NBA Finals Betting Preview: Who Will Win MVP?
Denver’s Nikola Jokic is in the midst of a historic postseason run, averaging a triple-double through the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler has been lauded for the way he’s carried Miami to the NBA Finals with the Heat as a No. 8 seed. Given their postseason runs, it’s no surprise both are the overwhelming favorites to be named Finals MVP.
Here is a breakdown of the sports betting board for the Finals MVP.
Why You Should Bet on Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic
Only five players have averaged a triple-double in the postseason, but none have done it in as many games as Jokic. In 15 games in the playoffs, Jokic is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists. Only Jason Kidd in 2007 (14.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 10.9 apg) averaged a triple-double in at least 10 games, doing it in 12. Oscar Robertson did it in four games (1962) and Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double in five games in 2017 and 2021.
If Jokic continues his pace against the Heat, he will join LeBron James as the only other player to average a triple-double in the NBA Finals. In a losing effort against the Golden State Warriors in 2017, James averaged 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
The NBA Finals are a different beast compared to the regular season, but if there’s anything to take away from the two matchups between the Heat and Nuggets this year, it’s that Jokic didn’t exactly struggle. Denver won both games, and in December Jokic posted a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. He was just as good in the February win, making 12 of 14 shots and finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
The best number for Jokic’s MVP odds are currently at -360, which is lower than the moneyline -425 odds DraftKings has on Denver to win the series. If you feel Denver is going to win this series, the better bet is on Jokic’s MVP odds.
Nikola Jokic is -360 DraftKings Sportsbook
Why You Should Bet on Miami Heat Forward Jimmy Butler
Similar to Jokic and Denver, it’s hard to see anyone other than Butler win this award if the Heat takes the series. He’s averaging a postseason career-high 28.5 points per game and also at seven rebounds and 5.7 assists. Butler has also been stellar on the defensive end with 35 steals this playoff — 10 more than the next-highest total.
Butler had success against Denver in the last meeting, with 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
He has built a reputation for delivering in the playoffs, and it’s hard to see the media giving anyone else the award if Miami pulls off another upset.
Jimmy Butler is +330 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Who Are the Longshots for NBA Finals MVP?
Miami Heat Center Bam Adebayo
One way the media could flip from Butler to Adebayo is if Adebayo somehow shuts down Jokic. But I’m not even sure what that looks like.
Jokic has two inches and 30 pounds on Adebayo, so it’s hard to see Adebayo pushing Jokic off his spots. But if there’s one way for someone other than Butler to stand out in this series, it’s Adebayo’s defense of Jokic.
Bam Adebayo is +4000 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Denver Nuggets Forward Michael Porter
If there's any certainty, it’s that Porter will get his shots. He takes the second-most 3s per game on the Nuggets with seven, trailing only Jamal Murray’s eight, and he could thrive against the smaller Miami wing defenders.
At 6-feet-10, Porter should have no issue getting his shot off against players ranging from 6-5 to 6-7. The Nuggets will hunt those mismatches similarly to how they did against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals, so Porter should get his opportunities.
Still, an MVP bet might be too much of a pipe dream considering Murray or Jokic will be assisting him and getting credit for setting him up. But a sprinkle on Porter to make the most 3s this series is +220 on FanDuel Sportsbook is worth a look.
Michael Porter Jr. +10000 DraftKings Sportsbook
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