NBA Finals MVP Betting Picks: Draymond Green Worth a Longshot Bet?
Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Draymond Green
- Steph Curry (-140) is currently a large favorite to win his first NBA Finals MVP award.
- But is he the best betting value? Our NBA experts are here to break down the odds and give their favorite NBA Finals MVP bets.
Will Steph Curry finally get his first NBA Finals MVP award? Will Draymond Green keep up his elevated play without Kevin Durant? Can Klay Thompson, recently spurned for All-NBA teams, come out with a vengeance and steal it?
There are a ton of narratives surrounding this award, and our NBA staff is here to dive into those and find the best betting value for the NBA Finals.
All odds as of Wednesday morning. Click here for a full list.
Wob: Draymond Green: (+700)
There is no value in betting Kawhi because he’s the same exact price as the Raptors to win the series, so please don’t waste your money. You can get Steph at a discount vs. the series price (-140), but that’s not nearly enough of a difference to bank on him going nuclear.
That leaves Klay and Draymond, and I will ride with the guy who has been the most important Warrior since Day 1. As soon as Durant went down, Green quickly reminded us how he’s the oil that makes the engine run. His numbers are through the roof, including two triple-doubles in the Conference Finals, and, most importantly, his usage is up.
When the ball is in Draymond’s hands, great things happen — and with so many defensive monsters on the opposing side, the only way Steph and Klay are able to fulfill their potential as the Splash Brothers is if Draymond does the dirty work to make it happen. As always.
Ken Barkley: Klay Thompson (+1600)
I actually don’t like any of the prices very much. I think they’re pretty appropriate. So when in doubt, go with a narrative!
You can make the case that Thompson has been the most underappreciated player during this entire run. Curry is a superstar. Durant is a superstar. Draymond is vocal and grabs headlines with his antics.
Thompson found out this week he didn’t make All-NBA and was visibly crestfallen (which means he showed the slightest emotion whatsoever). With his free agency approaching and Durant unlikely to play a major role in the early part of the series, the door opens for Thompson to receive a little more of the limelight.
Yes, Draymond Green has elevated his level of play this playoffs back to the earlier peak of his career, and he might be worth a flier, too, but if Thompson can have scoring outbursts and get the lion’s share of the credit for stopping Kawhi Leonard at the other end, he can win the award as well.
Evan Abrams: A Trio of Longshots
- Klay Thompson (+1600)
- Pascal Siakam (+6300)
- Kyle Lowry (+7000)
Time to take a few shots; these odds, in my opinion, deserve a few fliers. I like the Raptors a few ways in this series, but I cannot pass up the value on Klay Thompson at 16-1 at FanDuel.
Did you see his reaction after missing the All-NBA teams? I’ll bet on Klay to chuck it a ton in this series, plus having “Game 6 Klay” as a hedge for my Raptors money isn’t a bad thing.
If the Raptors are going down, the Warriors are going to have to get hot from 3, as Toronto is allowing only 31.3% from 3-point range (3rd) and 41.7% from the field (2nd) in 18 games in the playoffs.
On the Toronto side, Kawhi is obviously the heavy favorite to win the award if the Raptors take it home. There definitely is a scenario where Kawhi involves his depth to create a more balanced attack, which could give their other scorers a shot in the dark.
I am putting more on Siakam than Lowry because Pascal’s versatility and ability to add 3s, rebounds, assists and steals should help his case.
John Ewing: Kawhi Leonard (+300)
The Warriors are heavy favorites to win the championship: At -300 odds, the implied probability of another Golden State title is 75%. But according to an aggregation of public models from ESPN, CBS and 538, this matchup is closer to a coin flip; the consensus projections give the Raptors a 45.7% chance of pulling the upset.
If Toronto comes out on top, there is only one option for MVP. Kawhi is averaging 31.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists with a 62.3% true shooting percentage. Only LeBron and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have ever finished a Finals run averaging more than 30 points with at least 60% true shooting.
Heck, Kawhi is playing so well, that even if Toronto comes up short he could join Jerry West as just the second player ever to win the award despite losing the series.
Matt Moore: Hedge with Steph, Take a Shot on 2 Others
- Steph Curry (-140)
- Pascal Siakam (+6300)
- Kevin Durant (+2500)
A big buy on Curry to help hedge against my two longshots. Durant’s won two of these things, and if the Warriors drop Game 1 (or Games 1 and 2) and sweep out, he gets to play superhero and save the day.
Siakam’s value is incredible to me. He has a super-high ceiling; he can go for 35 in a pivotal Game 5-type environment. Leonard’s leg has been a little wobbly for two rounds. And I like Siakam’s matchup vs. Green.
Curry’s the safe bet here; voters will feel like, “man, we have to get Steph one of these.” But those other two provide great ROI.
Matt LaMarca: Steph Curry (-140)
I’m going to be boring here. Steph has to win the Finals MVP at some point, and Durant being out for at least the first game gives him a clear path to the award.
History suggests that the best player on the winning team is going to win this award. Andre Iguodala won the MVP during the Warriors’ first title run, but that seems like a major outlier. If you remove him from the equation, the last 10 Finals MVPs have been won by Durant (2x), LeBron James (3x), Leonard, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant (2x) and Paul Pierce. It’s fun to envision scenarios where a longshot wins this award, but that just doesn’t happen very often.
The Warriors are currently -280 to win this series, so these odds suggest that Curry has only a 50% chance of winning the MVP if the Warriors win. I would put Curry’s realistic MVP odds at closer to 75% if the Warriors win, making this my favorite value on the board.