Golden State secured its spot in the NBA Finals last week but had to wait until Sunday to find out they’d be facing the Boston Celtics. Now that the NBA postseason is down to just two teams, the list of potential candidates at sportsbooks for NBA Finals MVP hasn’t been shorter.
With Golden State favored to win it all, it is not shocking to see Steph Curry’s name atop oddsboards. But should Boston pull off the upset, Jayson Tatum will likely need to have an MVP-worthy series.
Betting Odds For NBA Finals MVP
Those who had faith in the Warriors and put money down on Curry before round one are in line for a solid payday. The Warriors’ point guard had the fourth-best odds at most major sportsbooks before the playoffs got underway, ranging from +1000 (PointsBet) to +1200 (Caesars).
Tatum’s odds were longer heading into Boston’s first-round series against Brooklyn. He was listed as high as +1600 (via Caesars) and as low as +850 (at FanDuel).
|NBA Finals MVP Odds||PointsBet||Caesars||FanDuel||DraftKings|
|Otto Porter Jr.||+25000||+40000|
|Gary Payton II||+10000|
Curry and Tatum are the leaders for their teams and the focal point on the offensive end of the court. Both will get plenty of opportunities to put points on the board. If they can, and their team goes on to win, it will be hard to deny either NBA Finals MVP honors.
However, a great case could be made for that defender if a defender can limit either.
It will not be surprising if Curry or Tatum wins NBA Finals MVP. They are two of the best players in the NBA. If they can lead their team to an NBA Championship, they will deserve the honor. However, history does not necessarily agree with one of them winning.
NBA Finals MVP voters have favored small forwards over the last decade, with one winning in nine of the last 10 years. Giannis Antetokounmpo broke a nine-year streak when he won it last year for the Milwaukee Bucks.
That, of course, is a good sign for Tatum (a small forward) but not Curry, a point guard. Curry was the lynchpin for the Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals. But Andre Iguodala (a forward) took home the NBA Finals MVP trophy. In Golden State’s other two title wins, a different forward won Finals MVP, Kevin Durant.
A guard has not won since Tony Parker in the 2007 NBA Finals.
Does that mean you should count Curry out? Of course not! But keep in mind that defense could be as vital to winning this series as scoring. If Draymond Green, Marcus Smart, Andrew Wiggins, or Jaylen Brown play solid defense and put a respectable number of points on the board, they could upset Curry/Tatum.
But that’s a big ‘if.’