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Giannis Antetokounmpo Now 2021 Finals MVP Favorite After Game 5 Performance

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Jul 17, 2021 · 9:47 PM PDT

Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbling at top of key
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will try to clinch the NBA title in Game 6 Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • After a Game 5 win, Giannis Antetokounmpo is now the overwhelming NBA Finals MVP favorite
  • Devin Booker trails at a distant +450, while Khris Middleton has the third-best odds
  • Read below for the latest Finals MVP odds

In easily the most thrilling game of these NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks got that all-important 123-119 road win in Game 5 over the Phoenix Suns.

With a chance to close it out at home as 4.5-point favorites in Game 6 and deliver the franchise’s first title in 50 years, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is also the clear cut favorite to land Finals MVP.

2021 NBA Finals MVP Odds

Player Odds
Giannis Antetokounmpo -300
Devin Booker +450
Khris Middleton +1100
Chris Paul +1600
Jrue Holiday +6600
Deandre Ayton +25000
Brook Lopez +50000
Mikal Bridger +50000

Odds as of July 17th from BetMGM

Giannis Dominates Again

After a horrendous start, it didn’t look like this would be the Bucks’ night. The Phoenix Suns threw a haymaker in the first quarter, outscoring Milwaukee 37-16.

But it didn’t take long for the Bucks to climb back into it. A blistering 43-24 second quarter gave them an unlikely 3-point lead at the half.

Giannis did much of the heavy lifting in the second half, going 9-for-15 from the field en route to a 32-point, 9-rebound, 6-assist performance.

It was easily his best all-around game, getting everyone involved early, before asserting himself to lead the team in scoring. While he put down a signature block in Game 4, he added a late-game, highlight-reel finish in Game 5 that will be added to the all-time Bucks’ playoff reel.

The 2-time regular season MVP potted his third 30+ point performance of the Finals. He’s averaging 32.2 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in the final round, while shooting it at a ridiculous 60.5% from the field. He was the favorite with +150 odds after Game 4, and that’s been shortened to -300.

Holiday, Middleton Surging

Giannis had plenty of support in Game 5, in the best combined performance by their Big 3 all Finals. After a brutal 4-for-20 effort in Game 4, Jrue Holiday was spectacular, pouring in 27 points and 13 assists on 12-for-20 shooting.

And yet, two defensive efforts were his standout moments, and a huge reason he’s leaped from +20000 Finals MVP odds all the way down to +6600. With Devin Booker ripping through the Bucks in the third quarter, Holiday picked his pocket, then dribbled down to nail a triple.

This before the memorable game-changing sequence, stripping Booker and setting up Giannis for the alley-oop to move to a three-point lead.

Middleton finished with 29 points, seven rebounds and five dimes, in his second stellar Finals game in a row. He’s climbed from +1600 to +1100.

Fading Suns

Lost in the Bucks three-game win streak to close to within a win of a ‘chip has been the work by Devin Booker.

The Suns’ standout posted his second straight mega performance, pouring in 40 points (his second straight 40+ outing), with four boards, three assists and two steals. Unfortunately, both efforts ended in L’s. He’s faded from +175 after Game 4 to his current +450 figure.

Chris Paul bounced back from his worst game of the series, turning the ball over just once, while potting 21 points and 11 assists. Once the betting favorite at -143, he’s now at the fourth-bets odds at +1600.

What’s the Best Bet?

If you believe the Suns can still come back and win this series, you must jump on these odds now — particularly on CP3, who will need to get to a higher level to run with Booker. A comeback to win the title (which is still in reach, by the way), would complete a storybook ending.

You get the feeling though, that Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks’ coaching staff understands their advantage is size and strength. They featured super-size lineups with Giannis, Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis occupying front court spots — the first time all year they’ve shared the floor together.

At one point, they were joined by PJ Tucker and Middleton, with no point guard on the floor. Milwaukee has been able to stabilize against that free-flowing, smooth Suns’ offense and close that open space they enjoyed in two wins.

Here’s hoping you landed Giannis after Game 4, because I think this one is over, and this trophy is his.

The pick: Antetokounmpo (-300)  

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