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NBA Most Improved Player odds: Tyrese Maxey’s hot start has 76ers’ rising star primed for award

After a fast start to the season, Tyrese Maxey enters the third week of the NBA season as co-favorite to take home the Most Improved Player award.

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 26: Tyrese Maxey #0 and James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers speak in a break against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on October 26, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 26: Tyrese Maxey #0 and James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers speak in a break against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on October 26, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Read moreMark Blinch / Getty Images

With nearly two weeks of the NBA season complete, the early returns have already been quite different from what many expected.

Especially locally, as the Philadelphia 76ers started the season at 1-4 (now 3-4) after entering the season as one of the top betting favorites to win the NBA title. Those +1400 odds at BetMGM have remained the same despite the slow start.

A positive development: Tyrese Maxey went on a tear against the Toronto Raptors this past week, scoring 31 and and a career-best 44 points in two matchups. Maxey is averaging 22.6 points per game through 7 games, a five-point improvement from last season’s average.

His scoring and playmaking outbursts now have him as a co-favorite to take home the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player award, valued at +800 on BetMGM alongside the pre-season second-favorite to win the award, Indiana Pacers forward Tyrese Haliburton.

Note: Odds updated as of 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 31.

Before the season started, Maxey, who cracked the 76ers starting lineup toward the end of last season, was valued at +3000 when the odds for NBA’s Most Improved Player award odds opened.

That remained steady, but by the morning of October 28, two days after the 22-year-old’s 31-point, six assists and five rebounds performance in Toronto that ended up in a loss, those odds were down to +1200, according to John Ewing, the Data and PR representative for BetMGM.

After his 44-point masterpiece where he shot a perfect 10-10 from the field, 7-7 from the three-point line in this first half? It was all the way down to 10/1, and even though he struggled from the field in their win over the Bulls on Saturday, Maxey was the co-favorite for the award by Sunday night.

» READ MORE: Tyrese Maxey is learning the Sixers need him to be more selfish: ‘Isos are good for you, too’

This doesn’t seem like a flash in the pan, either. Doc Rivers even said post-game following Maxey’s 44-point performance that “Isos are good for you, too” to the young but emerging guard.

His three-point attempts and makes per game have taken a significant step forward. Maxey averaged 1.8 makes last season on 4.1 attempts per game. That has blossomed to 3.1 makes per game on 6.7 attempts. The pure three-point percentage has improved from 42.7% to 46.8%, plus a slight uptick in rebounds per game, from 3.2 last season to 3.7 this season.

After being the catalyst for three wins last week over four games, Maxey’s MIP campaign will continue this week, with two games against the Washington Wizards, who allow the fewest points in the paint in the NBA (37.7) and are tied for the second-lowest field goal percentage (41.4) allowed.

Later in the week, the 76ers host the New York Knicks, who allow the fourth-lowest field goal percentage (43.3) and three-point percentage (30.3).

If Maxey continues his stellar play, and helps the 76ers continue to pick up wins, his odds could continue to shrink and put him in a great position to bring home the MIP hardware.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.