NBA Finals Props Retrospective: Exactly as Expected

Steph Curry and Draymond Green
Steph Curry and Draymond Green. (Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])

Prior to the NBA Finals, we did our usual schtick of setting odds on a number of props, everything from the length of the series to the MVP to the most three-pointers. With potentially just one game left in the 2017 season and the Warriors on the verge of something truly historic (i.e. an undefeated, 16-0 playoff run), now is the time for a quick retrospective on the pre-finals props.

The takeaway from this little retrospective is this: basically nothing surprising has happened in this series, continuing a predictable 2017 postseason where the biggest shocker was a mini, two-game push by the eighth-seeded Bulls in round one.

Who’d have thought an injury to Rajon Rondo would end all playoff drama?

Before we get into the results, remember that it’s not too late to make a few final wagers on the series. Bodog is a good choice for bettors who want to venture outside the basic spread and moneyline wagers, as they always post a quite a few tangential prop bets for big games, as noted in our review of the site.


2017 NBA FINALS PROPS: MIDTERM RESULTS

ORIGINAL PROP

Odds the NBA Finals goes …

4 games: 23/4
5 games: 7/2
6 games: 8/5
7 games: 3/1

VERDICT

This is where the surprises begin and end. A sweep was the least likely outcome at the outset. Now it’s the favorite. Up 3-0 and sitting as six-point favorites for Game 4, the odds are about 3/7 (-233) that the Dubs put the finishing nails in their 16-0 armoire on Friday.


ORIGINAL PROP

Odds to win MVP (Bill Russell Award)

Steph Curry: 11/4
Kevin Durant: 11/4
LeBron James: 3/1
Draymond Green: 10/1
Kyrie Irving: 15/1
Klay Thompson: 20/1
Kevin Love: 55/1
FIELD: 99/1

VERDICT

Curry and Durant are indeed the top two candidates for MVP through three games. But they’re no longer statistical equals. KD is staking his claim to the title “best player in the NBA,” averaging 34 PPG on 56-percent shooting. It’s not just his offensive performance that’s solidified his claim to the award; he’s playing the best defense of his career, averaging ten boards and two blocks per game. A clutch, go-ahead triple late in Game 3 could go down as his MJ-versus-the-Jazz moment.

It’s very very rare that LeBron James is both playing at his peak and not the best player on the floor. Durant is accomplishing just that. Sorry, Steph, your insane stat-line of 28.7 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 9.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG is somehow not good enough.


ORIGINAL PROP

Odds to have highest scoring game in the series

LeBron James: 5/2
Steph Curry: 7/2

Kevin Durant: 4/1
Kyrie Irving: 11/2
Klay Thompson: 10/1
Kevin Love: 40/1
FIELD: 28/1

VERDICT

LeBron’s 39 in Game 3 is the leader in the clubhouse.


ORIGINAL PROP

Odds to make the most 3-pointers in the series

Steph Curry: 3/2
Kyrie Irving: 13/2
Klay Thompson: 13/2
Kevin Love: 11/1
LeBron James: 11/1
Kyle Korver: 15/1
JR Smith: 15/1

VERDICT

No surprise here: Curry’s 15 are four better than Durant and five better than Klay. No one on the Cavs has hit more than seven through three games.


ORIGINAL PROP

Over/Under most 3-pointers by one player in a single game: 6.5

VERDICT

Klay came oh-so-close to hitting the over in Game 3, draining six. It looked like he might smash it after nailing four in the first quarter, but he only went 2-of-6 the rest of the way.


ORIGINAL PROP

Over/Under average margin of victory in the series: 8.5 PPG

VERDICT

The first two in Oakland were 19 and 22-point laughers. Even after a tight Game 3, the average margin is still crushing the over at 15.3.


ORIGINAL PROP

Odds to get the first technical foul in the series

Draymond Green: 2/1
Kevin Durant: 4/1
Tristan Thompson: 5/1
LeBron James: 11/2
David West: 11/1
Matt Barnes: 12/1
JaVale McGee: 12/1
Zaza Pachulia: 18/1
Tyronn Lue: 50/1
Mike Brown: 75/1

VERDICT

Finally, an upset! Sort of. Tristan Thompson and David West drew double-techs in Game 2, thus preventing heavy favorite Draymond Green from taking this prop. That said, he’s the only player in the series to pick up a tech on his own, which he did late in the first half of Game 3.

Never top Draymonding, Draymond.