Rovell: One Sportsbook Has $500K in Liability on Kevin Durant NBA Finals MVP Bets
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kevin Durant
- Kevin Durant's odds to win 2019 NBA Finals MVP skyrocketed with news of his Game 5 return.
- FanDuel Sportsbook told the Action Network that it has $500,000 in exposure on Durant bets.
Editor’s note: Kevin Durant left Game 5 during the second quarter with a right lower leg injury.
Despite not playing a minute in the first four games, Kevin Durant’s odds to win the 2019 NBA Finals MVP got shorter and shorter late Monday afternoon as sportsbooks were pounded with money backing him.
FanDuel got a $500 bet on Durant to win the award, and as more bets came in, his odds were lowered to 14-1, said the sportsbook’s director of trading, John Sheeran. Then at 14-1, the book was still getting significant action — including a $1,000 bet — resulting in Durant going to 12-1.
DraftKings had Durant at 25-1 before moving to 12-1, and eventually, 11-1.
Durant opened as the favorite to win Finals MVP at the end of April, but the odds got longer as it was clear Durant was going to be out.
“We raised it and raised it until we could get some action and we were taking nibbles and then came this narrative once we knew he was coming back for Game 5 that he might score 35 points for three straight games and lead the Warriors to the title,” Sheeran said.
Since word got out that Durant would be active for Game 5 around 2 p.m. ET, roughly 85% of bets for Finals MVP at DraftKings and FanDuel came in on Durant.
“We didn’t change the odds because we thought it was more likely he was going to win MVP,” said Sheeran, who said the book’s exposure on Durant is more than $500,000. “We did it directly because of the liability we were facing.”
As of 7:50 p.m. ET, only Kawhi Leonard (-650) and Steph Curry (+450) had shorter odds than Durant at FanDuel. Leonard is -500 at DraftKings, while Curry has the same odds.