NBA Most Improved Player Odds 2023 | Prediction, Sleeper Picks & Opening Lines

Posted: Jul 18, 2022Last updated: Aug 3, 2022

The 2022-23 NBA season is fast approaching, and as such, we’re already beginning to turn our attention to the award races for the upcoming year.

The Most Improved Player award is arguably the most entertaining to follow throughout the season. Some of the league’s youngest stars are in contention as they make the leap from good to great. Last year, Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant won the award after boosting his scoring average from 19.1 points to 27.4 per game.

This year’s pool of potential winners features big names and small, and as it stands, the race appears wide-open.

NBA Most Improved Player Odds 2023

These NBA gameday odds are current as of Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. ET and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Anthony Edwards (+1100)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (+1200)
  • RJ Barrett (+1800)
  • Jalen Brunson (+1800)
  • Cade Cunningham (+1800)
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2000)
  • Jordan Poole (+2200)
  • Michael Porter Jr. (+2500)
  • Zion Williamson (+2500)
  • Anfernee Simons (+2500)
  • Tyrese Maxey (+2500)
  • LaMelo Ball (+2500)
  • Scottie Barnes (+3000)
  • Darius Garland (+3000)
  • Jalen Green (+3000)
  • Keldon Johnson (+3000)

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NBA Most Improved Player Favorites

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (+1100)

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards is the current favorite to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2023, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The third-year guard is one of the league’s most exciting young players, and after a breakout postseason performance, he appears primed for a strong campaign.

Edwards is already a phenomenal scorer — he averaged 21.3 points per game in 2021-22 and went for 40+ three times — but he can also be a bit inconsistent. Assuming he can continue to bring his percentages up and make his first All-Star Game in 2023, he could be a shoo-in to win the award.

The case against Edwards? Teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are usage monsters who could keep him from making necessary statistical improvements. Trading Russell would really open things up for Edwards, but it remains to be seen if that’s in Minnesota’s plans.

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (+1200)

Indiana is handing the keys to the franchise to Tyrese Haliburton, which looks like a wise decision. The 22-year-old has more than a few All-Star selections in his future, and perhaps All-NBA honors as well. He’s already one of the league’s best playmakers, which bodes well for his ceiling.

After his mid-season trade to the Pacers in 2022, Haliburton averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists in 26 appearances. With Indiana leaning fully into a rebuild and committing to Haliburton as its player of the future, he’ll have every opportunity to make his mark this season.

NBA Most Improved Player Contenders

Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons (+1800)

Cade Cunningham’s rookie campaign got off to a painfully slow start, and as such, his case for Rookie of the Year was essentially shot by the end of November. However, from December onward, he began to showcase some of the potential that led to him being taken with the No. 1 pick in 2021.

The 20-year-old averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists over his final 49 games of the season, highlighted by a 34-point performance in mid-January. These numbers are closer to the ones he’ll need to post in 2022-23.

The Pistons do have a handful of young, ball-dominant mouths to feed, which could complicate his chances of winning the award. But Detroit has a lot invested in Cunningham, and he’s more than capable of taking a huge leap this season.

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors (+2200)

Jordan Poole’s case to win this award is a curious one. He already brought his scoring average up by 6.5 points per game last season, and as the third option behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it’s fair to wonder how much more he can really do in his current situation with the Warriors.

The scoring outbursts have been there, though, which is one reason to back Poole in this race. He had 10 30-point performances last season and averaged 26.4 points per game during a 17-game stretch in March and April.

Even if his overall improvement isn’t massive, he’s a name to keep an eye on.

NBA Most Improved Player Sleepers

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (+2500)

Anfernee Simons had a breakout year of sorts in 2021-22 for the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 17.3 points in 29.5 minutes per game — a drastic improvement over the 7.8 points per game he scored the year prior. Still, that wasn’t enough for him to be named a finalist for the award last season.

Simons also did much of his damage in relief of Damian Lillard, who is expected to return at full strength for the Blazers this year. That will make things tougher for Simons, given that he’s a ball-dominant, score-first guard who simply won’t get as many looks with Lillard on the floor.

Still, Simons looks like the unquestioned No. 2 in this offense, and we saw former Most Improved Player CJ McCollum excel in that role alongside Lillard for years. At (+2500) odds, this could be worth the gamble.

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (+2500)

Zion Williamson will be in contention for a number of awards this season, but if you’re planning to wager on the Pelicans big man, choosing him to win Most Improved Player may be your best bet.

Last we saw Williamson, he was averaging 27 points and 7.2 rebounds with New Orleans before missing the entire 2021-22 season with a foot injury. He’s since signed a lucrative contract extension to return to the Pelicans, signaling the franchise’s confidence in the young star.

Williamson has yet to reach his lofty expectations, but he’s got a genuine chance to surprise this season if he emerges as a superstar. And in that case, he could wrap up the Most Improved Player award in similar fashion to the way Morant did with Memphis last year.

NBA Most Improved Player Prediction

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

There’s no arguing it at this point: The Indiana Pacers are Tyrese Haliburton’s team. That became even more clear when the franchise traded Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics, who had the highest usage rate on the roster.

With some talented young pieces around him, Haliburton will have the opportunity to orchestrate an offense to his every desire. You can count on his scoring and assist totals rising in 2022-23, and if the Pacers can start winning some games, he’ll be a lock to win Most Improved Player as well.


Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is a Digital Content Coordinator for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided.

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