will continue to be right at the top of the list this season.
Other Top Contenders
Behind Stewart, there are some other notable contenders worth keeping an eye on both from a betting standpoint and just when it comes to making a run at winning the award in general.
Wilson (+350) and Ionescu (+500) are two names that could quickly rise up on the odds lists, while, Delle Donne (+800) and Parker (+800) certainly have a shot as well even if it might be viewed as more of a longer shot compared to the players in the top three.
Wilson has been dominant to begin the year, although Las Vegas has underperformed to some extent. Ionescu has taken the WNBA by storm once again after missing most of the 2020 season with an injury, already recording a triple-double and boosting New York atop the standings.
Sabrina Ionescu’s first 3 games of the season
25 PTS, 11 AST, Game Winner
12 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, W
26 PTS, 12 AST, 10 REB, W*
* At 23, she’s the youngest player in @WNBA history with a triple-double pic.twitter.com/ISvrES4Ras
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 19, 2021
Wilson and Ionescu are two more likely contenders to give Stewart a run for her money for league MVP compared to Delle Donne and Parker, and their solid starts so far have helped their odds.
Sleepers to Watch
All 15 players listed on the odds list for MVP candidates are the top players on their respective teams, so they are all talented players. But there are still some sleepers on the list of MVP candidates.
Two sleepers I’m watching are Minnesota’s Napheesa Collier (+1400) and New York’s Betnijah Laney (+3000). Collier will be kicking off her season with the Lynx this week after arriving late, while Laney is off to an MVP-caliber start to her first year with the Liberty.
When it comes to the best bet among this list, Collier and Laney’s odds are very intriguing, resulting in nearly selecting them. Picking any of the top five players on the list will put you in a position to have a chance at winning some money, but if Ionescu (+500) continues the type of season she’s had and the hype around her continues, we could see the young New York star come away with the league award.
- The pick: Sabrina Ionescu (+500)
Mitchell has over seven years of experience in journalism, marketing, communications and digital fields, having covered sports teams and leagues on all levels. He has spent more than five years covering the WNBA and NBA, among other sports. You can follow him on Twitter @M_Hansen13.