NBA

NBA Finals MVP Odds: Who Stands Out Heading Into Game 3?

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33

The Boston Celtics are making this year's NBA Finals look easy.

They hold a 2-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks, and neither game has come particularly close for the Mavs despite Boston -- the best three-point shooting team in the league -- going 10-for-39 (25.6%) from downtown in Game 2.

Boston is now listed at -950 odds to raise their 18th banner, per FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA Finals odds, while Dallas' title odds sit at +640.

However, if we put our pencils down after Game 2, your guess on who would be crowned the Finals MVP is as good as mine.

If Dallas manages to come from behind and win the series, it will be on the back of Luka Doncic. Over on Boston's side, the in-team parity makes this market a bit more complicated.

With that, let's check out the NBA Finals MVP odds heading into Game 3.

NBA Finals MVP Odds

Player
NBA Finals MVP Odds
Jayson Tatum+140
Jaylen Brown+155
Jrue Holiday+600
Luka Doncic+650
Derrick White+5000
Kristaps Porzingis+5000
Kyrie Irving+8000
View Full Table

Jayson Tatum (+140)

Jayson Tatum is having a disappointing series shooting-wise, but he's still averaging 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists. He also ranks first in defensive rating among players who are averaging at least 25.0 minutes per game.

It's easy to point to his 31.6% field-goal percentage (FG%) and 28.6% three-point percentage (3P%) as a hit to his case, but he's been impactful in other realms and owns the highest plus/minus in this series.

Tatum has plenty of room for positive regression in the shooting department as he sported a 47.1% FG% and 37.6% 3P% during the regular season.

As the series moves to Dallas, it might by key to note that Tatum is averaging 27.6 points on the road during this postseason. The Mavs have dedicated their defensive focus to him, but it seems better shooting days are ahead for Tatum.

The in-team competition for this award makes things complicated, but I still think Tatum deserves consideration given ample room for shooting regression and at least two games remaining to make his case. I don't think the market is out of touch in assigning his scoring prop at a team-leading 25.5 points for Game 3.

Jaylen Brown (+155)

Going into Game 3, perhaps Jaylen Brown has the best current case to win Finals MVP.

He's averaging 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 steals. Brown has been steady in both games, notching at least 21 points and 3 steals in each.

Brown is rocking with a 55.6% FG% in this series after shooting at a 49.9% clip in the regular season. He could be rewarded for his offensive efficiency, but I could also see him and Tatum swap places in the leading-scorer column.

It's easy to like what Brown has done through two games, but I don't love these +155 odds. For Brown's odds to shorten in this market after Game 3, the Celtics would likely need to secure a win in addition to Brown outscoring Tatum.

Boston is +104 to win Game 3, and Brown's scoring prop is set four points below Tatum's.

Luka Doncic (+650)

Kyrie Irving forgot to show up for the Finals, so Doncic is the only realistic option for Dallas in this market.

Irving has contributed just 14.0 points per game and a series-worst defensive rating thus far. Dallas' +640 championship odds in comparison to Doncic's +650 Finals MVP odds tells you everything you need to know. If Dallas wins this series, it's going to be Luka carrying them.

He's averaging 31.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. Even if Kyrie starts to play like he did in the Western Conference Finals, a Dallas championship victory would be hinged on Luka, so he's a clear target in this market if you have faith that the Mavs can pull off a comeback.

Derrick White (+5000)

Tatum, Brown, and Doncic are the clear top options to win Finals MVP.

Jrue Holiday (+600) shined in Game 2, but I think his drastically shortened odds -- Holiday was +5500 before the series -- are a tad too unappealing given that he is probably the least likely Celtic starter to go for 20 from here on out.

Kristaps Porzingis' (+5000) chances took a steep hit after he got banged up in Game 2. The uncertainties surrounding his injury pull me away despite how awesome he has been when on the court in this series.

Derrick White is the only other player I would give consideration to, and I think we're getting appealing odds considering it's a bit of a toss-up among the Boston players in this market.

White is averaging 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 block. Past Tatum and Brown, he is Boston's leading scorer in these playoffs. He's notched at least 20 points in five playoff games in this postseason and at least 25 points in four playoff games, scoring as many as 38 points in an outing. He's capable of a market-altering outburst in Game 3.

He ranks second (behind Tatum) in defensive rating and came up with an impressive block to seal last night's win.

White is a long shot for a reason, but the way this ensemble Celtics group has played up until this point could create the perfect storm for a non-All-Star to win the Finals MVP.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.