NBA Finals MVP odds, best bets: Giannis, Booker favored in early field
The NBA conference finals have only just begun, but you can already bet on who will win Finals MVP before the matchup is even set. There's risk in that, obviously, but it can also be a nice way to buy some speculative value on a player (or team) that the market is overlooking.
Here are the current odds to win NBA Finals MVP with a few players worth highlighting:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+110)
At first glance, this may seem like a fair price for the two-time MVP, who is tearing it up this postseason for the title-favorite Bucks. But there's simply too much risk here without much reward.
Considering Milwaukee is dealing as high as +105 at some shops to win it all, it's downright foolish to bet Antetokounmpo at nearly the same price. Only one player has ever won Finals MVP on the losing side (Jerry West, 1969), and it seems almost inconceivable to believe it will happen again after the league failed to reward LeBron James' superhuman efforts in 2015.
If you really think Antetokounmpo is destined to win this award, simply bet his team to win the championship. And if you don't like the Bucks' price to win it all, you ought to stay away from this wager, too.
Devin Booker (+300)
Unlike the issue with Antetokounmpo's odds, Booker's price is decently split from the Suns' title odds (+150). That only makes sense, since teammate Chris Paul (+450) is among the favorites to win this award, too.
Practically, though, this is Booker's award to lose if Phoenix claims its first-ever championship. The sixth-year guard has been the face of the franchise since his breakout sophomore campaign, and he's currently averaging almost twice as many points (29) as any of his teammates in the playoffs.
Booker's play with Paul sidelined has also been stellar, and it's reasonable to assume he'll continue to be the Suns' shining star if they can pull off a title run. Even if Paul slightly outplays him in the Finals, the narrative surrounding Booker in this postseason should be enough to give him the edge.
Khris Middleton (+3000)
It's impossible to tell the story of Milwaukee's playoff run without Middleton, who has been the impetus for his side's biggest moments to this point. Middleton's game-winner in the opening round's first game helped set the tone for the Bucks' four-game sweep of the Heat, and his 38-point outburst in Game 6 against the Nets kept his group's season alive despite Kevin Durant's playoff heroics.
Middleton has also been a defensive pest, recording five steals in back-to-back games to close out the second round. We've seen players earn Finals MVP honors for their defensive contribution alone. Middleton's got more than that to his game, but he could be tasked with stopping Booker or Paul George in the Finals should Milwaukee advance to that stage.
This award often goes to the best player on the winning team, but it's not uncommon for a secondary star to steal the honors - particularly if they're a two-way contributor. So if you're buying Milwaukee as a title team but can't stomach the price on Antetokounmpo, it's worth taking a shot on his versatile teammate.
- Report: Grizzlies to trade Valanciunas to Pelicans for package, No. 10 pick
- Report: Pistons considering Cunningham, Green, Mobley for No. 1 pick
- Top 10 trade candidates this offseason
- Doncic debuts with 48 points, Slovenia wins Olympic opener
- Team USA is vulnerable in Tokyo. Can Australia mount a worthy challenge?