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Opening 2019 NBA Finals MVP Odds: Giannis & Steph Listed as Co-Favorites at 5-2 Odds

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are flying high in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have steamrolled to East Finals
  • Curry has re-emerged as the scoring dynamo after KD injury
  • What is the best value wager to make for 2019 NBA Finals MVP?

As we get closer to the NBA’s Holy Grail, BetOnline has listed their contenders for who will take home NBA Finals MVP.

As you’ll see below, they’re picturing a Bucks-Warriors endgame.

NBA Finals MVP Odds

Player Odds at BetOnline
Giannis Antetokounmpo +250
Steph Curry +250
Kevin Durant +275
Khris Middleton +800
Kawhi Leonard +1000
Draymond Green +2000
Eric Bledsoe +2000
Klay Thompson +2000
Pascal Siakim +2000
Andre Iguodala +2500
CJ McCollum +2500
Damian Lillard +2500
DeMarcus Cousins +3300
Enes Kanter +5000
Kyle Lowry +5000
Marc Gasol +5000

*Odds from May 15, 2019

Let’s delve a little deeper to see if the favorites are the best bets to make, or if there’s better value further down the board.

Giannis Makes Sense, But Be Wary of Curry

If the Bucks are in fact going to beat the Raptors and then (most likely) the Warriors en route to the title, there’s only going to be one reason: Giannis Antetokounmpo.

While you could make the case that the roster around him has been a huge contributor to the Bucks losing just one game through the first two rounds, Antetokounmpo is the undeniable engine driving the Milwaukee bus.

Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and savvy vet play from the likes of George Hill and Brook Lopez have helped keep everything flowing nicely until Malcolm Brogdon got back to full health from a foot injury, which is good, because Toronto is going to be their toughest test yet.

As for Steph Curry, you could make the case that he’s the best player in basketball, but only the second-best on his own squad. Kevin Durant is the reigning two-time Finals MVP, and assuming he returns fully from that scary calf injury, the ball will gravitate to the best offensive force in the NBA.

If that’s the case, let’s just take a moment to marvel at Curry again without KD. He’s been an absolute assassin, and might be the ultimate overqualified ‘in case of emergency’ performer.

In the two games Durant has been out, Steph poured in 33 second half points to wash away the Rockets in Game 6, and then was a man on fire with 36 to crush the Blazers in Game 1 of the West Finals. In those two games, he’s shot 48.6% from the field and 48.2% from deep, making 13 threes.

It’s crazy to think that the best shooter in NBA history seemingly plays second fiddle and rides in cruise control, allowing Durant to do much of the heavy lifting.

2019 NBA Playoffs Active Statistical Leaders 

Player Points Rebounds Assists FG% 3PT%
Kevin Durant 34.2 5.2 4.9 51.3% 41.6%
Kawhi Leonard 31.8 8.5 3.6 53.9% 40.8%
Damian Lillard 27.7 4.7 6.0 42.6% 37.6%
Giannis Antetokounmpo 27.4 11.3 4.4 52.6% 32.4%
Steph Curry 25.2 5.7 5.2 45.2% 39.7%
CJ McCollum 24.9 5.5 3.2 44.9% 39.6%

*Games stats through May 14th

Best Value Bet on the Board is Kawhi

In no world should Middleton be a favorite to win Finals MVP ahead of the Raptors’ all-star. But that’s where BetOnline has it, with Kawhi at a staggering +1000 to take home the prize.

Leonard just put together one of the best seven-game series performances in NBA history, totalling 243 points (third all-time) and delivering the first ever game-winning buzzer beater in a Game 7 in the storied history of the league.

This showdown with the Bucks is virtually a toss-up, which is why you should seriously consider a wager on Kawhi and a Raptors team that might even be better equipped than Milwaukee to oust the Warriors.

What’s the Best Bet to Make Here?

This is not going to be an Andre Iguodala-2015 sort of shocker: there are legitimate superstars on every team left in the final four, and it would be a true stunner to see someone other than a handful of all-NBA level talents be named Finals MVP by the time this season wraps up.

As much as I would love to lay a wager on Damian Lillard at +2500, I don’t see anyone knocking off the Warriors on their side of the bracket. The safe bet is on Durant (+275) while hedging with Curry (+250) to win his first-ever Finals MVP.

However, the East’s representatives are both plenty capable, and it’s a matter of who advances.

Giannis is a worthy wager, but if you’re seeking better value, Leonard is the bet to make.

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Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV's Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric's work has appeared in local and national publications alike.